Planner Interview: Katie Laines


Today we are chatting with Katie to talk all about design, wedding planning, and so much more. Katie is SUCH a light and I have been so grateful to get to know her more and learn more about her heart and how she serves her clients.

Tell us a little about you! Where are you located and what services do you offer?

I’m based in San Francisco, CA but I LOVE TO TRAVEL!!! – Offering design & styling art direction and management, as well as all-inclusive planning packages for tiny weddings (10 ppl and below).

What would you say to a couple who does not think a planner/coordinator is important to fit into their budget?

I can appreciate that not everyone has it in their budget to hire a full-scale wedding planner. I would suggest, however, that they take a hard look at where they can re-allocate funds to fit in at the very least a month-of coordinator to take things over and run your actual wedding day. With all the vendors they’ve so carefully been working and planning with for months on end, it would be a shame to have everything fall apart where it really matters most.
Hiring someone to take that stress off in the weeks leading up to the big day frees up the couple to enjoy family and friend time, focusing on the fun things at that point and leaving the logistics to the professionals. To me this feels like a non-negotiable and I would suggest it to anyone looking to have their event run seamlessly.

What is the difference between day-of/month-of and a full wedding planning package?

First I’d like to point out that day-of doesn’t really exist (and most – if not all – planners would agree), and here’s why: No one would expect a professional to show up on the event day having not prepared or been briefed in detail about the goings-on at least a few weeks prior to the big day.
Month-of makes more sense simply because it takes about that much time for the planner to get caught up on #allthethings. This provides enough time for them to get acquainted with the couple and their family dynamics, reach out to vendors for introductions and coordination purposes, finalize the timeline of the big day and do a few in-person meetings, including a final venue walkthrough to ensure they know where everything is supposed to be set up. With this type of package, the couple is planning their wedding on their own and the month-of coordinator runs the show on the wedding day based on the couple’s plans.
A full wedding planner works with the couple throughout the ENTIRE planning process to source and secure vendors as well as guide them through all decision making processes and oftentimes design/vision, on top of all the things a month-of manager would do. Also, it’s important to note that a wedding planner IS NOT the same as a venue coordinator; both worth their weight in gold and provide very different services.

What are some wedding planning trends you see taking place this year?

High-end intimate/small celebrations that are very detail-oriented with a 1-year anniversary party blow-out bash.

How are you unique in how you handle wedding days?

Cliché, but I’m just me. 🙂 I handle things – and by that I mean I am a get it done kind of person. A bench needs to move? Ok I moved it 5 minutes ago. Oh, a gust of wind just knocked over the centerpieces and the florist already left, I’m on the ground re-arranging things. I’m a get my hands in there rub some dirt in it while also styling for aesthetics kind of lady. I’m also a great communicator and can troubleshoot timeline re-arrangements like a wiz-kid.

What is your favorite part of the job?

The creative process as a whole is my favorite part of my job. I am an art director at my core and love anything where I can design, style, and imagine beautiful and unique visual aspects. I also love to paint, so anywhere I get to work in that medium and make new couture-crafted pieces is super fun to me.

What can a couple expect from you once they book your services?

A kickass time! Ha! In reality, I’m just a free-spirited, but super organized, easy-going artsy chick who loves to connect with people. My couples can expect to have fun with me as we move through their design. I don’t like stuffy shit. They’ll get a big warm welcome into my soul and my work is essentially an extension of that. I tend to befriend my couples and hope that they feel like they are in trusted hands during one of the biggest days of their lives.

What type of role do you have when it comes to wedding vendors? Do you handle contracts, payments, and all contact leading up to the wedding?

I used to offer the full-planning service packages that included the contract negotiating, payment reminders, etc for large scale attendee weddings, but I am now only offering this avenue for intimate weddings (10 people) or under, which allows me to provide an all-inclusive experience with high-end detail involvement. For larger weddings, I offer design and styling packages, in which I work directly with (sourcing and communicating) florists, rental companies, and custom stationery/signage (design-related things) and have some fantastic partnerships with planning specific professionals that I work in tandem with to ensure a well-rounded experience.

What is a mistake you see couples make often that you can give some insight/help into? (For example, mine for photography would be not being realistic with their timeline and having to add hours down the road)

I’m going to say underestimating their budget is a mistake I see often. Timeline is a big one too, but budget is tricky because it’s an emotional investment rather than a “practical” one. I suggest always adding 5-10k extra in a misc. category because it WILL 100% creep up.
Here are some examples of things that eat away at a budget that people forget to account for: postage pricing (weighted mail for invites vary based on the paper type and amount of inserts you have, along with RSVP postage), DIY bar (people remember the alcohol, but forget all the things that go along with building out their own bar; like all the extra glassware for different drink types, mixers, and bar equipment – not to mention ice and labor), dress/suit alterations, and lastly – GRATUITY to vendors. 🙂

If you could offer a couple one piece of wedding advice, what would it be?

One piece of advice I can give to couples is to take a deep breath of silence before you walk down the aisle and to take a moment during your ceremony to look out at your guests and take mental snapshots. Those 20 minutes (give or take) are the reason you are all there, so slow down and remember it before the major party begins. I promise, it is such a unique memory that will be with you for the rest of your life – truly the ONLY time in your life when ALL of your favorites from all aspects of both of your lives are together in one place at one time; a true fleeting time-capsule. It even gives me chills just writing this advice out – powerful. 🙂

Oh and also to let go of any drama or issues that might arise. Something is bound to happen and no one can predict exactly what that might be – but typically at the point in which it does, there’s no fixing it. So roll with the punches and always remember, you’re the ONLY one who knew what it was really supposed to look like, or how it was really supposed to go…

How can people find you and get in touch?


July 8, 2020




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *