January 2015 Archive

Katie O's Winter Wedding Hall of Fame!

Oh, hey, January…yup, we know, Febraury is next and winter lingers even into March around here, but the winter also makes for some gorgeous weddings. There are a few things to consider with winter nuptials–mostly concerning photos. A first look is practically a must do if you're having a an early fall / winter wedding because there just isn't as much natural light as other times of year. A first look allows you to get your photos and portraits out of the way early while the light is still beautiful.

In researching this post, it became clear that winter is not the preferred time of year for most KOWE couples–but it still makes for some incredible events that are cozy and warm, but not “I feel like I'm melting” like many July weddings!

And, as Hank, Frank's assistant says in Father of the Bride, “I love snow because it's white and it goes with everything!” Truer words have not been spoken! So check out the images below for the KOWE Winter Wedding Hall of Fame…

A classic downtown Albany photo…this was such a great, intimate affair!677 Prime Albany Wedding Photos026

From Albany, to Troy…this was the first snowfall of 2013…love, love, love!Franklin Plaza Wedding Photos 551

While there may not be snow, those bare trees are a true indicator of winter! Great silhouette!Pats Barn Wedding Photos028

To the lake…brrr (this was technically spring, but, yeah, there was snow)…Crooked Lake House Wedding Photos39

And now to Saratoga…and, obviously, one of my personal favorites!Hall Of Springs Wedding Photos561

And last, but not least, I have NO IDEA whose wedding this was, but it's perfect. Gotta love Big Joe! Hahaha!Bts2014 003

Winter weddings, yay or nay (we say “yay!”)? Let me know in the comments!

Keep sparkling–


Vendor Spotlight: Simply Scout Designs

You've heard me say before that details can really make a wedding stand out. And more and more, I've been seeing custom signs pop up at weddings and events that are not only informational, but really cool and unique.

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Locally, one business stands out for custom chalkboard signage–Simply Scout Designs. Kailin Curtin is the owner and creative force behind Simply Scout Designs. She works with clients to create custom chalkboard signage that can bring a touch of whimsy and pertinent information on the big day, too!

I've seen signs for signature drinks; welcoming guests to a wedding; and even serving as a seating chart for guests. Her signs have also been used for bridal showers and other events like baby showers; photo shoots (I LOVE the 1st bday photos with Simply Scout); and festive holiday decor.  Check out some fun signs Kailin has created for our clients:

A fun signature cocktail for the bride….

Bride Cocktail

And of course one for the groom too…

Groom Cocktail

A super seating chart for Kate & Ian…

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And even a fun 30th Birthday sign…

30Th Bday


While you could easily go to a computer and find a jazzy font and print out your wedding signage, I much prefer a custom sign that brings out the personality of the couple or event!

You can see more of Kailin's custom chalkboard signs on her Facebook page here!

What are your thoughts on custom signage for your wedding or event? Let me know in the comments!

Keep sparkling–

Top 5 New Year's Resolutions for the Newly Engaged!

We're almost two weeks into 2015 and we're so busy with new inquiries! It's an exciting time, for sure. In the wedding biz, it's not uncommon to refer to the holiday season as “ring season.” In fact, according to the Knot, 16% of all engagements occur during the month of December making it the most popular time to get engaged.

Pats Barn Wedding Photos074

And with every new year comes a healthy dose of good intentions in the form of new year's resolutions. As a recent bride, I've been thinking about the top five New Year's resolutions for newly minted brides-to-be…

1. Focus on wellness; not just “shedding for the wedding.”

Being engaged feels like a whirlwind one minute and then time is moving at a glacial pace the next. Be well. Exercise as a couple–make healthy meals a priority. Make time for yourself and your significant other, even when life gets crazy.

2. Be mindful of others. 

While it is of the utmost importance to have a wedding that reflects you and your partner, be cognizant that your wedding isn't the ONLY thing happening at this moment in time. Your family and friends all lead their own lives and have lots going on, too. If a friend or bridesmaid can't make a wedding event (or can't afford to) don't freak out.

3. Thou shalt not compare.

As the famous quote goes, “comparison is the thief of joy.” Your mid-late 20s and early 30s are all about weddings; get inspired by others, borrow ideas, but don't get jealous or think your wedding won't be as good as someone else's. Stay cool, calm and collected.

