Well we’re on to our next 5 Question Interview Series participant. As I wrote below, Kara Marie is the proud owner of Lavish Events, which is a national event planning firm based in Erie, PA. They go all over and have just recently opened up their Pittsburgh branch. John and I had the terrific opportunity to meet the ladies of Lavish Events and photograph them for some new pics on their website. They were all very sweet and a lot of fun to photograph. They were real troopers too, as the temperature on Saturday was enough to make your hair stand on end…
Make sure to contact Kara Marie for your next event! We can all use a little help when it comes to planning something as large as a wedding. Why not leave it to someone who has done this a thousand times! 🙂
1. How did you get into event planning?
My passion for weddings and events started at a very young age. From the time I was 7 years old, my mother would let me pick out a bridal magazine every time we went grocery shopping to keep me entertained throughout the store. I would devour every last advertisement and fold over the corners of the gowns and rings that I adored. That grocery store past time soon turned into a bit of an obsession. Strangely enough, I never considered a career in weddings or events until my freshman year of college. I was in school for communications with a minor in business management, and had a “Eureka!” moment. I began studying for my bridal consultation certification and soon added 4 other event management, design, and wedding planning certifications added to my list of credentials. I went into event planning full force and never looked back! I started with my own business, and left for a little while to work for a large event planning firm in the south. After the birth of my son, I returned to the land of the north and picked up where I left off with Lavish Events. Because every day is something different, my job never feels like work!
2. What keeps you motivated/where do you get your inspiration?
I actually get a lot of my event design inspiration from interior design books and magazines rather than wedding magazines. The pages of Elle Decor give me unique color and texture schemes that aren’t played out in the event industry yet. Then, of course, is my second Bible, Martha Stewart Weddings! You can’t go wrong with Martha!
3. What advice would you give to a budding event planner?
Short and sweet….go big or go home! Oh, and start buying Red Bull in bulk, because it will get very expensive buying it one four pack at a time!
4. What advice would you give to a couple looking to hire an event planner for their wedding?
Do it, do it, do it! The FAQ page on our website addresses this (www.lavisheventsonline.com). A common misconception is that an event planner is a luxury that only celebrities are entitled to. The truth is that a planner will save you so much money that your overall cost will be less than it would have without a planner…not to mention the peace of mind you will get from being able to relax at your event. You really can’t put a price on that!
5. What is the one thing about the event planning business you wish you would’ve learned earlier in your career?
I wish I would have learned the importance of working with a team of planners rather than on my own. I have to admit (as most event planners have a hard time doing), that I am a bit of a control freak and love to tackle everything solo. I soon discovered that having a team of dynamic professionals working with me only increases the value of our service, and allows me to delegate tasks that I might have overlooked otherwise due to being “too darn busy”! I have amazing teams in multiple cities throughout the United States and I would never go back to working alone again! Not only do I get to work with a bunch of terribly talented people, but I also get to take on more events than ever!
Kara Marie Brown