We had the good fortune of connecting with Kate Wright and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kate, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I got the opportunity early on to intern for a Los Angeles based PR company that handled a number of nationwide events on behalf of their clients. I was able to work my way up from being an intern to an associate who would travel to different cities across the US to help activate these events. I found that while I enjoyed and thrived off of the grand planning of all of these events, I mostly enjoyed the personal and working relationships that I created while putting an event production together. 

So when I was given the opportunity years later (and different jobs and job titles later) in my own career to take a chance and start my own business, I wanted to make sure that I cultivated the same personal relationships and experiences that I had built most of my career experience on.
Wedding Planning is super personal! Most of my relationships with my clients are about a year to a year and half long! If we don’t take the time to get to know each other, let alone trust one another, there will be no success. That is why it is all about the “experience” for me when it comes to investing in not only me as your wedding planner, but in my brand as well.
I want my clients to feel that they have professional and unbiased support in planning such an important and special day, but at the same time it doesn’t feel disconnected or cold. Having a personal relationship with my clients has always been a key component in my brand and business. The fact that I get to end a wedding day with new friends (some of them for life!) is such a special reward!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I wear many hats in my business! A lot of different professional avenues make up being a wedding planner. I am a planner, designer, therapist, firefighter, crisis manager and so much more. It is a multi faceted job and while, like most, it comes with its good days and bad, if given the choice, I would choose this career all over again.

In the past 8 years of running my own business, I have learned this: When you are your own “money maker” you are constantly working to make sure the lights stay on. Our work hours look different to most and trying to get everyone in your life to understand that is just not worth it. What works for you and your business is what it is all about.
So when a national pandemic like COVID-19 uproots your creative community and prevents you from working to your full potential, you better make damn sure you know who you are and how you want to do business because now its not only about your clients, its about your business surviving.
Right now, I feel like I am working longer hours and almost harder at my job with not a whole lot to show for it as weddings have been put on hold due to the pandemic. But, what I do know, is that thanks to the many hats that I am used to wearing in this business, I have been able to create room for me to be more adaptable and fluid. Integrating this new work ethic into my business has only served my clients more and ultimately help me welcome a new year of business.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am born and raised here in Los Angeles so the possibilities are endless if you come to visit! My first stop would definitely be the beach! But not the touristy spots! Yes, Santa Monica is amazing with the pier and everything, but an unpacked beach is the best kind of beach. We would take a drive up the coast to Malibu and hang there instead … perhaps stop at Malibu Seafood along the way for some amazing fish and chips (I’m a vegetarian now, so I’ll watch you enjoy the fish while I eat all of your fries!) I’m a sucker for a good sandwich so we will either make a stop at Jackson’s Market in Culver City or I may just have you trek with me out to the valley for a Balboa Sub in Northridge – either way you can’t go wrong! Hopefully the Hollywood Bowl will be up and running again (one of my favorite places to catch a concert) and we can spend the next day eating in with delivery from Brique LA … the best French toast you will ever have (+ mimosas) and coffee from Conservatory Tea & Coffee.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have always said: “Find your crew and love them hard”. A lot of my success can be traced back to the people in my life that have not only seen me through thick and thin but the amazing vendors in my industry that have become like a second family to me. Both of my parents are entrepreneurs so I feel like it has always been in my blood to work for myself. They have shown me in their own ways what is like to run your own business and for that, I am grateful. My husband also made it possible for me to say goodbye to the corporate lifestyle and pursue running my own business. I am wildly independent and can certainly stand on my own two feet, but his financial backing and security made it easier to step away from a consistent paycheck (and health benefits – that was a tough one!) and get Xo Kate Events up and running! Lastly, there are my friends like Molly McCauley (of Molly + Co Photo) and Jess Perelle (of Letter & Ink) two fiercely talented wedding vendors turned second family that I consistently rely on to pitch new ideas, vent, and overall grow Xo Kate Events into something bigger and better. Having strong connections in your industry are key for survival and success!

Website: https://www.xokateevents.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/xokateevents/
Other: https://www.pinterest.com/xokateevents

Image Credits
Anya Kernes Photography, Molly + Co Photo, Christine Skari Photography, Caitlin Alohilani Photography, Valorie Darling Photography

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