Today is a very special day for Katie O' Weddings & Events, we are celebrating 5 amazing years in business!! #koweturns5. I am so excited to highlight two very important people who have helped me grow my business from day one. Megan and Jillian have been part of TEAM KOWE for all 5 years and as you will read below, are funny, smart and passionate for what they do! I am blessed to have their constant support, love and sparkle!
First up, Megan Wolszczak, in her own words…
My degree is in communications with minors in business and journalism. Aren’t those the 3 pillars of a successful business? Just kidding! My degree has helped me the most working for KOWE by leading me to Katie, quite literally. I met Katie while attending the University at Albany and the rest is history. It certainly has also provided me with every day skills, like public speaking. I’m not afraid to grab a rowdy bridal party’s attention!
When I'm not working, spending time with family, friends, and my boyfriend is how I occupy my time! That’s a pretty standard response, right? But it’s true! There’s nothing I enjoy more in my down time than spending it with the ones I love. Going out to eat, cooking at home, watching a movie or favorite TV show together, doing something active and outdoors, shopping, etc.
While there are so many amazing moments every wedding, for me, the Father / Daughter dance wins, hands down. Maybe this is because I am so close with my Dad and can’t wait to share this moment with him some day or maybe it’s the emotion that suddenly takes over the room during parent dances when everyone is touched directly by one of the dances. Whether they knew the bride or groom first, they likely knew or heard about their family and understand what that person means to them. It’s just special, there’s nothing else really comparable to it for me. I do enjoy beautiful, thoughtful ceremonies but there’s something about later in the night when all nerves have left the couple and they’re at such ease that makes me smile.
In addition to my work and my spending time with friends and family, I love to cook / eat. Cured meats and cheeses (particularly brie and prosciutto), really good thin crust wood-fired pizza with previous items mentioned as toppings, French fries, and pickles. Those are the top ones but I’m a total foodie and love trying anything! Except no olives. Blah! (Ironically, Katie’s favorite!)
After four years with KOWE, what I love most about this job is the relationships and connections made. At KOWE, we get to work with some pretty amazing families and vendor friends (or friendors) and they make everything about a wedding day hardly seem like work. The connections created between a coordinator and a couple through the planning process can run really deep. We stay in touch with most of our KOWE alumni through social media but there are some that truly become friends and we always enjoy spending time with them and seeing their lives and families grow. Friendors are awesome, fun, energetic, and enthusiastic about their profession – just like us – so they add to our passion and excitement.
I love football through and through. Let’s go Buffalo! Of course, my Yankees too. Favorite sport to play? More recently, I’m a Crossfit newbie and totally hooked. Don’t worry I won’t get anyone to try and join the “cult” but if asked, I will attest to how awesome it is.
Family means and is everything, to me. My Mom, my Dad, and my brother build up my immediate family. Over time, it has expanded and every person plays a unique, important role. I’m fortunate enough to have lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins and to have known all four of my grandparents in my lifetime.
When I try and define sparkle I automatically think that it means making dreams come true. Sparkle is the extra mile. It’s the added touch, the special sentiment, the perfect moment that everything comes together for a couple and they forever look back on their special day with fond memories.
When I started with KOWE, I was 19; I couldn’t wrap my head around college graduation yet, let alone my future wedding so my love for weddings wasn't, umm, organic. But Katie and I met and she saw I had a knack for planning and events – enter the wedding world – and then my passion quickly grew as I saw all these incredible events unfold right in front of me. I love seeing different ideas and styles which is where the blogs and Pinterest come in. You can never run out of ideas with those and, as I get older, both blogs and Pinterest feed my love for weddings!
I have the ability to add humor to a situation and put someone at ease or help them see the bigger picture. Sometimes very useful on an event day! My knack for being organized makes my life a lot easier so I guess I love that too.
Wedding day necessities include: phone charger, rain boots, extra clothes, PRINTED itinerary, coffee and snacks. Those are the critical elements to a happy planner and smooth day.
After so many events together, it’s really hard to pick just one. I’d say our trip to California for a breathtaking wedding tops the list though. This couple is special to us in many ways but they also provided Katie and I with a once in lifetime opportunity to experience some pretty glamorous venues and beyond. This was also probably the defining moment of our friendship when Katie went from a boss to a friend.
