Monday, November 19, 2012

Guest Blog Post: Kathy Kepler

Two years ago, I discovered my passion for wedding planning when I helped plan my daughter’s wedding. The wedding was magical and everything my daughter dreamed it would be. I loved the planning process so much that I set out to become a wedding planner at the ripe age of 52.

Last year, I submitted an essay about my journey to the “Kick Start Your Life TODAY with Marlo Thomas” series, and not long after, I found myself on the TODAY show set with David and Marlo. Since then, David has been a great mentor to me. One thing he told me that has really stuck with me is that “being a successful wedding planner comes from having a heart and investing yourself emotionally into other people’s weddings, just the way you did for your daughter.”    

Since launching my business (www.weddingsbykathleen.com), I have planned two weddings. The most recent wedding I planned—a beach wedding—was a challenge because Hurricane Sandy brought tropical storm weather conditions. We had to implement plan B at the last minute, and everything turned out beautifully. It was another great learning experience and has helped build my confidence.

I have learned that it may take a while to build up my business, but I feel very lucky to have finally found a passion, even though I am now 54 years old. I’m grateful of David’s encouragement along the way, and I am not going to give up. My goal is to plan three to five weddings a year, and I will put my heart and soul into every wedding that I plan, just as if I was planning a wedding for my own daughter.

105 comments:

  1. I think this is fabulous Kathy! I just closed my retail boutique to focus more on my Vintage Prop Rentals for Weddings/Events. I love working in this industry...I opened my 1st party favor company in 1999 and now at 40 yrs old Im going full force into Event Rentals & Styling.

    Not sure where you are located...but would love to see more of your work. I checked out your website. If you ever need any props, give me a holla! LOL

    Your very lucky to have met David, I love his work and he just seems so genuine and always makes the couples he works with feel so special.

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    Lucky 7 Design

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  2. Kathy that is an amazing story. I too am new to the industry and started off with a love of planning my children's and relatives parties, special occasions and weddings. I realized early on that I wanted to plan weddings. It is a passion that makes my heart smile when I am engulfed in helping someone plan their big day! I really like the quote that David shared with you “being a successful wedding planner comes from having a heart and investing yourself emotionally into other people’s weddings, just the way you did for your daughter.” Finding something you love to do and being able to put your entire self into it with heart and soul is something that is very real,magical, and rare.

    David has always been a true inspiration of mine. Although I have not met him in person it is one goal I would love to have come true someday. I find great tips, ideas, and support in watching "My Fair Wedding" and "My Fair Wedding Unveiled". It is wonderful to have such a great mentor and professional as a resource. I also enjoy connecting with people on twitter and blogs so that ideas can be exchanged.

    I am in the process of building my business plan to encompass wedding and event planning as well as a store that would focus on crystal engraved glass, and reception decor.

    Best of luck to you Kathy
    Brenda
    Heavens Blessings Weddings and Events

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  3. Wonderful! It's great to be inspired and dedicated to sharing goodness with others! Good luck to all on your incredible projects!

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  4. Kathy, I am so so happy I read your post. I am 40 years old and just starting out in the business. I have always wanted to plan weddings and almost jumped in head first about 17 years ago, but I found that many people turned their nose up at the thought of it being a serious career move, so I went down the more "practical" road … accounting (bor-ring!!). Here it was 17 years, a bachelor’s degree and an accounting career later and I still felt so unfulfilled. I am now in a position where I can pour my heart and soul into my dream and not worry about the practicality of such a risky career move. But the funny thing is… everytime I tell someone what I am doing, they say things like “how exciting” or “wow, what a dream job” and “I’m so happy for you”. Where were these people 17 years ago?! I guess the professional wedding planner has climbed the ladder as an acceptable career move… nice to know that now that I’m in my 40’s.

    Nevertheless, I am truly happy now starting my own business and currently working on my first wedding. Okay so it’s my best friend's wedding and I’m doing it free, but I’m hoping I get some really great material to add to my website.

    I have to say that I am completely inspired by David. He is one of those people that even though you don’t actually know him personally, you feel like you do. He has such a big heart and you can see it in his beautiful smile when his bride is truly thankful for everything he has done for her. My best friend and I are going to one of his seminars at Disney in February… I’m so excited!!! We won’t be actually meeting him in person, but we will get to see and hear him speak and spread some of his expert wedding knowledge.

    Thanks again Kathy!

    Leigh

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  5. Wow, what a story. I am very happy for you Kathleen.
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  6. Congrats! It sure takes a lot of courage, time and hard effort to set up your own business, especially later on in life.
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