4. No second guessing.

Trust your gut; this is especially true when wedding dress shopping. Like everything in life, there are a gazillion options and, odds are, more than one dress will look fabulous on you. Weigh the facts and make the best decision–and then it's done and you can check it off the list. 

5. Book early. 

Have your heart set on a particular vendor or location? Lock it down. Now. There are rare occasions when a spot opens up, but it's always recommended to book early. This also helps keep your stress level down. 

Lastly, and this isn't a resolution as much as it is a mantra, but never forget the most important thing; you're getting married to your best friend. And, at the end of the day, that's really all that matters. Everything else is just a bonus. 

Do you have any bridal resolutions that you stuck to? Let me know in the comments!

Keep sparkling–

A Day-in-the-Life of a KOWE Event Coordinator…

We receive many inquiries from potential clients who are curious about the services Katie O’ Weddings and Events professionals provide versus what an in-house venue planner or coordinator will offer. Truth is, there is a big difference! While our jobs may sound similar and/or redundant, we play very different roles.

Overall, an independent coordinator (like KOWE) is responsible for assisting with the final details leading up to the wedding as well as the confirmation to all vendors (not just those at the venue) as well as assisting with the ceremony rehearsal and we provide individualized schedules for the entire day for the bridal party.  We include our cell phone numbers so that everyone can reach us during the day for any question or concern.


KOWE arrival time is typically 1 hour after hair and make-up arrives to be on hand to make certain that all vendors arriving are on time, pinning flowers on groomsmen, picking up lunch for the bridal party, assisting bridesmaids, moms and the bride with dresses, confirming that the transportation is on time and making certain all of the bridal party, parents and necessary guests boarded transportation on time. We are also on site to assist with unforeseen issues and problems that may arise on wedding day that Mom, you and bridesmaids don’t want to worry about. If there are any issues throughout the day and we will handle almost all before they even need to be brought to the bride or groom. We also serve as the point of contact for all your vendors and guests prior to and on your wedding day.


One of the key pieces of the day is assisting the photographer and videographer with getting people organized and making it through all the photos and first look (if you choose to have one) in the most efficient manner and saves time and stress during this moment! We do this rain (see below) or shine!


The senior coordinator will always have two assistants on the day of the wedding, if for no other reason, to get us through the ceremony.  One assistant coordinator is on site at the ceremony location in advance of all bridal party members, making certain that rows are reserved, programs are set, unity candle and any ceremony items are where they need to be as well as cueing, lining up and making certain the ceremony starts on time; while the other assistant is with the senior coordinator, helping with the pictures, the guests, transportation, or even taking care of your dog(s) during pictures!


We always organize what we call a “vendor pow-wow” to get all the key vendors (includes the photo/video team, band leader/DJ, venue coordinator on the same page for the formalites.  This covers any last minute changes or additions and makes certain there are no surprises and we are ready to go.


Fast forward to the end of the night, we are responsible for packing up and loading all gifts, packages and any personal belongings and taking them either directly to the honeymoon suite or we’ll put everything in the parents’ car to make their way to final destination.  We feel that no newlyweds should have to be worried about this and we want you to enjoy the end of the night.

The in-house coordinator will be focused primarily on your wedding reception, which will typically take place from 5pm-11:00pm on the day of.  Based on the list of what we do, we will attend pre-wedding meetings and will be with you and your fiance from approximately 10am-12:00am on your wedding day.  We are aware and respect that the in-house team conducts weddings every weekend at their venue.  We do not know everything that they do about the venue and never try to tell them how to do their job.

We always work alongside the venue event manager / in-house coordinator to ensure a flawless execution of your big night, from cocktail hour through dinner, dancing, and the end of the night.

There are countless other little (and not so little) things an independent coordinator does on the wedding day and sometimes, especially if you haven’t been through it before, it’s easy to lose sight of that. I just wanted to give you the full picture and make certain you know the difference between a staff coordinator vs. an independent coordinator when making your decision.

Hope this behind-the-scenes / in-depth description helps anyone out there who has been struggling with a decision! For more details on our service please check out our video on our service page: https://www.katieoevents.com/our-services/

Keep sparkling–