Let’s sit down and speak with Laura Kinniburgh, the owner and head planner at Swingin’ Dolly Events.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company
I’ve been a wedding planner now for 20 years. I’ve worked in hospitality positions, catering positions, restaurant services. I went to college for my BA in Interior Design to add to my wedding planning abilities. I’ve continued my education and read just about everything I get my hands on. You never know what you’re going to find to help you make someone’s special day perfect.
How did you get into wedding planning?
Actually, I was helping my best friend plan her wedding to my brother. I fell in love with every part of the process and decided then that wedding planning was for me. I had always enjoyed being in the service industry, but that was what nailed it down for me.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
I don’t know if I have a single favorite thing. I love so much about wedding planning. I love when I resolve an issue for a couple and they say, “I didn’t think of that!” I love when we’re cleaning up after a reception and hearing all the guests say how much they loved the wedding and reception. I love it when vendors say that they love working with me. I love people. I love music. I love being obsessive compulsive when it comes to the details.
On a side note, I have cried at every wedding I’ve planned. I just love everything about it so much … I just love my job.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding planners just getting started?
Have a plan for everything. Then a back up plan. Then a back up for the back up. Murphy’s Law governs weddings: If it can go wrong, it will. I plan and plan and plan, and then plan some more, to make sure even if the building was to melt, I have a plan for that. I know: My Leslie Knope is showing.
What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?
That’s a big question! First and foremost: I’m an artist. Any way that I can think of that allows me to express myself and be creative, then that’s for me. I have three kids but they’re not a hobby as much as me trying to run my own zoo. We like to do a lot of things together from scooters to camping to painting to singing. We do it all!
I would have to say though, camping is just about my most favorite thing to do. I love camping, getting outdoors and being a part of nature and all of that. I haven’t found the appropriate term to describe how wonderful I feel when I’m interacting with nature.
Any great stories from working with a client?
Oh, I have stories! But I don’t ‘kiss and tell’ so to speak. As a wedding planner, you see it all: The good, the bad, the crazy. But that’s one of the things that draws me to being a wedding planner. I thrive on the varying day to day things. Those types of fluid situations are what keep me sharp and what makes me great at what I do.
What is your current favorite color combination?
Can I answer this one in two parts? Professionally, I think the most flattering palate is Blush, Fern, Cream, and Sapphire as an accent color. It’s complimentary, it’s elegant, it’s timeless.
Personally, because I’m so into vintage everything, my colors would be Navajo white, black, Aqua, and Wine. I just LOVE those colors together!
The biggest tip I have for color palates is to do combinations that fit together very well, but then to always add a little something surprising or unexpected. It’s a delight to see things that are not anticipated!
Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?
My only goal is for my clients to love their wedding. If their dream wedding is being dressed like Storm troopers while going down the aisle in matching Delorians, so be it. If they love the wedding as much as they love each other, then it’s going to be a great success. Be damned what anyone else thinks.
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are in the midst of planning?
Make a list, and ALWAYS start with your budget. Planning a wedding is going to teach you how to start your lives together.
Thanks, Laura, for your time!
If there are any questions you have for Laura, just contact us and she’ll answer you as soon as possible!