I’m thrilled to introduce my next guest in my blog series, the fabulous Katrina Otter. Everything I’ve seen of Kat’s work oozes class, style and elegance. From our short spell of working together, I can tell that she’s super organised – I love working with people who are on the ball and know exactly what they want. Not only does Kat and her team offer an amazing wedding management service, but she is also generous with her knowledge and offers training and mentoring to aspiring and experienced planners.
I am so excited to be working with Kat as I’m making a wedding cake for one of her couples in what sounds like a beautiful wedding set in the English countryside. Because of the pandemic, the wedding has been delayed, but it just means another thing to look forward to it. It will be so lovely to meet Kat in person but in the meantime I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Kat better. I’m sure you will really enjoy learning more about this talented lady.
So tell us, have you always loved weddings? And what made you decide to become a wedding planner?
To be perfectly honest, no! I didn’t even attend a wedding until I was well into my 20’s. I have however always loved planning (I’m a schedule fiend!)… code for organising everyone else and telling people what to do!
When did you start your wedding planning business? What made you decide to become a wedding planner? Did you do something else before?
Back in 2009 I met my (now) husband (at the time I was working in events throughout Europe, the US and Asia for an American multinational brand experience agency) and a few years later moved out of London to a village just outside of Cambridge. The move was the perfect opportunity to retrain, transition from events and start my own company with weddings being something I’d increasingly become involved in, from both an events and personal perspective.
Katrina Otter Weddings was formed in 2012, 8 years later and I haven’t looked back! To date, we’ve (the company has grown from an I to a we) been involved in close to 100 weddings throughout the UK.
How would you describe your style? Is there a kind of wedding that you love more than others?
In a nutshell our style is… timeless, relaxed, effortless, understated, naturally elegant, luxurious.
Add a beautiful and quintessentially English setting into the mix and I’m in planning heaven!
I genuinely adore all of the weddings I’m fortunate enough to work on and I especially love their uniqueness and individuality. However, the weddings that truly stand out to me more are those where I stand back on the day and think to myself “I wish I was a guest”.
What makes you different to other wedding planners?
Most planners are incredibly similar in terms of the service and support they offer, and whilst experience, areas of expertise / skills and pricing may differ, the one thing that makes planners truly different is their personality.
I genuinely believe that people buy people and when clients book me, they book a friend, confidant and mentor, someone who listens, who supports and who truly cares. I connect with and understand my couples and work tirelessly for and alongside them to ensure that every last detail is carefully considered and flawlessly executed.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere?! From my couples and the suppliers that I work alongside, to art, fashion, interiors (you’ll always be able to find a paint chart in my handbag!), architecture, travel, nature… you get the drift!
Pinterest is a great starting point but it’s just that, a starting point to a wider and more personalised concept.
What do you love most about your job?
Well that’s a toughie of a question (!) – there are so many reasons I love and still enthusiastically do what I do… from the connections / relationships and genuine friendships I’ve gained, to that feeling I get each and every time I deliver and see the results (and reactions) of a wedding or editorial I’ve been fortunate enough to work on.
If I had to narrow it down though, I suppose what I ultimately love the most is the variety. No one day is ever the same – I get to travel, network, visit new venues, meet new suppliers, collaborate with other creatives, design, plan… and so much more! Variety is the spice of life and wedding planning certainly keeps me on my toes!
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt through being a wedding planner?
Without a shadow of a doubt, it’s that you can only gain success by putting in the work, but that hard work, long hours, effort and self-determination do and will pay off.
Where is your favourite place and why?
Home – I feel a true sense of calm and contentment here.
What’s your favourite cake flavour?! And what’s your favourite tipple?
Cake flavour – banoffee (so much so that I named my first dog Boffee!).
Tipple – a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
What advice would you give to a newly engaged couple?
Take your time and enjoy those first few weeks and months of being engaged. It can be extremely tempting to dive straight in (to planning and the admin it entails) but if you can, savour the moment and the memories your engagement will bring.
How can couples find you to book you for their wedding?
And if you’re a wedding planner looking for honest, modern and engaging training and mentoring courses and workshops then I also run Planning Redefined alongside Louise Perry Weddings.