Find Out How Kyla McCoy Can Help You Have a Dream Wedding on a Budget
Have you ever wondered how you could have your dream wedding on a budget? Do you want to have the wedding of your dreams, but don’t think you can afford it? WRONG!
When it comes to having the wedding of your dreams without spending a fortune, it’s easy to wonder if it’s possible. Luckily, Kayla McCoy of Transformed Events has the solution for you. Whether you’re looking for a luxury wedding or are just trying to stick to a budget, you can have an enchanting day that won’t break the bank.
Kayla McCoy offers a variety of services from helping find vendors to ensuring all the last-minute planning goes smoothly and stress-free in those two important months before the big day. With her help, the wedding of your dreams is within reach so don’t stop yourself from having all your wishes come true.
So stay there to learn more about how Kyla can help make your big day perfect!
Gillian de Souza: Hi there! This is Gillian. Welcome to DC Weddings with Gillian once again. And again, today we have Kayla McCoy of Transformed Events. Now, if you are the bride that is not looking for that luxury wedding, that you’re on a budget and you’re willing to take on some of those DIY projects, like finding your vendors yourself and those things that you will do in the first year, year and a half before as you’re planning your wedding.
But you just need someone to literally take you down the aisle to finalize all your last minute planning, and they give you a stress free last two months before your wedding. Then I have a treat for you in Kayla. Stay tuned!
Hello there! Good evening and welcome again to DC Weddings with Gillian. And today we have with us, Kayla McCoy of Transformed Events. Welcome, Kayla!
Kayla McCoy: Hello!
Gillian de Souza: Well, it is so great to have you join us. I wanted first to ask you about that name. Transformed Events. Because you are a brand new wedding planner in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area, and you are transforming events. And tell me what you’re doing for events.
Kayla McCoy: Let me tell you about kind of what Transformed Events is. So I started Transformed Events when I was planning my own wedding two years ago. And the reason that I started it is because I am younger and so I was on a budget. I didn’t have a ton of money.
My husband didn’t have a ton of money to spend on a wedding, and I realized that there was a gap in the market. There was these big luxury weddings, which are beautiful, but that the average person didn’t have a resource to go to for planning their wedding. And so that’s why I started Transformed Events because I’m all about helping people save money, but still have the day of their dream and still be able to have that point person on site. And so my primary service is, wedding coordination, a.k.a day of coordination, but I do planning as well. But really that’s the whole goal of my business is just to be a resource to people planning their weddings, who are maybe trying to save money, who are maybe on a tight budget and they need to know really how to stretch their money.
And so in terms of my name, so I am a Christian and my faith is something that’s really important to me. So I wanted a name that had biblical significance. So the name comes from Romans 12:2 which basically just says, “Do not conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
And so that was something that just stuck out to me about that verse, and I thought that’s the same kind of thing that I wanna do in this industry, is just transform people’s minds and about the way that they think about what their wedding could look like or the things that they could do on their budget. So that’s why I chose that name.
Gillian de Souza: Fantastic! So, the biblical significance is there, and I do know that passage myself. Yet when the average person here, they’re like, I want my event transformed. That’s what I want as well. You said a lot about concealing brides on a budget that didn’t necessarily want the luxury wedding or maybe couldn’t afford yet the luxury wedding. So give us some examples of how you do that for your client.
Kayla McCoy: I am someone who really loves, like, diving deep into logistics and complicated issues that we’re needing to find a solution for. So a great example actually is an event that I just had and maybe three weeks ago I wanna say. The problem was that they couldn’t afford the high price tag of on-site catering. And so they decided that they wanted to do drop off catering. And so in the weeks leading up to the event, I really work with them to kind of get all their friends and family members that were helping out organize, telling person A, you’re gonna be doing this, person B, you’re gonna be doing that. And really just trying to make it as seamless as a process as possible, because you know, being a caterer that you guys do a lot, right? And I don’t wanna take on that responsibility myself. And also, I think people don’t realize oftentimes, when they’re volunteering their friends and families to do things for the wedding, how much work that actually is, especially as it pertains to something like catering, which is not just setting up the food and having people eat.
