Today’s wedding planner interview is with Karen Marie Betancourt of Karen Marie Events, based in Southern California. Enjoy:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
Karen Marie Events is a family affair. My daughter, Stephanie and I, work directly with the brides and coordinate the weddings. Our most fun event was my daughter’s wedding and that was when she decided she would love to work with me.
We have other family members that create some of our designs/arches, one that designs wedding signs, as well as 2 other team members who work as assistants. We all have varied backgrounds from interior/fashion design, management/sales, electrician/welder and an esthetician so we pull all of these resources together when working on weddings.
We really like utilizing a vision board as well as Pinterest to help brides refine what their vision is and make sure we really listen to them so that we create exactly what they want their dream wedding to be.
Read the full interview after the cut!
How did you get into wedding planning?
I did special events for years on a voluntary basis from private parties to wine festivals, trade expo’s and golf tournaments – everything except weddings. Friends started asking me to help coordinate the day of for them and it just sort of fell in my lap after that with referrals. I am very passionate about weddings and love the variety of the weddings, venues and the brides so it was a great move to start focusing on wedding planning.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
I love the design part from a creativity standpoint. The day of coordination really is what I love the most though as I love to see it all come together just perfectly. Organization and focus on detail is one of my strong points and it is a definite asset when doing the planning but particulary the day of. Being a multi-tasker and an A personality is also an advantage.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding planners just getting started?
Really listen to your brides and try and determine exactly what they want. With all of the information online especially with Pinterest it gets overwhelming for them and sometimes you have to have them back up to where they began to really get to the look and feel they want for their wedding.
What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?
I love to travel first and foremost. Entertaining with friends, cooking, wine tasting and boating round out the rest of my free time.
Any great stories from working with a client?
So many, from sewing the mother of the bride’s dress beads back on to the lights temporarily going out and having to hold flashlights while guests went down the buffet line. Favorite is a bride and groom on the dance floor for the First Dance and there two year old running on the floor, the Dad picking him up and the three of them dancing together…priceless!
What is your current favorite color combination?
I really like marsala combined with moss green, some grays and a splash of blush. I also like lavender and gray especially for a winery wedding.
Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?
I love the rustic and woodland themes because there is just so much that you can do with them and you can throw in a little whimsical or elegance depending on the bride’s tastes. I’d love to see them leave behind the traditional bouquets and throw in more creativity and naturalness to them as many are starting to do.
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are in the midst of planning?
Budget is first and foremost – it is so easy to get away from you. Take the total you are allowing and break it down into the areas that you most want to spend the larger amounts (ie floral design because it is SO important).
Creating a proper monthly timeline also helps relieve stress. After you create your theme, break down monthly what you need to do to accomplish everything. This helps you keep track so as not to miss anything, crossing them off gives you a feeling of progress, and a timeline on your wedding day helps everyone including your vendors know when and what will be done during the event.
Finally, creating a vision board helps you define exactly what you want. Take swatches of color and try different mixes. Cut pictures from magazines or from various online wedding sites of décor and tablescapes you like. Then working with your wedding planner, narrow it down to what really captures your eye and is cohesive.
Great, thank you Karen! For more information about Karen Marie Events, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.
Do you have any questions or comments for Karen? Add them to the comments below!