The Event Planners are the backbone to SKY events. I mean without them would we even have an event in the first place? Probably not. Design meetings, room layouts and running down the street to buy a 6 pack of Smirnoff so the bride can 'Ice' her groom is just all part of the process. Katie Sipple and Rachael Demling are some of the best in the biz and they want you to get to know them better.
Q: How did you get your start in event planning?
K- During college I had an internship at Make A Wish Foundation where I planned fundraising events. Right out of college I started as an Event Coordinator for a large arena but I quickly realized the design and creativity aspect of events was more my forte- that's when I came to SKY as an event planner!
R- I always wanted to be in the events industry. I was 'that friend'. The one who always planned out vacations and weekend trips and activities. I came to a wedding at SKY and immediately fell in love with the venue. From there I applied as a dining attendant and worked my way up to become an Event Coordinator and now Event Planner!
Q: What do you do on a typical day in the office?
K/R: We are constantly creating and updating banquet event orders, room layouts and are in constant contact with our clients. If we're not in a meeting, we are communicating with clients to set up a meeting. With each client we go through at least 5 meetings before the big day- vision, design, menu, tasting event and finally the mock table meeting.
Q: What do you do on event day?
K/R: We put together any finishing touches throughout the room and we 'play with the space' to incorporate any client provided items. We pay very close attention to the detail in the ballrooms and double check everything! Once we are sure the room is 'event ready' we light the candles, turn on the music and meet with the rest of the staff to ensure a smooth event. During the event we are attending to the needs of the couple and their parents. At the end of the night we deliver the wedding gifts and cards to the hotel room our client is staying at so they don't have to worry about that.
Q: What do your five client meetings entail and which is your favorite?
Vision- We get to know the client's initial thoughts on the event and the meeting where we first get to know the couple and their families. We discuss anything from vendors to design and get a feel for what the couple is looking for as it relates to the big picture.
Design- The planner and floral designer meet with the couple to discuss room decor, linen colors, and room layout.
Menu- We get together with the chef de cuisine and pastry chef, and the couple to customize their dinner and dessert menu.
Mock Table- For this meeting we order sample linens and create centerpieces based on the design meeting visions so the couple can see how the whole look comes together and make any final decisions.
Final Meeting- About 1-2 weeks out, we review the banquet event order and answer any last minute questions and take possession of any of their wedding related items.
K- My favorite meeting is the mock table meeting because all the doubts and uncertainty's vanish when they see everything come together.
R- My favorite is the vision meeting because you get to know the couple and get to begin the planning process. I love seeing the process unfold.
Q: What makes SKY’s planning process unique?
K/R- I think the amount of meetings and services we offer truly makes us stand out from the rest. Face to face communication with our clients helps us get to know them on a personal level and we are always in constant contact, answering questions and guiding the couple throughout the process. At the start of the process, our clients are given a tool kit that has a timeline, budget worksheet, preferred vendors and all the information you could possibly need for your wedding. We strive to help clients stay within their budget while making their day as perfect as it can be.
Q: To what lengths have you gone for outstanding customer service?
K- One of my past brides didn't have her seating chart so she emailed it to me to print, cut out and put into the frames she bought 3 hours before the wedding.
R- I had to run down the street to a local convenience store and purchase a 6 pack of Smirnoff Ices so the bride could 'ice' her groom.
Q: What is the best part about being an event planner?
K- Forming a connection with couples and their families through the planning process and watching it all come together.
R- Watching the event be built start to finish and seeing it unfold. It's really satisfying to see the clients leave with smiles on their faces after the challenges and new experiences that came with planning their event.
Q: What was your most memorable moment as an event planner?
K- Putting together a totally magical Harry Potter themed wedding. This event used a super unique design and different decor elements. They taught me a lot about something they were very passionate about that I didn't know much about- Harry Potter!
R- Am I allowed to say becoming an event planner? After working my way up the ladder, being able to call myself an event planner means so much to me.
Q: What was your favorite event to plan?
K- One of the very first weddings I planned was my favorite. It was a winter wedding and the couple and their families were so kind, appreciative and fun people to work with.
R- I am really enjoying the challenge of the wedding I am planning in 6 weeks.
Q: What’s your favorite upcoming wedding or event trend?
K- Having a dessert display in lieu of having cake passed- it lets guests have their own options. Oh and smaller wedding parties!
R- Farm to table food displays and I love a good dramatic back drop.
Q: What do you do outside of planning events?
K- I spend time with my family and I recently started playing golf every Wednesday night!
R- I like to keep myself active through soccer and volley ball and spending time with my friends and family.