What Would They Know? Kelly Stock of Kelly Ann Events

by | Styling Wisdom, Wedding Planning Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Polka Dot Bride
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Having your finger on the pulse of wedding industry trends is an art in itself, and when you hire items and plan events this becomes doubly important. For Kelly of Kelly Ann Events a lot of behind the scenes planning and research takes place firstly with the bridal couple, and then collaborating with other vendors to ensure that the wedding has a cohesive look and feel while taking into account the wishes of the couple. Out of this comes a beautifully styled and executed event where the carefully chosen items are placed and styled just so. Kelly’s strength is in her creativity, helping you envision the look and pulling it together with the final touches creating vignettes that are a feast for the eyes. Let’s take a peek into Kelly’s working world.

Please tell us about your experience in the event planning arena.

I used to work for Lyrebird Falls and Poets Lane Wedding Receptions in the Dandenong Ranges, which is where my passion & love for events took off! After 9 years with the two venues and hundreds of weddings later, I moved my focus and ventured into Event Management within the corporate industry.

This opened an exciting chapter focusing on organizing events within the sports industry, and led to a lot of world-wide travel. At first, I followed the V8 Supercars circuit, organizing Gala Dinners that took place for 200 clients at each round. My favourite of these being when the Supercars raced in Austin, Texas and I organized a Western-themed dinner for 400 Aussie clients who followed the V8’s to Texas. The success of the dinners then moved across to other sports, and we now organize and manage Gala Dinners for numerous different sporting events including Australian and International rounds of the Formula One Grand Prix, the MotoGP, Australian Open, Rugby World Cup, Melbourne Cup, UFC and many more! The dinners can range from 150 guests in attendance up to 1000 guests, depending on the sport and location. The range definitely keeps life busy and exciting, and tests our sports knowledge to say the least!!

 

Image by Kelly Ann Events

What led you to set up Kelly Ann Events?

So Kelly Ann Events actually started as an Event Management business. As I have planned and managed corporate events for the past 10 years, I found I was always hiring the same items on a regular basis – centerpieces, chair covers, backdrops etc, and I had an absolute love for styling the events. So I started purchasing & making some of the items myself, and that’s when the hire side of the business was born – and has taken over the last few years! I absolutely adore meeting new couples, hearing about their wedding plans and discussing the best ways to style their wedding to make the most of the space, while adding character and charm that represents the couple.

 

Left Image by Z by Zahrah, Right Image by Amanda Kilbourne Photography
Venue – Dreamcatching Yarra Valley

Please describe Kelly Ann Events.

Kelly Ann Events is an Event Management and Décor Hire business, located in Ferntree Gully, VIC. Our Hire business specialises in providing rustic & vintage themed props and furniture for hire, to help our clients bring their event visions to life. A large part of our Hire business is working on weddings, although we also provide props for any other occasion: from milestone birthdays to baby showers and hens parties, to business gala dinners, corporate trade shows and exhibition stands.

Do you still plan weddings as well as hire your décor items?

We still plan events yes – I love it!! Our Event Management services extends more to the corporate sector, such as Gala Dinners, Corporate entertainment and promotional stands, with the occasional large milestone birthdays in there as well. We generally take on 25-30 Gala Dinner events each year. Complete wedding planning isn’t a service we are currently offering, although we will be looking to hire a full-time Wedding Planner in the next 12 months to fulfill this service – so watch this space!!

Image by Kelly Ann Events

I’m fascinated to see the wide variety of your hire items. How do you decide what to buy and stock in your range?

That is the question! There are so many beautiful ideas and products out there, and so much we would love to stock, but of course we can only fit so much into our factory – it’s always tricky deciding where to draw the line! A lot of our items are custom built and we try to do this where possible to keep a unique side to our items. Some of our new items will also come from requests from clients, often we notice a trend of what brides are searching for in our Showroom, and if we get repeated requests for a particular item, and it suits our brand and complements the other items in our range we’ll often add it to our collection.

What are some of the more unusual items in your range?

Our Wishing Well Bike always creates a talking point!! She’s very cute, quirky, unique and practical!

Image by Kelly Ann Events

Are the items of a particular style or are they versatile enough to be used with any wedding style?

While our range is very much focused on the timeless rustic style, we have a complete love for fairy-tale styling and adore all things glamorous. While these two distinct styles can seem quite different from one another, when put together well, the results are simply stunning! As such, we LOVE to add a modern glamorous touch when styling our rustic pieces. Gold mirror cake stands mixed in with wooden discs on a dessert buffet, pink sequin table runners on a rustic wooden table, even our rose gold mirror plinths look divine mixed in with our rustic wooden plinths! This results in a very feminine, rustic glam feel with lots of sparkle.

Image by Jessica Nixon Photography

Do you keep a close eye on trends so that you are stocking pieces that brides who want the latest look can access?

We do keep an eye on trends, but we don’t always add what is trending to our range, especially if it doesn’t complement what we already have and the style we are known for. Modern, luxe styling is trending hard right now. We have added some select modern pieces to our range, pieces that can be tied in to compliment the rustic products that we already have. We prefer to encourage our couples to style their wedding in the way THEY want, and not necessarily following what is trending online.

Image by Kelly Ann Events

What are some favourite or popular items that you are asked for frequently?

