Business advice from top NY wedding planning entrepreneur


Lydia Larcia Calvario, owner of KasalNY, which has been named “Top Wedding Planner in New York,” does not mind sharing secrets of her success in the wedding planning, coordinating and managing business.

Her business is based in New York, USA, with a satellite office in Montreal Canada, but her couple- clients has flown her to other states in the Unites States, the Philippines, Aruba, and Mexico.  Her clients are couples of different nationalities and cultures Irish, Indian, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Haitian and Filipino.  She has also handled Jewish, Hindu, Catholic, Muslim and – yes, same sex – weddings.

Lydia says she runs her business with a lot of “heart, calm, and patience” which has paid off in terms of an expanding clientele.

Here are more tips for successful wedding planning she generously doles out:

(Being Filipinos), we always aim to please; we are hardworking and resilient.  These are key traits if you want to thrive in this business.

A great wedding planner must listen to clients, understand their needs and make sure that nothing falls through the cracks by keeping n constant communication with all the suppliers.  Running a smooth sailing wedding means working harmoniously with the team, as every successful wedding is a result of collaborative efforts.

A wedding involves a lot of mixed emotions coming from the bride being so excited, the groom being nervous, and everything in between, so I think kailangan may puso at pasensya ka on the wedding day.

Unlike the portrayal of commando-like wedding planners in some TV shows, I don’t feel the need to yell.  Saka mas pakikinggan ka nila pag kalmado.

I’m a wedding planner whose signature events are inspired by my couple’s style, infused by my own flair.  Colors can be repeated, the theme can be a rendering of another, but the overall flavour of the wedding will not be the same when you incorporate details and elements that are unique to the couple.  I try to capture the couple’s unique taste, incorporating their personalities and preferences.

I ask couples specific questions about their customs and traditions.  That way, I am mindful and won’t do anything that would be disrespectful or offensive to their beliefs.  Listening to them is key.

I first ask how they meet.  I love hearing their love stories and proposal stories, that’s how I start crunching ideas that they may like.  Ninety nine percent of the time, they work.

I always say to our team and our partner suppliers:  It’s not about me or about any of us.  It’s about the couple.  So let’s work towards one goal, and that’s to give them the most unforgettable day of their lives.

I always tell my brides, weddings should be fun and memorable.  Never lose sight of what’s important: You found the ONE who would like to spend the rest of his life with you and that’s a rarity. So when your big day comes, forget about everything else.  Let go of all the  planning details, don’t check the weather every five minutes. Forget about time; heck, don’t even wear a watch. That’s my job to keep things in check.  Just keep smiling. With a solid planning team, everything will fall into place.


Adapted from “New York’s Fair Wedmother is Pinay,”  by Carissa Villacorta, Sunday Inquirer Magazine, June 2012.

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