Kris, of Classic Events By Kris, plans all different kinds of events throughout the greater Philadelphia area. Today she stopped by to share how she has pursued her passion for event planning while also maintaining a career. A big thank you to Kris for taking time out of her busy schedule to chat with us! Let’s find out more about Classic Events by Kris…

GM: How did you get started as a professional event planner?
KM: It seems like I have been planning events my entire life! Throughout high school, I planned proms, fundraisers, holiday parties and birthday parties. Then in college, I continued to plan similar types of events and interned at a conference center in Radnor, PA where I assisted conference planners with corporate events and meetings.
After college, I took a job in sales at a medical publishing company where I still work today. But, I also continued to pursue my event planning dreams by assisting family and friends with birthday parties, anniversary parties, holiday parties, baby and bridal showers, and fundraising events. I have also helped numerous friends plan their weddings and I also planned my own destination wedding in Outer Banks, NC. About 3 years ago, I made the decision to turn my love for event planning into my own business and I formally started Classic Events By Kris. It is a lot of work to have a job and run my own event planning business, but I love these two positions and feel very luck to work with such amazing people in both industries.
GM: What event planning services do you offer?
KM: I offer full service or a la carte planning services for all types of events ranging from birthday parties and holiday events, to corporate functions and weddings.

GM: What types of events do you typically plan?

KM: Lately, I have been working with a lot of brides on their wedding planning and day-of coordination. There are so many outlets for ideas like Pinterest and Loverly, but many people face challenges when it comes to organizing their ideas and staying true to the vision of their wedding. I also spend time doing a lot of research for clients -narrowing down venue options and choosing different vendors. My research saves time for my clients and also gives them a few options to choose from.

GM: What sets you apart from other event planners?

KM: A huge part of my business is to be there when my clients need me, so I don’t take on too many clients at one time. I will do anything in my power to make sure an event runs smoothly and exceeds the client’s expectations. If this means making a few extra calls to vendors, coming earlier to help with set-up or staying later to gather personal belongings, I will put in the extra effort to get the job done and I don’t always add the extra time to my bill. This may seem like bad business, but my clients trust me with their event and sometimes that is just more important.

GM: What is your favorite part about being a professional event planner?

KM:  The fact that I get to be a part of special, milestone events. I’m always honored when a client hires me as their planner because they are allowing me to share an important day in their life. Throughout the planning process I become very close with my clients - I get to know them, their families & their friends so well.

GM: If you could work on a specific event type more than you currently do, what would it be and why?

KM: I would LOVE to work on more kids’ parties! There are so many creative themes and party supplies available now. It would be so fun planning kids’ food buffets, fun desserts, exciting activities and favors to match a theme. I would really enjoy working with clients to put together amazing parties for their children that work within their family budget.

GM: What’s the biggest misconception people have about event planners?

KM: I think that a lot of people think they can’t afford a wedding or event planner. But, with a planner, you may be able to allocate your budget more efficiently and also receive vendor discounts due to relationships that your planner has built. My packages for “Day-Of” Wedding Coordination start as low as $500, my services are very affordable when compared with other vendors. I also customize all my planning packages - no budget is too small.

GM: What’s the one thing you wish people knew before they hired you?

KM: I would want potential clients to know that I will make their event a priority and can work with them to make their vision a reality while keeping within their budget.

GM: Can you tell a story about a disaster averted?

KM: I was coordinating a wedding the day Hurricane Irene came up the coast. A large majority of the guests had cancelled last minute, vendors were running late and the venue wasn’t able to have any décor or items outside as planned. There were so many things going wrong that day, but I didn’t let the bride and groom, or their families know about the problems happening. I had all of the cell phone numbers for the vendors and I kept in touch with them throughout the day to try to stay on schedule as much as possible. I also worked with the venue to move the outside décor items to different places inside.

During the wedding reception, guests were talking about leaving early because of the weather so I assisted the catering staff with packing up the desserts in to-go boxes for guests. We also arranged for one of the shuttle buses to make an earlier trip for guests that wanted to go back to the hotel. In the end, everyone had an amazing time along with the bride & groom. Going through everything that day was a great experience because it forced me to work through a lot of challenges.

GM: What’s the one piece of advice you’d offer anyone about finding a planner?

KM: Meet them in person. I offer a free consultation for all my potential clients, so I can get to know them and hear more about their event. When you meet someone in person, you can see if you will get along and be able to work well with them. Setting up a call is the next best thing if you aren’t able to meet in person.

GM: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer anyone planning a party on their own?

KM: Try not to get caught up in the details. Details are very important to events and can make an event better than others, but they shouldn’t be your only concern. Make sure to cover the large items first and then work on the details. Also, try to have fun planning! If you don’t find planning an event fun, find someone who does, or hire a planner. You want to enjoy your event and time with your guests without being stressed or tired from all the planning.

GM: Why do you use GigMasters for finding entertainment and event vendors?

KM: GigMasters is a great resource to search for entertainment and vendors in all areas. I really like that you can do a quick search on the site, narrow down your choices by looking over the reviews and then receive free price quotes.

If you are interested in working with Classic Events By Kris, contact her here: classiceventsbykris@gmail.com. You can also follow Kris: Website  www.classiceventsbykris.com Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/ClassicEventsByKris Twitter  https://twitter.com/EventsByKris Blog  http://classiceventsbykris.blogspot.com/ Pinterest  http://pinterest.com/kmembrino/ Etsy  https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClassicEventsByKris -

Have you worked with Classic Events By Kris? If so, share your experience in the comments below.