When I was little I was loud, energetic, talkative, and passionate from the start. So, I guess not much has changed.
When it comes to a first look, I’m forever stumped on this one. Fall/winter, I say yes. It provides a lot more opportunity and ease for lots of photos before the sun goes down. Spring/summer, maybe pass on it! It’s a special moment but there’s nothing like seeing a bride or groom walk down the aisle to their other half and their reactions are just priceless.
My favorite hashtag? #TeamKOWE. Does that make me kind of corny? Yeah, but we really are a team through thick and thin!
Next up, Jillian Casler in her own words…
I love TV. I find nothing more relaxing than getting cozy on the couch or being a loaf in bed and catching up on my shows. You see, my husband and I have our shows we watch together, and then I have my shows that I watch on my own time. True story. Most recently, I was asked if Once Upon a Time could be moved to the “On my own time” zone because he felt he could no longer tolerate this season. (Not going to lie, it is pretty bad this season, but I’ll hold out hope that they’ll turn it around). Oh, and I cannot forget to mention my affinity for the Hallmark Channel – I could (and have) watched Hallmark movies all day long.
My favorite moment at a wedding…that's a tough one. One moment that planners have the luxury of experiencing that most wedding guests will not – is a first look. And I'm not talking about the bride and grooms first look. One of my favorite moments of the day is when a father sees his little girl, hair and make up complete, dressed in the most beautiful gown he's ever seen. That one moment when his face glows with pride and love and loss, because today he will be giving away his daughter to the man of her dreams. Gets me every time.
I have a love of fine foods and by “fine foods” I mean McDonalds. Ha. A number 2 makes me happy any day. I also enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, pizza and my Grandma Flo’s sauce.
When I’m assisting Katie, I really just enjoy spending time with my friend. When the wedding season is crazy, if I have the opportunity to spend the day making someone’s wedding sparkle and on top of that I get to do it with Katie – it’s a win-win. When there’s downtime in the day/night we get to catch up – it’s lovely. I also love meeting all of the wonderful families we work with. I love people and getting to meet so many wonderful people on a day that is so important to them and to share that with them is really awesome.
I don't have a favorite sport…unless you consider sleeping and/or napping a sport…
Family is love. It’s an amazing group of people that have helped raise you to become the person you are, who have to love you no matter what, who share in your happiness and pain. Who get you through everything – just by supporting and loving you. Family can be your blood, but also extends much deeper than that. I have some amazing friends and their families that I would also consider to be my family.
I have a Communications degree with a concentration in advertising. I think a communications degree lends to so many things, especially working for KOWE where clear communication is key!
Sparkle is KOWE and KOWE is sparkle. Sparkle is trying to find a way to bring 8 coffees from Starbucks to your bride without spilling a drop, just to make sure she has her very own “Bride” cup. Sparkle is always having a genuine love for what we are doing, and having it show through our work. Sparkle is holding an umbrella in the rain so your wedding guests and/or bridal party stays dry (and doing it with a smile). Sparkle is the small stuff you might not see, and the overall essence of what we do.
I take everything in stride. My eyelashes are pretty sweet. And all in all I’m pretty damn fun to be around. On a wedding day, I must gave coffee. I’m no coffee snob. Give me Cumberland Farms, Dunkin, Stewarts or Starbucks. And keep it coming ALL DAY. Funny story, Kelly and I were on our way to a final meeting in Lenox when I picked her up for the trip. She looked down and saw that I had purchased two large iced coffees for the trip. I’m telling you – I always come prepared.
Some of my favorite KOWE memories have to be when Katie and I communicate in our special way. It’s also pretty entertaining to watch someone new, whether it be another KOWE assistant or one of our vendors, discover that although we may not be saying anything at all or we are speaking in short random phrases – we in fact are having full-on conversations with one another.
When I was a little girl I was a tom boy. I loved playing football with the boys and hanging with my cousins. It wasn’t until an intervention in middle school when my best friends brought to my attention that I needed stop buying boys jeans and that I should get on the bell bottom band wagon that I really started embracing my girly-side.
I adamantly support the first look. Yes and yes.
My Favorite hashtags: #gooniesneversaydie #heyyouguys #happilyevercasler
I have enjoyed highlighting the ladies of KOWE and feel so lucky to have the BEST team in the area to help make so many wedding day dreams come true. I am excited to see what the next 5 years holds for us all!