November 2016 Archive

Cultivate Creativity: Unique favor and Custom Illustration Ideas

Two years ago today week we planned a wedding for Kristie and Chris in 68 days! That’s right… 68 DAYS! So many creative details and touches were involved in their special day.  We could not have made this magic happen without the creative minds of Kris Ann Elario of Fleurtacious Designs, the team at Total Events, Jenny C Designs and the staff at Mazzone Hospitality.

One of our favorite details of this wedding was their favor. It wasn’t something you ate or a trinket you took home and threw away four days later. It was a warm, inviting aroma. If I were Oprah and had a “Favorite Things Holiday List” this would be on it –the Crisp Champagne by Volupsa candle. In their ceremony space we had a few larger candles burning before guests arrived, filling the space with this romantic scent and added an extra touch by adding room spray prior to the start of their ceremony. At the end of the evening, guests were gifted their own candle as their favor – whenever they light it at home, their senses bring them back to Kristie and Chris’s magical wedding day.


We also LOVE this custom illustration sign created by Jenny C Designs.  Kristie and Chris brought together their two families to create one on their wedding day.  They wanted to do something more creative than a program and incorporating their children was important to them both. The unique personalities of each of the family members and amazing like-ness created made for a treasured keepsake for the couple long after the day.

We enjoy bringing so many unique, sparkly and creative ideas to our #kowecouples.  “Cultivate creativity” is a KOWE Core Value and we get so much joy from seeing our couples so happy on their wedding day thanks to some added ‘sparkle!’

This ceremony space was one of my favorites of all-time…


A stunning ceremony location at 677 Prime by Total Events, Fleurtacious Designs and KOWE…



Candles waiting for guests to take as their gift on their way out to always remember the magic that was Kristie & Chris’ ceremony…

Grateful for: 7 Years of Sparkle and #teamKOWE

As I sit here on the eve of my favorite holiday and my 7th year in business, there is A LOT of gratitude in my heart.  I have been blessed beyond measure both personally and professionally.  I started this little blog series of “10-ish” things I am grateful for this year and I am proud to say that I made it to 5 posts (that includes this one!)  I am not frustrated, disappointed or feel like I have failed because I didn’t make the time to write all 10 posts.  I have learned that time with my daughter Grace, time with family and clients always takes priority now.  So this will be my last post on my “10-ish things I am grateful for” series and I am ok with that.

Today I am MOST thankful for TEAM KOWE.  Exactly 7 years ago today I held a business launch party at the Palace Theater.  This picture below from that night is too funny…I had no idea what I was in for and was toasting to get started on the “unknown.”  I am so grateful I made that toast.



Thankfully,  I had friends (who also were event professionals) help me out on weekends when I needed assistants.  I juggled meeting clients at Starbuck’s or Panera.  Many times, I felt lonely and wondered if this was the right path.  I had a tribe of friends and advisors who guided me, believed in me and gave me the courage I sometimes lacked to keep going.  Over the course of 7 years I have built a team that is truly outstanding and one of my greatest accomplishments.

For the first 4 years I had some steady office help with various interns and assistants.  It wasn’t until 2.5 years ago that I would finally find the perfect fit to be my “right hand lady!”  Casey started with an energy that is infectious, a dedication to KOWE that is inspiring and a postive attitude that makes anyone that meets her smile and feel happy.  She is responsible for keeping me on track and on time for appointments, making sure I eat lunch, listening to my crazy BIG ideas (like writing 10 blog posts at one time) and being my right hand in all situations when I need to lean on her.  One of our favorite accomplishments together was creating and standing by our KOWE Core Values.  We created them together, we live them each day together and I am so grateful for this.   Adding Casey to my team was the best decision I have made as a business owner.


Who else makes up #teamKOWE exactly?  I am always proud to explain this to potential clients as I believe we have the best team around!  Casey and I are in the office full-time, we sell, plan and coordinate weddings from start to finish.  I have a team of 8 freelance Senior and Assistant Coordinators who coordinate during the busy season.  Most of these women have been with me for 3 years or more. They are professional, seasoned planners who are 100% dedicated to all KOWE couples.  We never place interns or inexperienced coordinators on our weddings.  We promise and deliver only the BEST team for our clients.


Surrounding myself with smart, talented and passionate team members is why KOWE is so successful.  I have taken time to build, cultivate and create an environment that is fun, nurturing and always improving for my team and clients.  I would not be where I am today, as a business owner and #sparkleMomBoss if it wasn’t for their hard work, support and dedication to my company.  Thank you to each and every one of you for showing up, putting in the work and always sparkling.

