Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Seefeldt.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Katie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Becoming a wedding planner wasn’t something I decided after planning my own wedding or after getting an unhealthy obsession with Pinterest. I was going to be a wedding planner from the time I was 8 years old.
Growing up, as girls would be sitting at the lunch tables reading Seventeen, I was scouring Brides, earmarking pages, sharpie in hand, making notes and edits, circling menus and napkin folds. As the daughter of public school teachers, we never had excess. I was wearing shoes from Payless while making a list of the top 5 wedding shoes available from Manolo Blahnik. It was then that I was sure I was going to specialize in luxury weddings.
In college, I juggled every event internship I could land. From events at the best hotels from San Diego to Santa Barbara to the not so glamorous side of the industry like cleaning buckets and delivering flowers. I saw something missing. An authentic, excited attitude towards weddings, paired with flawless execution. Some had one or the other, none had both. I landed my first wedding and showed up with lots of enthusiasm, lots of knowledge and a drive to achieve the vision I saw so desperately the industry needed.
From there I asked everyone for their business and a chance to exceed their expectations and with that came booking after booking. I took almost every wedding, from small backyard gatherings to a huge ballroom transformation. I wanted every wedding possible under my belt before I would ultimately raise my fees, and attract my dream client – the luxury bride.
Now with over 250 weddings ranging from venues like Bel-Aire Bay Club to the Four Seasons Maui, I couldn’t be more proud of the business I have built. That dream, the vision I had as a little girl has been fulfilled and in turn, I get to transform others dreams into their perfect wedding day.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting out so young in this industry, there was a lot of pushback. People didn’t trust me because “I looked young”, heck even last week someone said that and then I revealed my age! It is such a catch 22 in this industry – you have to look young and have a youthful style but you also have to be well experienced, tried and true. I am finally in a place where that is easy but it hasn’t always been.
The other big struggle for me is pricing and value. So often I will have a strong connection with a bride and her and I will work on finding a perfect package for the right fee. Then I will send over a contract and the phone rings. The groom wants to negotiate. Being a woman in business I find it incredibly important to remain firm in valuing your work and your fee. Not just for yourself but for other women in business.
Conversely, I have talked to men in the industry and some have said no one ever asks to bargain – ever! Let’s keep our standards high and set an example for women all over the world.
Please tell us about Wedding Kate.
My company specializes in Luxury Weddings in Southern California. From brides living in New York or Dallas coming to LA or Santa Barbara, we make the journey easy for them to navigate. The biggest thing that sets us apart is that we approach our wedding plans with a fresh perspective – no two weddings are alike.
Our planning process is FUN! From creative and innovative styling and design options to meetings that almost always involve champagne, the planning process is really half the fun and we aim to give our clients that experience. This also organically develops a relationship that allows us to our client’s lives. We want to see what makes them work, why they love each other and where they are going in life.
This helps with creating details and designs that speak to the couple and aren’t just a trend. We want our clients to have a wedding that will feel authentically THEM in 5 years 10 years or 50 years!
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory was visiting Disneyland when I was 7 years old. The immersiveness of the park has always stayed with me and I even translate that into my work. I love the smells on Main St, the PERFECT landscaping, how every light bulb works, how there are trashcans 15 paces apart.
As a child, I didn’t necessarily notice each of these things but the feeling was a culmination of it all. And as an adult, I go all the time, but looking back that first time gave me the feeling I want all my guests to experience when coming to one of my events. There isn’t one thing but rather a feeling. That is the ultimate experience.
- Website: www.weddingkate.com
- Phone: 805-240-6189
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @weddingkate
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