An old favourite that has been one of our most popular products for a couple of years are wooden pieces! Wooden discs in small, medium, or large used for dessert and grazing table styling, as wedding cake stands or for cupcake holders, as centerpieces, to give height to candle displays and the list goes on! We also have wooden stumps that are popular for lining the ceremony aisle. We have over 100 wooden discs in our range, in various types of woods, in different textures and many different sizes – they are great to mix and match in your styling! Another popular item at the moment is draping and backdrops. Our white silk curtains with twinkling fairy lights are so versatile, they can be used in a 3m x 3m section for a photo backdrop, can be used in a 6m x 3m section as a beautiful backdrop for a bridal table, or we can connect 20 metres together to line all walls of a garage to transform the space into a magical new venue fit for a party! Our backdrops are also available as DIY setup so they can make a cost-effective option as well.

 

Image by Pippa Samaya

What is the process to hire your items?

Step one is to grab your laptop, kick off your heels, pour a vino & start browsing our website! We currently have over 400 items available and we list as much detail, pricing and photos as possible on our site to try and answer any questions people may have while searching. Items can be added to a Wishlist which tally’s up the prices as things are added and the Wishlist then gets sent through to us so we can easily see what the client is after. We also encourage clients to come into the Showroom for a complimentary styling consultation. We can give you advice on decorating your event space and you can see, touch and play with our items so you know exactly what you will be hiring. There’s nothing like seeing shelves of props in real life to kick-start your imagination and get the ideas rolling! Once the items are decided upon and we have checked availability, we require a 50% deposit to secure the items for that date, with the balance due 2 weeks prior to the event. Once the initial booking is made we find it can just be the start, and as the planning process continues for the couple, they realise they may need an extra sign to show where parking is available, décor for their cake table, a holder for the ceremony rose petals, a Wishing Well etc so bookings can be added to, provided the items are still available. We are always available on the phone, on email and in the Showroom for any questions our clients may have as they continue their planning process.

 

Image by Kelly Ann Events

Are you able to send items all over Australia, or are they available only in Victoria?

Mostly just Victoria. There have been some occasions where we have couriered a particular item interstate, or we have had couples collect items from us and take them to an interstate wedding – that is perfectly fine. But for now, our main focus is on servicing Victoria.

Do you transport the larger items such as furniture to the wedding venue, and arrange to collect them after the event?

We sure do! We transport all our items in our 4.5 tonne truck and unload and setup ourselves. It’s handy when work can substitute for going to the gym!! We make contact with the venue directly to ensure smooth organization of the delivery and pickup. Some venues welcome delivery and set-up up the day before the wedding, while some venues, often wineries and restaurant venues, may have a lunch sitting during the day, then allow a small window for set-up in the afternoon before guests arrive – so it’s all hands on deck for a speedy set-up! We deliver all over Melbourne, from the Yarra Valley to the Mornington Peninsula, the Great Ocean Road and even Mount Hotham. During the peak of wedding season, it can become its own full-time job, just coordinating the delivery and pickup schedule!

Image by Kelly Ann Events

Are you able to work with other vendors and set up the items for the bridal couple making sure that they’re styled to fit in to the wedding décor?

Yes! We love working with other suppliers. A lot of correspondence between suppliers actually takes place before meeting onsite to set-up for the big day. Most of our pre-wedding correspondence happens with the florist. Many brides use fresh flowers for their bouquets and then hire silk flowers for their centerpieces and bridal table. We will seek samples and photos from the florist to ensure our silk flowers and colours match as closely as possibly to what the florist provides. We also provide many Vases, Mason Jars and Ceremony Arbours that a florist will need details and measurements on, to be able to create the perfectly sized arrangement for the item.

Image by Ada & Ivy Photography Florist – Naomi Rose Floral Design

Do you often find yourself getting involved in other aspects of the wedding day?

Yes that does happen frequently! A service that we often get asked about is On-The-Day Co-Ordination. Many of our couples hold their weddings in a DIY space, whether it be in their parent’s backyard, a garden or maybe in a barn. DIY planning is fantastic for couples who love being creative and really enjoy the planning and creation of bringing their dream wedding to life. However as the day gets closer some brides may realise that although they are exceptionally organized and have all the pieces of the puzzle in place, they need someone in charge on the actual wedding day, someone they can hand over their carefully planned reigns to, to ensure the plan gets followed and deal with any hiccups that may pop up on the day. Who wants to deal with logistics on their wedding day? Not even me! After spending time with our couples to assist with the styling and having many conversations in the Showroom, On-The-Day Co-Ordination is a service we are getting asked to do more and more – and we love it!

Image by Kelly Ann Events

What do you love most about your business and the wedding industry?

I love the positive vibes and excitement that comes with the wedding industry. A wedding is the BIGGEST event you will organize in your life and it is such a special, special time for you and your partner. It’s an absolute honour when a bride and groom select us to play a part in their Dream Team! I also love the variety that comes with events, every single day is different and I couldn’t imagine it any other way! Plus, all of our clients are happy and excited – how awesome is that!?

Thank you Kelly for sharing your story. It’s so exciting to see the many items available for hire – it’s hard to  not get carried away, and know when to stop, take a deep breath and order what we really need for the wedding day! To find out more about Kelly Ann Events visit the website.

Headshot by Kelly Ann Events

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