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Wedding Tips with NYC’s Wedding Planner Kristie Meluso

The wedding experience is not only about enjoying the day of celebration, it's about enjoying the planning process beforehand. When we began wedding planning, my Mom and I soon realized we needed to hire a wedding planner. Some venues come with their own planner, but to execute the vision and pull off our upscale at-home wedding, we needed help. After interviewing MULTIPLE wedding planners, we decided Kristie Meluso from KM Events was the best choice for us.

Kristie made the wedding planning process FUN and enjoyable. I have loved being able to ask her anything, get super creative and see how she executes my ideas to life. During this past year, she has planned by Bridesmaid Party, Surprise Bridal Shower, and my wedding (on June 26, 2021!). My favorite part of how she plans events is the amount of focus that goes into the little details.

During this past year, my followers have asked me wedding planning tips, and I would try my best to answer them. When I could not answer them, I would run to Kristie to for help! We thought it would be fun to create a blog post together to answer the most asked questions!

1. Favorite wedding inspiration! What trends do you see for 2021 weddings?

Due to the pandemic, 2020 really showed us a shift in the wedding industry, and I think a lot of the trends will last throughout 2021. Here’s a few of my favorites:

  • The intimate wedding. People are ready to party, but keeping the guest list tight is a trend that will last. It gives the opportunity to put more focus on the couple as well get creative with every detail.

  • At home weddings. People are loving the idea of customizing the exact ground up event of their dreams in a setting that is meaningful.

  • Color. White will always have its place in weddings, but vibrant colors have really taken over this year. Decor has moved toward a whimsical vibe with a saturated palette.

  • Domestic destinations. Since travel is still touch and go abroad, we are seeing a surge in domestic destinations weddings.

  • Non traditional attire. Brides and grooms are stepping out of the box and wearing color, texture, jumpsuits, and all kinds of transformative attire that doesn’t fit the traditional vibe.

2. How do you figure out / set a wedding budget?

This is a really tough question since everything is relative. You really have to discuss what you’re comfortable spending overall and then back it out from there. A wedding can be as small or large as you want it, and the budget will dictate your options. For example, ground up events can often cost more since you will have to bring in every item while a catering call will offer more in house items. The budget is definitely an important initial conversation so you know where to start.

3. How much is the average wedding cost?

The short answer is there is no average wedding cost. People have huge affairs or small gatherings and the cost really depends on several elements: the city, the selected vendors, the guest count, the design, etc.

4. Can you get a wedding planner for a wedding in less than 6 months? Of course ! A wedding can be planned in a short amount of time, it will just mean less options- which isn’t always a bad thing. A planner can walk you through all of this and make sure to keep you on a timeline to get it all done.

5. How do you prioritize what to splurge + sacrifice for the wedding when looking at vendors?

It’s truly personal. Some splurge on photos for the memories and save on florals - it’s all up to you. There are endless options of vendors offering different price points, but a planner can help direct you and ensure these vendors will fit your specific needs and vision. Create a list of what is most important to you both as a couple and individually - then really think through and prioritize. Communicate this with your planner so he/she knows the direction to move in when selecting vendors.

6. Do you plan weddings anywhere or only in the US?

I am based in New York City, but plan events all over the US as well as abroad- wherever my clients want to party!

7. For a destination wedding, what are tips for hiring a planner? (Local vs. destination planner)

Depending on how exotic the destination, it can help to have a local planner on board - that being said, working with a well travelled planner that knows his/her stuff and is close to home is great. If the situation affords, ideally, you would be able to hire a destination planner that can be easy to reach but truly knows how to navigate the terrain of a wedding abroad.

8. What is your favorite part about being a wedding planner?

My favorite part of wedding planning is seeing the vision come to life. A wedding is truly one of the only events that people have this lifetime expectation of. They have thought about, a ton of emotion goes into it- and I have this beautiful opportunity to help create and live up to that. It’s fabulous ! I love being involved with the families and really translating each aspect to reflect the vision they want.

9. Do you plan any other kind of events besides weddings?

I do! I do all kinds of events from brand activations, charities, dinner parties, baby showers, bar/bat mitzvahs, and of course, weddings. I love doing each and every type of event and really bringing out the detail of surprise at each one.

10. What advice do you give your client's to calm nerves and enjoy the wedding planning process?

At the end of the day, although a lot of emotion, time, and money are going into the wedding - it’s a party. The goal should remain, celebrating love. If it becomes to stressful it isn’t fun. The party is a beautiful six hours, that a ton of effort went into planning- so you really should have fun with each step.

I tell all my clients to remember that it isn’t about putting on a show. Really experience it, be present and have a great time. The most fun weddings aren’t always the perfect one, they are the ones where the hosts and guests really had a great time.

Don’t get too caught up in the fanfare and remember why you and everyone you love is there - to celebrate your union. Take a deep breathe and relax !

Some photos from our events Kristie planned this year:

Bridesmaid Party (view more)

My Surprise Bridal Shower (view more)

If you have any further questions, let us know in the comments, and I will let Kristie answer them!


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