1. Introduction: What's your story?
Hi! I'm Kendall Erlenbusch, Founder and Lead Planner of Kendall Melissa Events, based in Sacramento, CA. I think I knew I was a planner all my life. My love of creating beautiful tablescapes and dinner parties started at a young age, when I would be more excited to decorate the family dinner table at the holidays than opening gifts. I started my professional career in the hotel industry, where I spent 12 years working in five hotels starting on the East Coast and eventually bringing me to the West Cost. I spent twelve years in the corporate hospitality world, eventually becoming the youngest Director of Events in the company.
I made the leap of courage and faith to start my own business, which has always been a dream of mine, and it was the single best decision I ever made. I love taking my passion for telling love stories and turned it into a business I am really passionate about. My background makes me extremely organized and able to see the wedding vision from all angles as I have been on both sides of the business. Nothing makes me more happy than to see my couple's love story come to life and know that I had a hand in helping them bring their wedding visions to life!
2. What's your experience as a wedding planner? How many weddings have you planned?
Prior to launching my own business, I have planned over 50 weddings in five different states, bringing me from the East Coast, all the way over to the West Coast. During this time, I have handled wedding from 10 guests all the way to 600 wedding guests. Since launching Kendall Melissa Events, we have planned over 50 weddings, which included time in the pandemic. Although I am based in Northern California, my weddings periodically take me back to the East Coast, where I was born and raised. If you are getting married, we are willing to help, no matter the distance!
3. What sorts of services do you offer (month-of coordination, full-service planning, or à la carte planning)?
At Kendall Melissa Events, we try to customize each package for each couple depending on what love story they are wanting to tell. We offer Day of Coordination all the way to Full Planning Services, included all offerings in between! We love planning an intimate Elopement as well as a full-blown Destination Wedding. For those couples who are wanting just a little help along the way, we also offer a wide array of a la carte packages.
4. How do payments work (a percentage of the wedding budget, a flat fee etc.)? What are the different packages that you offer and which one is your most popular package?
All of our packages are based on evaluating the couple's needs and what they are looking for in terms of scope of service. We take into account the location of the wedding, the involvement they are looking for, the size of the wedding, and of course their budget. Most of our couples come to us with a venue in mind and maybe a vendor or two. The majority of our couples come to us looking for guidance, advice, vender referrals, and help with the overall design of their wedding. We are there as a sounding board throughout the planning process and ensure that their vision comes to life without breaking the bank!
5. Who else is in your team and how many people on your staff will be at the wedding?
As the lead planner, I am on-site for all of my weddings. I handle all my Full and Partial Planning clients, and I have a wonderfully talented assistant who helps me with tasks along the way. Both of us are present for each wedding, and depending on the size and scope of our client's wedding, we add one to two additional staff members. In addition I am super fortunate to have my main squeeze, my husband, by my side helping me along the way. You will see him assisting me at events and relying on his expertise. We met while working in the hotel industry and have been true partners ever sense. I love that what I do involves my family and you can create a fun work-life balance, while still maintaining your professional freedom.
6. What happens if you're sick or otherwise unable to be there on the day of the wedding?
My assistant and myself are built to handle each wedding that we decide to take on. In the unusual instance where I would not be present, my assistant would step in as a Lead Planner. I also have a wonderful community of helping hands whom I have worked with in my previous job who are willing and able to step in and assist as needed. Also, it is nice to have a beautiful community of planners nearby, who I can call on in case of an emergency.
7. How many meetings will you have with the couple and how will they be involved?
This depends solely on the scope of service we have agreed upon and which package they choose. Some of our clients like to be leading the ship at the helm, and some like us to take the lead and guide the way. With most of our clients we set up monthly meetings that we call Check-In Meetings, where we set ourselves up for success for the next month and months leading up to their wedding day. From here we discuss where we are in our check list and how much involvement they would like from me as we continue planning. As we approach the month of the wedding, we have weekly check-ins to ensure every detail is covered and nothing is overlooked.
8. Will you handle the invitations, from wording and ordering to the addressing and mailing? What about guest list coordination and RSVPs?
With our Full Service clients we will definitely help source, design, and find the perfect wording for their invitations. We reserve the fun of receiving the RSVPs for our couples as it is part of the fun as they come in the mail! We are also noticing that many of our clients are opting to go the virtual route, which makes it easier for our couples to track. With those couples who do not opt for our Full Service wedding packages, we are certainly there to help with the wording and proper etiquette as we know this is a foreign concept for many of our couples.
9. Do you handle rentals? Will you coordinate delivery, arrival and set up times with the photographer, the florist, the musicians and the caterer/banquet manager?
This is one of our favorite parts! We absolutely help all of our couples coordinate delivery, arrival, and set up not only with the rental company, but with every other vendor on the list. Call it our Type A personality, but we love to ensure that everyone is all on the same page and knows exactly what to expect leading up to the day and on the day of the wedding. Part of hiring a planner means that you are not the one worrying if the florist has arrived, if the tables and chairs will fit correctly, and what the caterer needs at the venue to be successful! We provide a very detailed timeline, list of expectations, and diagram (rendering) of the wedding so there are no surprises leading up to the day and especially not on the day of!
10. Can you create a timeline that tells everyone involved in the planning process (other pros, members of the wedding party, to-be-weds and families) what to do and when to do it? How will you make sure everyone sticks to the schedule?
Yes! We absolutely create a very detailed timeline for the day that we share with each vendor involved in the wedding day. We also share this timeline with the important members of the wedding party to ensure that they know the expectations of those involved. Our timeline is the go-to for everyone involved! It is the single piece of information that truly sets the wedding up for success!