San Francisco Wedding Planner: Hand & Heart Events

San Francisco wedding planner

Welcome to the start of a new blog series! I was married a little over two years ago and I know how overwhelming it can be to plan your wedding, so I thought I would start a blog series talking to other wedding professionals about what they do and how they can help you have the best day ever! As a fellow business owner, I’m also curious to find out how people got their start so hopefully you are, too. I decided to begin with San Francisco wedding planner Kellyne of Hand & Heart Events.

I found Kellyne last year on Instagram and I was instantly reeled in by all the color she was using in her work. I clicked through to her website and there was even more color! I knew I had to get in touch. Come to find out, we live just a few blocks away from each other!

Kellyne is so friendly you’ll feel like you’ve known her for years, she’s got a great eye and a creative mind. In addition to wedding planning she also provides design and styling, decor rental, floral design and handcrafted signage. Multitalented much? When we collaborated on a Valentine’s scene last month I was so impressed with the lovely picnic she put together to inspire couples to get creative with their dates. She thought of so many little details and everything came together perfectly.

Had enough of my two cents yet? Okay, let’s get to our interview down below! I interviewed Kellyne Q&A style so you would get to hear about her story and business in her own words.

How did you get started as a wedding planner?

My path to wedding planning has been an interesting one, with a lot of unexpected twist and turns. I went to USF and studied teaching—I was an elementary school and preschool teacher for about 7 years. I quickly realized how hard it was to live in San Francisco on a teacher’s salary (a whole other topic I can get way passionate about!), so I got a side hustle working in restaurants. I soon left the teaching profession and moved into a management role in a few different restaurant groups. I loved working in a fast-paced environment and having a team of people to direct throughout the night in order to ensure a successful service and happy guests.

The only thing that was missing was the creative part! I was dying to find a creative outlet so I started making DIY project for friends’ weddings—photo drop backgrounds, signs, table numbers, etc. In 2014, I was introduced to an amazing wedding planner, Erin Vigil with Your Event By Erin, and started assisting her on weddings. It was then that I finally found my place! I fell so deeply in love with weddings and everything that goes into such an important day (see next question :) ), that I knew it was something I had to pursue on my own accord and in my own way. I started hand+heart in 2015 and have never looked back!

San Francisco wedding planner

What's your favorite part of your business?

EVERYTHING (well, not the administrative office work, but EVERYTHING ELSE :) ). I love putting together all the pieces and details that go into a wedding— I love working with other creatives and professionals, learning from them and seeing how they handle the twists and turns that inevitably occur when planning a wedding. I love working with couples’ families and friends, making them feel a part of the process and getting them excited about the day.

My favorite type of wedding is when the couple have a vision to get married somewhere that is NOT a wedding venue (a park, a dirt lot, an empty loft, a backyard, etc.) and transforming it into a place that feels special, beautiful, and a perfect backdrop for an epic party. While these are the most challenging, they are also the most rewarding!

Finally, I love LOVE. I love what a wedding represents— the beginning of a life long journey together. Marriage is SO MUCH MORE than the wedding, but it is also one of the only times in a couple’s life where every person they love and care about is all in the same room to show their love and support. It is just so dang special.

What do you wish people knew about your job?

I wish people understood what my role is, not only on your wedding day, but in the months leading up to your wedding and in the weeks following. People often asked me “so what do you do at the wedding?” Oh boy, I could go on forever… but to be honest, a lot of what I do is behind the scenes and, if I do my job correctly, isn’t directly noticed by the couple or the guests. My entire objective is to make sure your wedding is exactly what you envisioned and that you don’t have to worry about a single thing!

Leading up to the wedding, I ensure that everyone involved in the day has a detailed timeline and copies of all the floorplans and diagrams. I make myself available to every vendor and serve as the point person for any questions or last minute things that come up. This allows couples to enjoy their friends and family leading up to the wedding, to take care of those last minute tasks (no bride wants to be answering emails while they’re getting their mani/pedi!), and make sure that all loose ends are tied BEFORE the day of the wedding.

On the morning of the wedding, I make sure that all the vendors are on time (Bay Area traffic on a Saturday is NO JOKE), that photographers and videographers know the address and room number of where you’re getting ready, and that setup at the venue goes exactly as planned and is ready for when your guests arrive. I'll make sure you have that glass of champagne for toasts, that your mom and dad are ready for their walk down the aisle, and that you and your partner get a solid plate of food (and some bites of those passed apps you missed during cocktail hour!). Essentially, I take care of everything before you even think of taking care of it!

San Francisco wedding planner

What was it like planning your own wedding?

San Francisco wedding planner

Planning my own wedding was so much fun, but also stressful. We decided to have a small intimate ceremony at the Muir Beach Overlook (which was the easiest part to plan!) and then reception in our backyard. The problem was we had just moved into our house 6 weeks prior and it need a full on gutting of the backyard. I must be crazy, because I undertook a backyard reno, planning a wedding, and moving into a new house all at the same time!

That being said, planning my own wedding gave me a whole new perspective on the planning process. I feel like there are so many things you simply cannot understand until you begin planning your own wedding— family dynamics, expectations versus reality, budgeting money, and working with your partner to make decisions about things that seem so big at the moment but are a little blip in the grand scheme of things. I have heaps more empathy for couples now–trying to juggle planning a wedding, work, living your life, and still enjoying being engaged is not easy! I learned that life does not stop because you're planning your wedding, not even if wedding planning is your life :) 

What is your dream wedding venue or location?

I love a space that is non-traditional. It is so exciting to transform spaces into a wedding venue! There are obviously many challenges and hurdles, but the end result is so worth it— especially when it is a spot that the couple and revisit again and again :)

What trend are you excited about this year?

COLOR! This isn’t exactly a “trend”, but I feel like more and more of my couples are excited to incorporate color into their day. It’s a bold choice and not for everyone, but my goodness, it is so up my alley. I’m loving using different textures and vibrant colors— instead of having a “pop” of a single color, just let all those colors POP!

>>UM, we could not have landed in a better place to end if I–scratch that–if Kellyne had planned it herself! I’m sorry, were you not here for my bad jokes?

I am FULLY here to endorse the color trend! Let them all POP!

Thank you so much to Kellyne for giving us all these details about your creative biz journey!