One of the amazing things about working at The Branch is getting to work with some pretty awesome people. One of those people being event planner, Kimberly Rhodes. Get to know this amazing lady and see some of the designs we’ve done with Hitched Events!
What is your favorite memory with Debby, or The Branch?
I have SO MANY great stories about The Branch, but I’ll never forget one of my very first weddings working with Debby. We had worked together on the design of this awesome ceremony structure topped with candles and thick piles of rose petals at the bottom. It was awesome! Just before the Branching Out team arrived with their mass amounts of candles to adorn the top of the structure, the venue’s fire safety officer (who knew this was even a job?!) told me that we couldn’t use the candles at the top of the structure after all. I made a panicked call to Debby, and she swapped out all the real candles with LEDs in a matter of minutes, saving the design (and the day)! Truly, what I love about the Branching Out team is that we always have each other’s back. At the end of the day, it’s a team effort and we’re all in it together! The Branching Out team shares my philosophy about that, which is just one of the reasons we love working with them!
How did you get into event planning?
I really “happened” into event planning. It wasn’t something I was intending, and actually didn’t even know it was a career option! My degree is in Communications & Advertising, and my first job out of college was working in the marketing and promotions department for a grocery store chain. While there, I worked on planning company meetings and parties, in-store promotions, store grand openings, golf tournaments, trade shows, and even a 5k/10k run! I had no event planning experience at all, but learned on the job and loved it! The attention to detail needed and organizational skills were right up my alley!
What do you love about event planning?
I absolutely love the excitement of the wedding day. After many months or even a year or more of working with a client and making so many decisions, it’s an adrenaline rush to see it all come together! Plus, weddings are such happy times! It truly is an honor to get to be a part of someone’s best day ever!
Give us the story on how Hitched Events came to be:
I was working as the Director of College Events and Programs at a university in New York City when I planned my own wedding (long distance!). I absolutely loved the process of planning my wedding, and with so many years of corporate event planning experience under my belt, the learning curve wasn’t all that steep. At the time, I was a little burned out and wanting a change of pace from the New York City hustle. I casually remarked to my husband that I would love to start my own business planning weddings, and his reaction was, “Ok. Let’s do it!” Three months later we were making the drive across the country to settle back in Dallas (where we originally met), and Hitched Events was born. Truly, Hitched Events would never have come to be if it hadn’t been for my husband’s encouragement. He’s my biggest cheerleader!
Where do you find inspiration?
Oh everywhere! Although I certainly wouldn’t call myself a fashionista, I think a lot of event design inspiration comes from textiles and colors seen in fashion. Even a stroll through Target can inspire color combinations or patterns that can be incorporated into a wedding!
What can a bride expect when she visits your office?
We love to have brides, grooms, and even parents come visit us at our Dallas office. During our initial meeting, I try to get a feel for each client and their needs – whether they need help with every step of the planning process or just need someone to orchestrate the plans they’ve already put together. We walk them through our process for organizing their event, but most importantly, we just want to get to know each couple! We’ll be working with our clients for many months, plus interacting with your wedding party and family on the wedding day, so it’s important that you like the person you will be working with! Just like any relationship, the chemistry has to be right. Most of our clients are people we click with right away on a personal level, which makes the whole process so much more enjoyable!
What are some advantages of hiring a wedding planner?
I think the biggest advantage to hiring a planner is simply peace of mind. When you’re working with an experienced planner, you can rest assured knowing that all the little details are taken care of. We know what to check for (and double check for!) so that the day runs smoothly and without any unexpected surprises. And when there are things that go wrong, a great planner takes care of it before you even have a chance to know about it! Your wedding day should be about celebrating with your family and closest friends, and having a wedding planner on board allows you to do that, knowing everything else is handled.
What is your top tip for a bride on her wedding day or during the planning process?
Take a deep breath and enjoy every minute! The wedding day will be here and over before you know it.
What’s one thing we might be surprised to learn about you?
Debby would probably say that I used to be a Dallas Mavericks Dancer. She loves to do her best Mavs Dancer impression in the back of the Branching Out shop! (No seriously, ask her to do it for you!)
What do you do to relax?
I love a good massage! If I could get one once a week, I totally would! Trashy reality television is also my guilty pleasure (Real Housewives, anyone?), so when I have some down time you can definitely find me catching up on episodes.
Where did the idea of Hitched Academy come from?
After several years of running my event planning business, I realized there was an all or nothing approach to wedding planning — you hire a wedding planner to guide you or you struggle through the process on your own. Hitched Academy is the solution for someone who isn’t looking to hire a full-service wedding planner for whatever reason, but wants to be educated about the process. There’s so much to know about planning a wedding and Hitched Academy gives couples solid information so they can plan with confidence and avoid common mistakes. We’re working on our 2016 session of the Academy now with a launch scheduled on January! www.hitchedacademy.com
Do you have a favorite flower?
I love ranunculus! They’re so delicate and fluffy and come in some amazing colors. I think they are a seriously underrated flower!