Monday, January 7, 2013

Meet the Planner: Clementine Events

What do you think of the new look!?  Figured it was time for an year, new look (how long can we use this excuse for every change?).  Special thanks to Jennifer Kathryn Photography for the header image...she makes my painting supplies look interesting.

On to bigger, better things....

One of the things I am looking forward to the most in 2013 is continuing the working relationships I developed last year as a day of wedding assistant.  I worked with several amazing event planners that I could endlessly rave about.  Instead of a mega love fest, where I go on an on about their fabulousness, I thought I would let them speak for themselves.

This summer I had the opportunity to work with Clementine Custom Events on several occasions.  The team of 3 is comprised of Kelly, Melissa and Loren, all of whom I absolutely adore as people and professionals.

The Clementine Ladies: Loren, Kelly and Melissa

Owner and senior event consultant, Kelly Cavanaugh, is one of the funniest ladies I know in the industry.  An evening spent working along side her is never a dull moment....

      1.  How long have you been in business?

       Clementine has been in business for a little over 3 years. We’ve planned about 100 weddings under the Clementine name and we are currently working on about 40 already for next year!  I have been in the wedding planning business for 11 years.  Clementine as a company has a combined 28 years of experience in wedding and event planning. 

2.  Toot your own horn....what’s your specialty?
        We specialize in planning “off premise” events.  Many of our weddings are in very unique spaces around the Chicagoland area.  We work in a lot of museums, art galleries, photo studios, gardens, libraries etc… a lot of our clients are a little bit “out of the box” and we really enjoy a good challenge

3.  What would be your dream event creation?
         My dream event creation would take place at a venue I’ve never worked in, with really crazy logistics and a creative space for menu development.  I seriously love a challenge and I love trying something new!

4.  Wedding trend you love and one you’d like to see disappear?
         I love that bridesmaids are mixing it up and that not every girl looks exactly the same.  I could live without the bouquet toss and garter toss, but to be honest, a lot of my clients are choosing to skip that tradition lately. 

5.  Craziest request you’ve had?
         This isn’t that crazy but I get a lot of requests for flying lanterns as a send off at the end of the night. 

6.  What do you like about working in the wedding industry?
         I love working with such amazing people.  This industry is full of creative, colorful, nice, hard working individuals and I just adore all of them.  I love working together as a team to create something amazing for the couple.  I love the feeling I get when the bride walks down the aisle, sees the room for the first time, has her first dance….it’s just the best!!

7.  What is something you wish your clients knew about your job?
         I don’t think there is anything I wish my clients knew about my job.  I don’t ever want them to feel like I’m juggling 20-30 other clients.  I want them to feel like they are the only client I have.  I think giving good service is never letting them know exactly how demanding and time consuming my job really is.  I don’t think anyone realizes that planners work about 50-60 hours a week on a normal week.  I think a lot of people think we just attend a lot of parties and drink champagne while looking at fabric swatches! 

8.   When you are not working, what are you up to?
         When I’m not working, I spend every moment of my day with my beautiful daughter Chloe and my amazing husband Ryan.  I’m lucky to have such a great family life. 

9.  Anything new and exciting coming up that we should know about? (either professionally or personally)
         Clementine is always up to something new and exciting, we’re always out and about and meeting new people and coming up with new ideas.  Keep an eye on our facebook page!  Personally, I’m excited to be expecting another little bundle of joy in February! 

Bonus interview with Loren Carpenter!  Interviews from 2 out of 3 of these busy ladies is pretty good.  We will definitely catch up with Melissa in the near future.  For now, here's Loren....


  1.  How long have you been in business?

         I’ve had the privilege to produce events in Chicago for the past seven years. My event experience is quite diverse, having had the opportunity to work on extravagant corporate functions, not-for-profit galas and social events. I was thrilled to join Clementine earlier this year, and to be working once again with my dear friends Kelly & Melissa.

2.  Toot your own horn....what’s your specialty?
         I believe most of us in the industry excel at logistics, it’s in our blood. However, if there is one attribute that I’m especially proud of, it would be grace under pressure. “Grace” is my mantra through work and life, and finding it, is a skill I’m constantly working on. In the most challenging event situations, exuding grace has been key to putting my clients and their families at ease and enjoying their beautiful day.

3.  What would be your dream event creation?
         I have many dream event creations, but my most personal will be to someday plan my sister’s wedding day. I can guarantee most traditions will be out the window for her, so it will be an adventure for us.

4.  Wedding trend you love and one you’d like to see disappear?
         I love how thoughtful couples are when developing their menus nowadays. With the popularity of showcasing culinary experiences, (i.e. food shows, blogs, e-magazines, etc.) I find that couples are really using the menu as an extension of their personalities. I suppose the one trend that I’d like to see fade into history would be the faux mustache. They’re everywhere and I can’t help but think that our children will wonder what on earth we were thinking when they look back on all these images. Perhaps we’ll get a reprieve after Halloween.

5.  Craziest request you’ve had?
         I haven’t received any crazy requests to note.

6.  What do you like about working in the wedding industry?
         In my years of event planning, I’ve never experienced the camaraderie as I do now in the wedding industry. It’s refreshing to be so friendly with other planners and to share experiences.

7.  What is something you wish your clients knew about your job?
         This would be specifically for my couples who I’m contracted for day-of services. In these situations, although we won’t connect until about six weeks before their wedding day, I’m always thinking about them and here if they need me!

8.   When you are not working, what are you up to?
         I adore spending time with my husband and our dog. We love experimenting in the kitchen and entertaining our friends and family at home. I’m also an avid window shopper, and completely addicted to my Kindle.

9.  Anything new and exciting coming up that we should know about? (either professionally or personally)
         I’m really excited about how next year is shaping up. My couples are fantastic, and their personalities are really going to show through in their preparations. Also, now that my busy season is coming to a close I’m looking forward to planning a few trips for next year on my off-weekends! Vacations are very important in my family.

Take a look at the fabulous work these ladies orchestrate and a few more words from Loren to embellish a bit:

Like so many newly engaged couples, the engagement period marks a lot of change. With the help of good friends and family, Genie & Derek crafted the essential elements of their wedding day from afar. While living out of state, without seeing the event space, they choose to host their wedding within the landmark Art Institute of Chicago (AIC). It’s always a delight for me to see how my couples carve out what makes them unique on their wedding day, and Genie & Derek truly left their mark. The dramatic McKinlock Court served as the backdrop for a very personal wedding ceremony officiated by the couple’s close friend. Personal touches throughout the evening such as the incorporation of traditional Korean Wedding Ducks, sport-themed escort cards, personalized wedding cake design, and Alexander & Company “guest book” made their September wedding day all their own.

As always, it’s a team effort to pull off such a momentous event. With the help of these vendors, Genie & Derek’s wedding day was picture perfect:
Venue: Art Institute of Chicago
Planner: Clementine Custom Events
Caterer: Bon Appetit at the Art Institute of Chicago
Wedding Cake: CAKE
Flowers: Scarlet Petal
DJ: Style Matters
Lighting: Frost
Linens: BBJ

Thank you so much to Kelly and Loren for sharing a bit about Clementine with us!  Definitely pay them a visit to get to know them a bit more.  You can bet you'll hear more about them this year as we continue to work together!

Clementine Custom Events

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