It’s inclusive of cleaning up the trash and who’s gonna be taking that out to the dumpster? Maybe they don’t even have a dumpster on site that you can throw garbage in. So who’s gonna be taking that home with them? And then you have to think about plates and cups and forks and napkins and all these little things that couples don’t really think about when they’re looking at, “Oh, I just can’t afford a caterer, so I’m just gonna do drop catering”, when there’s actually so much more that goes into that.
That’s just an example of a few weeks ago where I really had to work with them and kind of line out all the steps and really help them see the bigger picture and how this could work, and really make a plan for how that was going to transpire out smoothly versus just letting anything happen on the day of.
Gillian de Souza: Right. And so were you able to get the family members to cooperate and were you able to really manage them to get all the tasks done?
Kayla McCoy: Yeah, yeah. It went actually really well, which I was a little bit nervous about. We all have those events that the logistics are not quite painting out the way that you think they are during the planning phases.
But it ended up working out really well. And actually too, this is a good conversation for, that was also an event that I had to set boundaries in because there were certain family members that were supposed to be doing certain things that they didn’t fulfill those responsibilities cuz they were worried about being a guest.
They wanted to enjoy their time as well. And so the mother of the bride actually came up to me and was asking me if I was gonna be taking out the trash and I had to say, “No, that’s not a part of our responsibilities. Unfortunately I can’t do that.” And we had to go find someone else that could fulfill that role because that family member backed out at the last minute.
Gillian de Souza: Interesting. These are all the fun times we have in the background of an event. And so I see you specialize in DIY brides, and so again, help the DIY bride that’s listening or the bride that’s listening to decide whether they should go and be a DIY bride or that they need the help of a professional. What would you tell that bride?
Kayla McCoy: Yeah, that’s a wonderful question actually, because that’s what I have to do a lot during my consultations, during the initial kind of planning phases, after someone decides that they want to work with me. Really this comes into play with centerpieces a lot and just decor in general because at the onset of planning, you have all these sort of ideas and you think, “Oh, I wanna do this. I saw this on Pinterest, I saw this on Facebook, someone else did this on Instagram, and this looks so beautiful.” But they don’t think about in their mind how much is actually involved in that. Not just getting the materials and putting it together, but the time, right?
Who’s gonna be setting it up? Who’s gonna be breaking down? Is it just gonna stay in your house forever after the event? Or are you gonna sell it? Are you gonna try to repurpose it? All those little things, and sometimes in my role, I do have to tell people that maybe DIY isn’t the best route for them, and maybe you wanna go with a full decorator or maybe you wanna do something a little bit simpler because it seems like you don’t really have a lot of time. And so really just having those conversations, it comes down to helping them, like I said before, see the bigger picture and outlining all the steps and helping them understand what that looks like so that they can decide for themselves if that’s something they wanna commit to or that they can commit to. Cuz it’s not always about the money, right? DIY, there’s a lot that goes into it and sometimes just paying more is worth not having the ego of doing things yourself.
Gillian de Souza: Yes. What we find with the DIY bride is they recognize that too late in the game because now we haven’t hired somebody, they’ve been trying to do it, when they realize, “Oh, I need help”, all the good people are unavailable.
Kayla McCoy: I’ve had a fair amount of last minute bookings this year for sure. Actually, my shortest one, someone asked me a week out away from their wedding if I could step in and help. And fortunately, I was available and so I took it on. But it was a challenge for sure. But that’s exactly, what I set out to do in this industry. And so I was just so happy that they like found me and that they even felt comfortable enough reaching out to me and that I felt comfortable enough saying, “You know what? This is what I really wanna do in this industry. I wanted to take on this person.” It’s only a week and it’s gonna be a tough week for me and for them, but we can do this together and we can get through it.
Gillian de Souza: Fantastic! Now, talk to that bride and groom that have waited too long to realize they need help. And what that could look like for them? What that could look like with your service to them?
