|Kathy Piech-Lukas, president of Your Dream Day|
Kathy Piech-Lukas, president of Your Dream Day, didn’t have the idea to become a wedding planner until a few vendors from her own wedding suggested it to her. “Right before the wedding, I was finalizing the details for my own wedding, and I had several vendors ask me if I had considered being a wedding planner,” Piech-Lukas says. “I guess our attention to detail was very strong. They said I had a very upbeat, energetic personality that would work well with brides.”
Eight years after starting her business, she is paying her extensive wedding planning knowledge forward through offering free classes and roundtables for vendors. Your Dream Day already does roundtables that include all vendors who want to attend to discuss a specific topic in the industry on a monthly basis. For the brides, every Tuesday at noon they can engage in a tweet chat revolving around a specific area of wedding planning.
The company is now going to start hosting social media seminars for vendors during which they can learn about specific topics that will help them optimize social networks for their businesses. Instead of overwhelming the vendors with a massive, complete “how-to,” the seminars will be as specific as possible, Piech-Lukas says. “We’re not giving them the entire Golden Corral buffet in terms of social media, but one portion at a time,” she says. “Vendors can attend on a week-by-week basis.”
Although Your Dream Day is offering courses, chats and roundtables about things that can be taught to vendors and brides, there is a quality of wedding planning that can’t necessarily be taught and shows the necessity of enlisting the services of a professional planner, Piech-Lukas says.
“A huge part of our job is being that guardian angel with the magic wand to make things go perfectly,” she says. “You’d be surprised about the dramatic things that go on behind the scenes that the bride and groom don’t know about until they get back from their honeymoon. That’s why dealing with a professional comes in handy.”
This guardian angel role has manifested into some pretty crazy situations that Piech-Lukas has had to resolve as a planner, she says. This includes a matron of honor who needed to be bailed out of jail over a holiday weekend for a dispute outside of the rehearsal dinner. A wave of her wand in this case meant convincing a judge to leave a holiday celebration with family to hear the case.
“The court said to the bride, ‘I don’t know who your wedding planner is, but this never happens,” Piech-Lukas says.
But it’s this stressful aspect of her job upon which she thrives. Piech-Lukas has done Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Indian, non-traditional and all other kinds of ceremonies, which gives her experience across the spectrum. And with all her efforts to prepare, each ceremony keeps her anticipating what the next step should be, she says. “I can go into the weekend with 100 percent accuracy, but I kind of look forward to what that curveball’s going to be so I can get my catcher’s mitt out and catch it,” Piech-Lukas says.
In embracing her flexible role as a wedding planner, she also operates on the premise that each bride and each wedding is distinct and represents a new opportunity to excel in an art she continues to perfect. “Every wedding is like a new piece of art that’s waiting to be drawn,” she says. “All of our packages are based on the number of hours used. I don’t try to fit a bride into a cookie cutter, because she’s not a cookie-cutter person.”