After years of experience in the event planning industry, one local native decided to dive into her own business venture. Meet Kayla of Kayla Ketner Event Planning & Coordination! She strives to bring wedding visions to life while focusing solely on YOU and what you’re looking for. Not only that, but she will be your right-hand lady throughout the day and make sure your everything comes together smoothly. Needless to say, you’re in good hands with this wedding planner. Keep on scrolling to find out more about Kayla in the interview below!
Tell us about Kayla Ketner Event Planning & Coordination and how long you’ve been in business.
Kayla: I have technically been in business less than a year, but I have over eight years of experience in event management and planning. I also have five years of experience coordinating weddings. For years, I thought about starting my own business, but the timing was never right. It wasn’t until the world shut down with the pandemic that I had time to think through what I wanted and how to actually make it happen. After a few serendipitous conversations, much research, time in prayer, and invaluable help from friends who run their own businesses, everything finally fell into place. Kayla Ketner Event Planning & Coordination was born. My company exists to make the client’s life easier. From full scale planning to month or week of coordination, I can be there to ensure it all comes together, so you can enjoy your day without worrying. I have seen too many weddings where the families try to do everything themselves, usually in an effort to supposedly save money, and those family members end up stressed and exhausted before the time of the ceremony even arrives. It’s not worth it to spend the day in a blur when you should be savoring and enjoying all the memories being made. I want my clients to remember the flower girl dumping her petals out in a giant heap with a giggle and not even realize there was a shortage of silverware because I have already taken care of it. And while I am happy to plan and coordinate any event you may have, weddings are my passion. It is such an honor for me to get to know and be a part of your family for the day, and I do not take lightly the privilege and trust you place in me.
How did you get started in weddings?
Kayla: Most little girls dream of being a bride and what their wedding will look like. I was no different, but what I really wanted to be was a bridesmaid. I never understood the exasperated sigh that went with the statement: “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” Bridesmaid duty just seemed the better bargain to me. You still get to dress up, plus you know all the behind the scenes information that the guests never hear about. You are in the middle of the action but without all of the pressure to be perfect as the center of attention. Therefore, being a bridesmaid seemed like a dream job. When I finally got to realize my dream of being a bridesmaid, it was in a wedding where the family and wedding party did most things themselves. I quickly learned how much work is actually involved in bringing the perfect vision to life. Yet, my love of the job only grew. When I collapsed into bed that night, bobby pins still digging into my scalp, I felt such a sense of accomplishment for helping to make my friend’s day so special. It was also so much fun. From that day on, I jumped at the opportunity to be involved in a wedding. I started regularly working and coordinating weddings the summer after I graduated college. Friends and acquaintances who knew me from class or university events were familiar with my planning, leadership, and organization skills. They wanted that person who could take charge, make decisions, and keep everyone on schedule to ensure their wedding went smoothly. It sort of snowballed from there as friends recommended me to others, and long story short, here we are.
What’s the philosophy behind Kayla Ketner Event Planning & Coordination?
Kayla: To deliver excellent service with love, dedication, and grace.
What are your strengths compared to other wedding planners?
Kayla: I will always be direct and honest with you. I am not focused on pushing an agenda or a design scheme to fit “my brand.” I am focused on you, the couple. I want what you want. The day is about you, not your family or friends and certainly not me. I often describe myself as your gatekeeper, but I am also your biggest cheerleader, a coach, a mediator, and if you need me to be, the bad guy who lays down the law. I am whatever you need me to be in the moment you need it because my goal is to get to know you and your vision for the day so that when the time comes I can confidently speak on your behalf when making a decision. I keep a flexible work schedule to better suit your needs. I don’t work nine to five because that is when you are working, not planning your wedding. I meet you on your schedule whether that is after work on a week night or a Sunday afternoon. Again, my goal is to make your life easier, so I definitely don’t want you to have to carve out special time in your schedule to meet me. If you want to discuss wedding plans at 11 pm, that is fine with me. Considering that we live in an ongoing pandemic at the moment, I also want you to know that I am more than willing to work with you on whatever changes may have to happen with your wedding due to Covid-19. I am very conscious about the health and safety of you and your guests, and I am not going to penalize you for changes that are out of your hands.
What attracts couples to Kayla Ketner Event Planning & Coordination?
Kayla: I think what most couples find attractive about my business is my competency. I am diligent to take notes on everything from the big picture items like vendors and their contracts to the smallest detail of reminding the bride she wanted a picture with her college roommate at someone point during the reception. I study those notes and reference them throughout the process. I work with you and your vendors to make a timeline, organize your special details, and understand all the minute ins and outs of the day. The more prepared I am for the day, the better I am equipped to address any hindrances that may arrive on the day of. And when those hitches arise, as they inevitably do, I am not afraid to step up and make the difficult decisions in order to make sure your vision comes to life. I consistently deliver the service I say I will, and I work tirelessly on the behalf of the couple so they can focus on what is most important: each other. The perfect couple for my business is the couple who wants to enjoy each other and their day to the fullest. This couple may have a specific vision in mind or have no clue where to even begin, but either way, they are willing to work with and trust me to guide them through the process. I don’t constrain myself to working with couples who only have a certain style, budget, or type of venue in mind. I work with couples who are open and honest with me. Couples who for one day are my best friends, and I am willing to go to the ends of the earth for them. You are letting me into one of the most intimate and special moments of your life, if we cannot work well together and you don’t trust me, I don’t need to be there.
What are some trends you’re seeing right now in your category of the wedding industry?
Kayla: I think the recognition that day-of coordination does not really exist is one of the most beneficial trends. Day-of Coordination is actually week-of or month-of coordination because to be effective on the day-of, you need to be working with the client, getting to know them, and seeing them through those final, last minute details that they should not have to worry about as the wedding draws closer. Having a friend or family member stepping in at the last minute to show everyone where to stand doesn’t cut it, and it usually leads to more stressful decisions for the couple that they were trying to avoid in the first place. Having that presence you can count on in the final month is invaluable and it ensures the day-of goes smoothly. That is why even though I call one of my packages “Day-Of,” I actually mean “month-of” because I have already met with the couple multiple times, walked through the venue with them, developed the timeline, etc. I’m not walking in the morning of and introducing myself. I have already worked to establish that relationship with the couple. I also love that couples have so many opportunities to customize and craft the day into a representation of their likes and enjoyments. Anything you dream of, you can make happen at your wedding now. You are not resigned to tradition; you do not have to follow the standard order of ceremony or reception activities. You, as the couple, can organize the day however you see fit. You can undeniably show off your style as a couple, and it can take shape as anything from your favorite tapas truck in the parking lot to a pet adoption of rescue animals, or a casino instead of a dance floor. You do your wedding, not your mother’s or grandmother’s, and that is filled with exciting and endless possibilities.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your company?
Kayla: Whether you are a Nashville native or coming to Tennessee for a destination wedding, I would love to discuss your wedding thoughts, needs, and how I can help you with them. There are so many fantastic vendors out there, and whether you book me or not, you deserve a stress-free, fantastic, and one-of-a-kind wedding! Enjoy it!
Thanks so much for sharing Kayla! We are excited to have you as an NBG vendor.
If you’re interested in working with Kayla Ketner Event Planning & Coordination, be sure to reach out to her!