Kayla McCoy: Yeah, for sure. So I would definitely say to try to prevent that in the first place is reach out to people early on, and even if you think that you can’t afford their services or even if you think that you don’t need their services, it’s always nice to just go in a couple consultations, talk to people, kind of see what their services offer, help them break down for you, like what you need, what it sounds like you’re struggling in.
I know that’s a question that I ask to my couples all the time is like, “What are different areas that you’re struggling in?”, to try to understand kind of the pain points in their process and figure out which exactly one of my packages would benefit them the most. Whether that is they have it all together and they need a lower service, or they think they have it more together than they do and they need a little bit more support, right?
And so I would say definitely reach out early, but if you do, unfortunately get to that last minute place, where you just need help and you don’t realize it, then still reach out anyway because chances are that people are available. I know I was happy to get that last minute booking because it was a date that I didn’t have booked and it was more money in my pockets, right?
So even if I had to put in a little extra long hours that week, it was worth it to me. And so you never know if someone’s available. You never know what they can or cannot help you with, and you also never know who’s in their network, right? So maybe if I wasn’t available, I had three other planner friends in my network that were available and they would’ve been happy to take the date and anything of that sort.
So really just don’t underestimate and don’t count people out just cuz you think you can’t afford them or because you think that you don’t need their services.
Gillian de Souza: That’s great advice for the listeners. So tell me, how do you help our couples manage their expectation? Because obviously if you don’t have a budget, you may not be able to get all of the things that you might have dreamt or thought about, or you may have to just revise your expectations for your day.
Do you help couples with that or what does that look like for you at Transformed Events?
Kayla McCoy: Yes. I have to do a lot of managing expectations because there’s a lot of people that their budget is not as high as they think, and that they think their money’s gonna stretch more than it actually realistically does, because we know the prices of everything in this industry and how even 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 even getting up to 50, 000 now, like, doesn’t really go that long of a way as everyone thinks that it should realistically. And so it’s a lot of having hard conversations with people, having those difficult conversations where I have to tell someone, “You might not be able to afford this”, or, “If you do want to afford this, then you need to deprioritize something else, and that money needs to go to something that you really want.”
And so something that I do with my couples that is super duper helpful for both me and them is to, at the onset of when they hired me, I asked them what are their top three priorities for this event? And those really just help us all keep grounded during the planning process. And so as things start to arise where they’re like, “Oh, I wanna spend money on this”, or “this just came up and this is really important to me.”
Well, we know that everything can’t be important, right? And so, I have to find myself constantly going back to that list of priorities and constantly reminding them of that list of priorities and say, “Listen, we prioritize, maybe, good food, great music and a nice dress for the bride.” Right?
And so if those are our top three priorities and you wanna start adding on more entertainment, or you wanna start adding on late night snacks, those are things that we want to prioritize because that they’re in that guest experience list of priorities that they really cared about. But if there’s things like you want to add more florals or have bigger centerpieces or more candles on your table, those are some things that might have to get deprioritized because they don’t really contribute to those top three priorities that we established at the beginning of this planning.
And so just constantly going back to what are the most important things about this event in your eyes, and if something you know that is not quite in the budget is trying to impede on that, then having those tough conversations and saying, “This is not a priority and if you wanna make it one, then we’re gonna have to reevaluate where this money is being allocated from somewhere else.”
Gillian de Souza: So what I hear very clearly here is something that I know, but that I would love our couples to hear is, this is not just about getting you down the aisle and what side does your bride stand on, groom stand on, what time does it starts?
It starts way before with a lot more issues, with a lot more things to talk through than you could possibly imagine. Now, you and I in the industry understand that, right? And we find that possibly our clients don’t come to us understanding that, so we have to educate them and let them see cause it almost begins to be self-serving when you start to share all the things you have to accomplish on their behalf when they don’t see the value in it. So how do you describe value to what you bring to your clients?
