10 Questions with Katina Ivory

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most popular and highly sought-after wedding planners in Illinois, Katina Ivory of Scheme Artists. Chicago based Katina is the founder and owner of Scheme Artists.

Scheme Artists

Planner - Katina Ivory

10 Questions with Katina Ivory

1. Introduction: What's your story?

Hello! I'm Katina, Owner & Creative Director at Scheme Artists, LLC.

I'm a Chicago native and I love everything about this amazing city!

I attended Lovegevity's Wedding Planning Institute where I received my certification in Wedding and Event Planning. After receiving my certification, I furthered my education at the Institute for Wedding and Event Design (IWED) where I earned my accreditation in event design. In addition, I hold a master's degree in business administration from Saint Xavier University.

For as long as I can remember, I've enjoyed planning events for friends and family members for over a decade. But it wasn't until I planned my own destination wedding that I realized where my passion truly was.

2. What's your experience as a wedding planner? How many weddings have you planned?

My experience as a wedding planner is truly amazing! I love meeting new people and actually get a "rush" from all the planning and execution of the entire wedding planning experience. Scheme Artists, LLC was launched in 2018 and since then I've had the pleasure of planning several weddings. As a new wedding planning business, I've quickly learned that the quantity of weddings weren't as important as the quality of weddings that we plan for our clients. Recently, I've had the pleasure of working as an intern with Akeshi Akinseye of Kesh Events and that experience was nothing short of spectacular!

3. What sorts of services do you offer (month-of coordination, full-service planning, or à la carte planning)?

We understand that the needs of each client may differ. That's why we offer a range of service from month of coordination, full wedding planning, and event designing. During the initial consulation, we explain the difference in the services we offer to our clients so they get a better understanding of not only what we offer but what service would be most beneficial to them.

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?

After our clients determine which package would best suit them, we create a proposal base on the package they choose. During that time, we discuss in detail what we will provide on wedding and leading up to wedding day. They have the opportunity to make changes to to the proposal, if needed.

Our month of coordinaton package is a flat fee. Since we customize our Full Wedding Planning and Event Design Packages, a percentage of the wedding budget is required. We find that our Full Wedding Planning Package is our most popular package.

5. Who else is in your team and how many people on your staff will be at the wedding?

As the Owner and Creative Director I'm onsite for every wedding. There are 2 additional team members that provide support during the entire wedding planning process. One of which is my assistant coordinator, who is also onsite for almost every wedding. Of course, the size of the wedding will determine how many people I have in place on wedding day.

6. What happens if you're sick or otherwise unable to be there on the day of the wedding?

If I'm feeling "under the weather" or is uable to be there for my clients on their wedding day, my assistant coordinator will be there to make sure everything runs smoothly. That's why I feel it's important to have her onsite for all weddings, so that she's aware on how to handle unexpected circumstances should they arise.

Also, I've developed good relationships with other professional wedding planners in the area who I can call and they would be happy to help. I would do the same for them.

7. How many meetings will you have with the couple and how will they be involved?

The number of meetings vary because each clients needs are different. However, I do prefer for the initial meeting to be in person so that I get an opportunity to develop a more personable relationship with my clients.

For our Full Wedding Planning clients, we like to meet at least once a month via zoom just to touch base and keep them informed on where we are in their wedding planning process.

Our process of selecting and recommding vendors to our clients is mostly determined by vendors we know and trust and who would provide the quality of service our clients deserve and based on what their needs are. We encourage our clients to express their ideas and consult them when making any decisions. They are involved every step of the way!

8. Will you handle the invitations, from wording and ordering to the addressing and mailing? What about guest list coordination and RSVPs?

The short answer is YES. We handle the invitations as well as save the dates for our Full Wedding Planning clients. Our clients are given recommendations of the wording, font, etc. that will be used for their invitations and the proper way to address them.

RSVP tracking and guest list coordination is also one of the benefits of our Full Wedding Planning package which is why this one is our most popular.

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?

Of course we do! Also, we recommend vendors to our clients that we've formed a relationship with and have worked with in the past for rental items that are of high quality. Coordination with all vendors begin as soon as our clients bring us on board. This allows us to ensure things are going according to plan and allows us the opportunity to make adjustment, if necessary.

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?

Absolutely. We use an amazing software from Timeline Genius that allows us to create a timeline from start to finish. Everyone involved in the wedding planning process will receive an email with the details of the timeline for wedding day. Should changes occur, the timeline can easily be updated and we will send the new timeline to all vendors so that there are no surprises on wedding day.

Because I list everyone's phone number and emails on the timeline, I personally call them the week before, day before, and day of the wedding to make sure they are aware of their responsbilities when it comes to the schedule. Things change. Communication is key.

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Awards

WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2021