This Monday I was surprised to walk into the studio and see a card waiting for me on my desk.  Along with a card came a one-of-a-kind gift.  My amazing team who LIVES our KOWE Core Values had this custom board created just for me by Simply Scout to commemorate my 7th year in business.  I was blown away and cried the “ugly cry” to prove it.  This gift embodies what I have worked so hard to create.  Thank you #teamKOWE for this thoughtful gift and for helping me make my dream come true every single day.  Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, laughter and love.

Grateful for: Our Sunday Funday

Sunday. The last day of the weekend. Also known as a day of rest or “Sunday funday” to some. For about 9 months out of the year in my world of weddings and events Sunday is my (sometimes only) day off. It is pretty sacred in many ways and 2 things are certain: church & Sunday dinner.  
When I met Nate one of the many reasons that I fell in love and admired most was his dedication to his faith and family. I was somewhat inconsistent for most of my adult life with the faith part. I have always believed in a higher power, I know and trust that prayer works and having the comfort of faith to get through the tough times is a gift. I didn’t start going to mass regularly again until I met Nate. We now go every Sunday and it is one of my happiest and most calm times of the week. No matter what you believe having time to reflect and pray is so important. One of Grace’s first outings just 10 days after she was born was to church!

This weekend we welcomed Grace into the community at St. Pius X at her Baptism and we are excited to watch her faith grow. 

The other Sunday certainty is dinner. As a Maloney…you know that Sunday at six o’clock is dinner time. Not just a regular dinner….it’s “Sunday dinner.” Nate told me that there were 2 “non-negotiables” in our marriage, the Travers Day tailgate celebration and Sunday dinner. I said to him “Every Sunday? You guys have dinner every Sunday together?!?” And he said “Yes and if you miss it there has to be a valid excuse and you must tell Rick (my father in law) by noon that day.” I thought oh boy…this is a big commitment. At first I was a little annoyed that I would have to be committed to anything on my one day off. Now I can’t imagine a Sunday without dinner around that table with our family. It is amazing to come together each week, share stories, laugh and now watch Grace and her cousin Mae grow up. In this fast moving, over connected and insane world we live in…we always have Sunday. No matter what crazy schedules we are keeping we always have time for dinner to relax, connect and be together. Of all the gifts Nate has given me I can truly say  that “Sunday dinner” is one of the greatest. I am so grateful for our Sunday’s as a family of 3 now and feel so blessed every day for our faith and family time.  I look forward to carrying on the Sunday dinner tradition for many years to come.

All the best & sparkle,

Katie O’

Grateful for: this “brutiful” life & book

You know how some days you can be on Instagram and all of a sudden you “fall down the rabbit hole” and realize you just lost 20 minutes of your life you can’t get back? I am pretty sure this is how I met Glennon Doyle Melton, also known as Momastery creator. And I am so glad I fell down that hole.

It may have been a day when I was looking for something to make my heart feel good, or be inspired or feel like “I’m not the only one.” For whatever the reason I am so grateful I found “G” and started our social media friendship- ok well I guess I am the “follower” and is she is the “account” I “like” but I feel like we are friends! I hope since it is 2016 and we live in a social media driven society this doesn’t sound stalker-ish. Her words are inspiring, uplighting and truthful. 

I have followed her on IG and Facebook for awhile now and always love her honesty and acknowledgement that “life is brutiful” both beautiful and brutal. Thankfully I was gifted her book Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing your Messy Beautiful Life. Yep…the title alone made my heart sing. I was gifted this book almost a year ago by my #lifemaid and fellow Glennon fan and it sat on the bookshelf and waited for me. I wanted to read it right away but life was crazy and I was busy and because…sleep.

A few weeks ago my Uncle died of an aggressive form of cancer and I travelled to Atlanta for his services and to be with family. The plane ride down was the quickest ever (thanks to Southwest being ahead of schedule) but mostly because I was enveloped in Glennon’s writing, her story and her truth. I needed all of her words that day and having that time on the plane was a blessing. I dog eared so many pages on topics like raising children, marriage and life lessons. 

I am so grateful that I had the time to read this book. I have already passed it along to a friend as it is one of those books that you need to share. If you have the time and want to feel inspired, safe, and blessed….read this book.

And if Glennon was reading this I just want her to know how grateful I am to have her in my life and I am proud to part of her tribe. You are an inspiration, a love spreader in a world full of too much hate, you are truly a warrior. Fight on.

All the best & sparkle,

Katie O’