Kayla McCoy: Yeah, that’s a great question. And something that I really like to emphasize during my consultations, in my marketing, kind of in that initial phases when they’re not actually my client yet, and I’m still trying to kind of get them to be my client and prompting them to take that next step is the stress that people feel on their wedding day when they don’t have that point person that they can go to. That could be the biggest thing or the smallest thing. And in terms of small things, it’s like, do you have a safety pin? Do you have a band-aid? Someone that just has random stuff that people don’t think that will happen on their wedding. But truth is that I give out at least two band-aids every single wedding without fail. And so little things like that, that you would never think about just as a normal bride or groom planning your wedding, cuz you don’t have to think about that on a regular basis, right?
But that’s what I’m here for, to think about the things that you don’t have to think about. And so that’s really what I emphasize is that you want to be able to enjoy your wedding day, you wanna be able to laugh with your guests, take photos, eat great food, have a good time, and not have to worry about does someone need a band-aid? Or in worse situations, not worry about, “Oh, the cake is running late. What are we gonna do if it’s not here in time? Or the DJ got sick and someone else is on the way filling in. We have to get this new person up to speed.” Those big things and those small things is that something you don’t wanna have to worry about.
You don’t want to be in your dress with your hair and makeup done and sobbing that your DJ had to cancel last minute or something of that sort. And so really just emphasizing that you don’t wanna worry about these things, let me worry about them. Trust me with your big day. I promise, everything will not go out as planned, but it will be beautiful and you will have a great time, if you’re not worrying about all these things.
Gillian de Souza: Well, that is so interesting because again, we experience that nothing goes according to plan on wedding day, right? You always have to catch up and change up and switch up, and you have all these other vendors to deal with. When you switch one thing, it affects something else. And so, you said some great information for our couples here just a moment ago in terms of what you would do for them so that they don’t have to worry on their day, but your bride is on a budget. You said that over again. That your client, is that bride, that’s on a budget that’s not doing the glam wedding, but still wants, it’s still a wedding.
And so when they’ve got to spend for name the 15 vendors that they have to have, that they can’t do this day without, why should they pay you?
Kayla McCoy: That is a wonderful question. And they should pay me for my services because number one, I think the biggest value proposition is managing all of those vendors and specifically when like I said, people are running late, when people have questions, you don’t wanna be bogged down by a million different questions, especially, “What time do I do this? Where am I gonna be here? How do I set up? Where do I need to be? Do you have this? Do you have that?” All these little questions, I think I probably answer at least a hundred questions during the setup every single wedding, right? And so you don’t wanna be bogged down by that. You wanna be enjoying your time. So the vendor management is big.
And then number two is the pre-planning, right? Like we talked about, there’s a ton of things that people do not think about and so something that I include in my services is I make the timeline for you.
I take vendor communication off of your hand so that you don’t have to worry about when are people gonna be, where, and what’s going on at this time, and how is the timeline gonna move from this thing to this thing. So I do a lot of pre-planning. In my coordination package, I work with couples starting two months out. We have biweekly meetings. I send you a ton of documents so that you can just dump all of the information that’s in your brain out of it and I can take over and run with it from there.
Gillian de Souza: Fantastic! So now my bride has decided, “Yes! I want Kayla. I want Transformed Events.” But Kayla is the day of, month of coordinator. Kayla is working with me as a DIY bride. What is it that I have for you? What am I signing up for? What are those DIY things that I still have on my plate?
Kayla McCoy: So I would definitely say is you’re signing up to not be less minute about things, and kind of have someone to guide you. I offer a roadmap in that sense. We start meeting two months before your big day, and in that time I kind of get you down the road leading up to the big day. And so thinking about all those things, we start talking about, what are the things that you still have left to do?
Let’s make a strategy and a plan for how you can accomplish all these things, and you’re not staying up till 3:00 AM the night before your weddings still trying to put together centerpieces or you’re not emailing your bridal party saying, “We need to pick up the flowers at 10:00 AM on the day of the wedding.”
All of those little logistics is my job in getting those under control. And so having that person, even a lot of times I find people just need someone to vent to that’s not a friend or family member that they’ve been venting to this whole time. And so that’s what happens with a lot of our planning meetings as well is, brides and groom spend 15 minutes just venting about all the things that have been going wrong.
