We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Kathryn Kalabokes, creative visionary force behind Dream a Little Dream Events in San Francisco, and asking her for some rich ideas and advice to share with you to ensure you have the Best Possible Wedding Day Experience.
Here’s the thing, we know that you are inundated with details and schedules and excited and in action and although the full interviews themselves are awesome, rich with inspiration, we are offering you the distilled version in a unique form – touchstones you can use NOW to put you in a frame of mind to have fun planning your wedding while also affirming you are on the right track! So, without further ado, (drum-roll please…
Three Need-to-Know Touchstones directly from Kathryn Kalabokes of Dream a Little Dream Events
Touchstone #1 – TRUST YOUR GUT
Everything should truly reflect the two of you. That’s the thing I love about our weddings – people look at our blog or they look at our website and they may look at one wedding and think ‘what was she smoking’ and then they’ll look at another one and go ‘that’s my style’ and the reason we hit all these different types of brides is that we expand. We don’t fit one mold. Couples come to us with these fabulous ideas and we want to know everything about them – how they decorate their house, how they dress, what music they listen to. It all comes in to what that wedding will be like.
Stay true to yourself. Don’t let anyone dictate the way your wedding is going to be, Don’t let Aunt Judy dictate the way your wedding is going to be, don’t let the venue dictate it. Don’t let your planner dictate it – She should embrace it and make it yours just as much you’re making it yours but be able to guide you.
In planning my own wedding, I have stuck to that completely. There is pressure being a bride in an Italian and Greek family with big opinions and also being a professional in this industry and having everyone expect that my wedding is going to be “The Wedding of the Year.” It’s not – it might be party of the year but I’m not planning it to be published or to win any wedding awards. I’m planning it to be a day that Joe & I are going to love. Some people look at some of the stuff we’ve come up with and they’re like ‘wow, this is crazy’ and it’s true, but it’s who we are and when everyone opens their invitation in a few weeks, they’re going to say ‘this is insanely sick, and it’s Kathryn and Joe a hundred percent’ – we’re staying true to ourselves, staying true to what we are and staying true to everything that we believe in which is good food, good drinks and great music and that is what the whole wedding is centered around.
Touchstone #2 – TRUST YOUR TEAM
Hire people who want to support your vision. Our clients hear right from the beginning – this is your wedding, this is your day, and this is your vision. We’re here to help you save money and do it right. They may say ‘I want to do this random thing or that random thing’ and I say ‘I know how to perfectly execute that.’ It feels great when I ask a bride ‘how are you doing?’ on the week of her wedding and she says ‘we’re great, we have you and we have this amazing team.’ And they honestly live that through the wedding. On the wedding day, you don’t see a nervous glitch in their eye or anything, they’re just like ‘we have an amazing team that’s here to make our wedding just as well as they would make their own wedding’ and that’s the truth.
Work with professionals. Unfortunately I have way too often seen a bride choose an important player in her wedding because they are a friend of the mother or the dad or the family that does something, some kind of hobby, and wants to help but they don’t have the professionalism and experience on the day of to pull it off. And that’s when you see brides with an anxious look of ‘I picked the wrong person, I chose someone I would never have hired’
When it works it works. These days, it happens on nearly every wedding I plan or oversee – one weekend I’m working with this team and I literally feel like it’s a dream team for that client and the next weekend we’re working with a completely different team and it feels like the dream team for that client. Each weekend it feels like that because our clients are choosing a team they trust. On the wedding day, the guests feel it in the air and at the end of the night, the team goes out and celebrate because we have done an amazing thing, we have created the best experience for the couple, their families and their guests.
Touchstone #3 – KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE
Stay Present, your experience effects everyone’s. A couple of years ago we were planning a late September outdoor wedding and there was rain in the forecast a week before, the bride started to spiral. I reminded her to stay present, we ordered a tent and from that moment on, she was so dialed in. It rained off and on but we were still able to have the ceremony outdoors and she was just so dialed in. On the morning of her wedding – she did some yoga, had breakfast with all of her girls and when I arrived, they had Motown jams playing, they were dancing and having the time of their lives. Walking down the aisle, it was so amazing. She walked down the aisle to a recording of her late Grandmother singing Amazing Grace and people were just balling, I was totally balling. She was so present and walking down she kept shaking her head at her groom whispering ‘here I come baby.’ She could have had a snowstorm, windstorm and she would’ve walked right through totally present to the thought ‘I love this man and we are here to celebrate that.’
Remember what this day is about. When I think about the end of my wedding night, I want to kiss Joe under the disco ball, grab my bouquet and clutch, walk out the door and say – that was amazing! This is one of the biggest celebrations you are going have in your life and as much as you care about the little details, remember that this is not about the details, it’s about you, it’s about your families, it’s about celebrating your love and remembering to keep your eye on the prize – that regardless what does or doesn’t happen at your wedding the next morning you are going to wake up and begin your married life with the person you love.