We had the good fortune of connecting with Dianne Pak and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dianne, what do you attribute your success to?
I attribute all of our accomplishments and success to great mentorship. Without the wedding planners who allowed me to assist, shadow, and intern for them, I wouldn’t have the hands-on experience and knowledge about the industry that I have today. I am a firm believer in continuing to seek education. There is a wealth of knowledge available to any and all who want to learn through podcasts, courses, and mentors. Mentorship is a such a great way to pass on lessons, mistakes, and successes one has learned to better educate the next generation.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Cordially Invited Events is a wedding and event planning company based in Southern California. Our services include planning, design and event management, event rentals, custom builds, and a string quartet. We believe that our clients have a unique story to share with their loved ones through their life celebrations and our team strives for flawless execution through months of intentional planning and collaboration with the most talented industry professionals. A core value of the Cordially Invited Events brand is quality. We contract a limited number of events yearly to prioritize quality event production. While this approach may hinder the number of events we have in our portfolio we pride ourselves in offering our clients the utmost attention they deserve while planning once in a lifetime milestone events.
Building a business takes great mentorship, patience, and sacrifice. During the six years of assisting both boutique and luxury event planners, I was able to gain invaluable experience in coordinating intimate affairs to lavish productions. After pursuing my Bachelors degree I began a career in corporate accounting while starting Cordially Invited Events. Answering client emails during lunch breaks, hiding in the office phone booths to conduct client consultation calls, and taking PTO to attend walkthroughs, tastings, and design meetings were difficult but necessary sacrifices in my first few years of business. I am forever grateful for the skills I learned during my years working in accounting as it has translated into skills I use to operate my business.
I believe that all of the past experiences, jobs, and interactions we have, no matter how positive, negative, or relevant, are stepping stones to achieving our dreams. Creating a business is so wonderful because it is a true representation of everything that you are passionate about. In addition to our planning services we offer event rentals through our sister company De Céro Collective. I believe that specialty rentals can make a world of a difference in creating a cohesive event design. I consistently found that my clients were turning down the option of renting upgraded chairs due to budget restrictions. My solution was to purchase our own inventory and provide chairs in-house at a discounted rate to our clients so they are accessible and affordable. Additionally, we began offering custom build services because our clients were searching for unique pieces such as an escort wall or a bar that local rental companies did not have in their inventory. We love building practical custom installations that also create a wow-factor for a great experience that guests will remember. The most unique service we offer under our company is a string quartet called The Cordial Quartet. Classical music has been an important part of my life since I was very young. I have a great appreciation for live music so we assembled four of the greatest musicians from USC and Juilliard to offer sophisticated entertainment for weddings and events.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Hands down my favorite place to escape and relax is The Resort at Pelican Hill. As soon as you enter the property you are transported to Italy with the pristine olive tree lined grounds and Mediterranean architecture. They have stunning views of Newport Coast, incredible service, and spacious villas that are perfect for families and groups. Order the flourless chocolate cake from in-room dining for a sweet late night snack. For the greatest tacos in the world Sancho’s Tacos in San Clemente is a hidden gem right along the coast. For heaping servings of amazing Mexican food our go to spot would be Mi Casa in Costa Mesa. The Kebab Shop in Irvine is also a crowd favorite if you’re craving Mediterranean food. Coffee is a must and our top choice in Los Angeles would be Maru Coffee in the Arts District. For something a little more unique try an iced lavender latte from Morning Lavender in Tustin. For cocktails The Lobby Lounge at the Montage Laguna Beach has gorgeous ocean views with comfortable lounge seating to enjoy the sunset. Rent a duffy boat from Newport Fun Tours for a relaxing cruise around Balboa Island. Make sure to bring along a picnic to enjoy a little feast on the water (alcohol is allowed for passengers who are not driving the boat).
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Mandana of Très Jolie Events was the first planner who introduced me to the wonderful world of weddings. She has also been an amazing mentor and role model with her impeccable designs and ability to maintain her composure while producing high-stress luxury events.
Jose Alvarado Photography Hello Blue Photo