And so I hear that, and I’m like, “Okay, we can have this little vent session. That’s wonderful. I’m glad you got that out. But now I hear the problems that you’re experiencing and let’s try to make a plan for how we can mitigate these problems.” And sometimes too, I have to suggest, maybe this is not even worth you spending your time on, your energy on. This sounds like this is creating more problems than it’s worth. So why don’t we just toss this idea, right? It’s not too late to throw things out. It’s too late to add things in for sure. But it’s not too late to just make things a little bit simpler on yourself.
Gillian de Souza: Fantastic! So that’s what they’re responsible for once you get into the picture because correct me if I’m wrong, your couples aren’t waiting until two months before to start planning. They would have done things on their own prior to that. What would they still have to do prior to you coming on?
Kayla McCoy: Oh, that’s a good question. So in terms of what they still need to do, so you’re absolutely right that they are doing all the planning unless they hire me for planning, but most of my couples right now hire me for coordination. So they are handling all the planning up until that two month mark until I step in.
In that time though, whenever they hire me to that two months, they do have me like on what I call like standby or speed dial or anything. Sort of a quick connection based, mechanism like that. And so they can feel free to shoot me an email and say, “I’m having a little bit of difficulty with this person.”
They can ask me for recommendations. I can send emails for them. They need help trying to figure out what time that their makeup needs to be done earlier than that period. Anything like that. I’m always available for them after they hire me.
To go back to the original question of what do they still need to be done? So typically what they still need to do is finish up any of their DIY decor, get all their wedding party on the same page, and communicate that information to them if they haven’t already communicate. When the rehearsal dinner is happening, what times they need to be and where? And then at the rehearsal, we’ll go over all that.
And they shouldn’t realistically have too much to do outside of that but like we all know, things don’t go as planned, right? So sometimes people still need to do some small details, like getting their wedding day jewelry or their shoes or filling in a little bit more details about their personal attire, whatever they’re wearing.
I actually had a couple who one month away had not sent their invitations yet. So that was something that one of my couples still needed to do. So really anything could be needing to be done, but realistically, if the planning goes well, you should only need to be filling in a couple minor details in that two month period.
Pretty much everything should be done, and that’s the way that I like to work is everything is done. So now we can focus on the smaller things, filling in the details, and getting ready for day of.
Gillian de Souza: So do you also help them hire all of their vendors, or would they have hired vendors before they came to you?
Kayla McCoy: So it depends. Some couples they hire me — I think the longest lead time that I’ve had that a couple hired me is two years, and that couple’s actually coming up this Saturday. They hired me two years ago. So that’s been an exciting journey with them. So if they’re that far in advance, and they don’t have vendors book, I’m so happy to give recommendations.
I love recommending my friends in the industry and people that I’ve work with before that I love working with. I would just love the opportunity to work with them again, so I’m so happy to give them recommendations. But typically the people that hire me, they fall in that’s kind of six to eight months away range, and so they have primary vendors secured at that point. So that would be the venue, the caterer, photographer, videographer, and the DJ a lot of times, and usually the florist as well. And then maybe at that point they’re still looking for a baker for their cake or a makeup artist. Some couples still are looking for those primary vendors, but a good portion of the couples already have those booked, or at least have people in mind that they’re actively in conversation with.
Gillian de Souza: Yeah. So is that more of the DIY part that they have to go out and find their own vendors and sort of figure out services that they would need from different people, different price points, and typically they would do that outside of your usual DIY clients, right?
Kayla McCoy: Right. I’m such a fan in my business of you can do whatever you want on your wedding day, and so that’s where the DIY piece really comes in, is if you don’t want a typical videographer and you wanna go with someone that has a little less experience, but that you can save a little bit of money with, then that’s what you decide to do. Or if you want to make your own centerpieces, or even if you’re — like a wedding that I did back in September — even if you don’t want a regular venue and you wanna have your wedding in your parents’ backyard, right?
