I will always highly recommend having a wedding planner and/or a wedding coordinator for your wedding. My friend Kate, owner of Valley and Oak Events, is a Grand Rapids wedding planner that I highly recommend! I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her in action on real weddings, collaborate on editorials together, and really get to know her on a personal level. (We love having cocktails at Mertens rooftop bar!) She truly loves what she does and works so hard to be the best she can be for her clients. She treats your wedding as if it were her own, which I’m sure every bride appreciates more than anything.
I asked Kate some questions about being a wedding planner, which we hope you enjoy!
Q: What made you want to create your company Valley and Oak Events?
Kate: Honestly, I kind of started out of default. I was let go from a role I thought I loved, but was really only in love with being needed and was severely overworked in the role. I left there and of course wallowed, but then realized that I am not meant to work for someone else. I have always found joy in building a relationship with any client I have worked with and thought- why not be there on the biggest day of the first chapter of clients’ lives?!
Q: What’s something that differentiates you from other wedding coordinators and planners?
Kate: I believe something that sets me apart from other planners is that I have the mindset of planning the same way I would plan for myself. I believe in splurging where needed and being frugal where needed. I also believe that if following a tradition doesn’t feel right- then don’t do it. My goal is to be known as the relatable planner – not stodgy or overly formal, but always classy & attainable.
Q: What do you love most about being a wedding planner?
Kate: What I love the most- ahhh that’s a tough one! There are so many special and intimate moments that I get to be a part of throughout the planning period and in a couple’s relationship. My favorite moment on a big day is by far a first look between the couple. Whether it be an intimate look just between them or the first view with all of the guests – there is such genuine emotion that comes out. I’m also a sucker for the Father-Daughter moments; being so close with my Dad I always relate it to how that moment would go for us when it’s happening for them.
Q: Do you have a favorite wedding venue in Grand Rapids?
Kate: My favorite venue is probably the John Ball Zoo Tree House. It’s where my someday wedding will be- it’s secluded in the trees and guests take the tram up to the top of the hill and sometimes there’s a great view of the city. I also really like the limited capacity to it – makes it exclusive for the someday nuptials.
Q: What are your words of advice for brides to be?
Kate: First, on the day itself, step back and see the big picture. Take in every person that loves you and helped get you to where you’re standing in that moment, soak it all in.
Second, ENJOY the planning, but know that it’s not just for one day. You are planning for a lifetime with your person. If THIS is THE most important day in your lives then you’re not enjoying the moments. It will more than likely be the most expensive day- yes, but not the most important. Do more than plan for just one day. Plan for all the in-between moments too; the early mornings with babies, the late nights wrapping gifts, the random date nights, the spontaneous days out. You’re building forever, not just a day.
Third, don’t do it for them (whoever ‘them’ is)… do it for you and your love.
Wedding Planner in Grand Rapids
To learn more about Valley and Oak Events, visit her website. Kate is truly a gem and I highly recommend her as your Grand Rapids wedding planner!