How can we make those things work? Things like that is really what DIY can encompass everything to be honest.
Gillian de Souza: Fantastic! Well, this has been wonderful. Before we wrap up, tell the listening audience, one thing, two things, three things that you would like them to know about you, personally or about Transformed Events, just working with you in general. What would you like them to know?
Kayla McCoy: Well, that’s a good question. I don’t think I was ready for this question. I always feel so awkward when I talk about myself. Something that I would probably like people to know about me is that, I am very an easygoing person, but I’m also very kind of systematic and structured, right?
And so during every one of our planning meetings, I’ll have an agenda and I don’t mind if we veer off that agenda, but I’m always gonna try to like, bring us back over to the agenda or send you a document of a template of how you can organize your thoughts or whatever you need to get to me.
And so working with me is very organized, very detail oriented, and sometimes it might get annoying, but on the times that you need it most, it is going to be very beneficial when you know someone’s asking about, a cake and when is it gonna arrive? And I’m like, “It’s gonna be here at 4:32, and something very specific that only a handful of people might know.
And then maybe a fun thing if I had to add one in there as well, is just that I love ice cream, and I love everyone to know that I love ice cream. And even in my consultations I ask potential couples what is their favorite ice cream flavor? Cuz I like to know other people’s flavors as well.
Gillian de Souza: So what is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Kayla McCoy: My favorite ice cream flavor is called Chocolate Therapy by Ben and Jerry’s. It has five different kinds of chocolate. It is just so amazing. It’s good to eat when you’re happy or when you’re sad or just anything really.
Gillian de Souza: Well, chocolate solves all problems. Did you know?
Kayla McCoy: It really does.
Gillian de Souza: So tell me about an exotic ice cream flavor that you might have had. Whether you liked it or not.
Kayla McCoy: Well, you know, a flavor that I think is exotic that has been coming up in a few consultations recently is pistachio. I’m not really a fan of pistachio, personally.
But a lot of people seem to have like it, and I just think it’s exotic because you would never expect that to be an ice cream flavor. And if it is, you would never expect it’s one of those flavors you walk by in the grocery store and think, no one’s buying that, cuz it’s probably disgusting. But a lot of people actually like it.
Gillian de Souza: Actually, yes. The thing that I don’t like about pistachio ice cream is that green artificial coloring that they put it in because the nut inside is green. So even if you made pistachio ice cream, it wouldn’t come out green. That artificial factor on it is what I don’t like, but I’ve had the pistachio ice cream since I was a child, outside of the US of course. Have you had coconut ice cream?
Kayla McCoy: I love coconut ice cream.
Gillian de Souza: And so that is one of our specialties. We haven’t done it for a long time. But when we first started, coconut ice cream was the thing that people would come to us for. So I’m gonna have to make sure you get some of our coconut ice cream.
Kayla McCoy: I definitely would love to try that.
Gillian de Souza: You have not had coconut ice cream until you had a Caribbean Caterers coconut ice cream. Okay?
Kayla McCoy: Wow.
Gillian de Souza: It’s a promise. We’ll have you over for an ice cream social. How about that?
Kayla McCoy: I would love that!
Gillian de Souza: Okay. Fantastic! Well, Kayla, it has been wonderful talking to you. I love your energy. I love your spirit. I know that’s what you bring to the clients. That piece about organization, I don’t know how many clients understand how important that is, and sometimes some people may find it quite inner, but its super valuable for your wedding day to go smoothly. So thanks for bringing that to the table, bringing that energy to your business and that your fresh and new and new ideas. And so we wish you tons of success, tons of weddings, tons of happy clients. Thank you so much for all your words and wisdom to our brides and grooms today.
Kayla McCoy: Thank you so much for having me.
Gillian de Souza: You are very welcome. Well folks, this has been Kayla McCoy of Transformed Events. Look her up. She’s on all the social handlers. You can find her anywhere you wanna find her, on the internet and on all the social media. So please look her up. Give her a ring. Have a chat with her. Talk to you soon! Bye!