On Wednesday, March 7, 2012, Santa Barbara Wedding DJ Scott Topper attended a Wedding seminar conducted by the Santa Barbara Event Professionals at Butler Event Center. Santa Barbara Wedding Planner Kerry Lee Dickey was the guest speaker from Santa Barbara Wine Country Weddings and Events as she presented “For Better Or For Worse,” A Look at Wedding and Events Marketing, Santa Barbara Style!
Here’s some of the wonderful Wedding Industry stats that I learned…
The percentage of event clients that do planning and initial research for event services online is 90%!
The average cost of most Weddings today is $26,800.00.
The average number of Wedding guests in the U.S. is 165 attendees.
The Wedding industry is now a $120 BILLION dollar industry.
77% of Marriages are first time marriages.
When a Bride plans her Wedding, she involves and meets with forty different businesses.
80% of today’s Weddings are Destination Weddings (meaning the bride and groom themselves as well as the majority of the guests) are traveling from out of town to stay in the wedding location vicinity and also potentially host other activities for the guests (i.e. Farewell Brunch, tours, etc.).
DJ Entertainment and Technology have not been affected by the 2008 Recession and are in fact, booming more than ever.
Thanks Kerry Lee Dickey from Santa Barbara Wine Country Weddings and Events for discussing and sharing the economic climate as it relates to our Wedding Industry 2012. Here’s some more info on Kerry Lee-
Roots. Experience. Integrity. Connections. Soul.
Roots we’ve got ‘em!
Who would have thought that a career in wedding & event planning would begin at the tender age of three when CEO/Founder Kerry Lee Dickey began hostessing at one of her family’s four restaurants here in Santa Barbara?
A third generation Santa Barbarian and deeply rooted in this area, Kerry Lee loves and genuinely knows Santa Barbara. Her grandfather served as a local businessman and was highly regarded in the community as a leader. He also served as Rotarian and Police Commissioner and established in Kerry Lee the roots for a life-long love of and devotion to community. With the family home (also built by her grandfather) on Channel Drive, right next to the Four Seasons Biltmore, elegance, community and service have always been the very essence of Kerry Lee’s being. Over the mountains in wine country, Kerry Lee’s Great Uncle founded Valley Pump and Supply and was a renowned “water witch” helping local ranchers find where to drill for water supply and being the key source of finding the water supply to make Lake Cachuma.
“I love producing events both here in Santa Barbara proper and have a special affection for Santa Barbara’s wine country, thus the namesake of my business,” Kerry Lee says. “We have the Riviera of the United States on one side of the mountains with all the wedding and event location styles one could want; and on the other side, we have a natural backdrop reminiscent of Provence, Tuscany and even some ‘Big Sky’ country thrown in with solid country ‘ranch feel’. Kerry Lee has always described this special Santa Barbara wine region as “rustic elegance”, a term which media quickly picked up and spread and has now become a common description of the Santa Ynez Valley.
Experience no one can touch us in Santa Barbara County!
With over 600 weddings now under her belt and planning weddings & events since 1995, Kerry Lee has not only become one of the most trusted and sought after Santa Barbara wedding and event planners, she has become a sought-after resource to the events industry as well. Starting her professional event planning career under arguably one of the world’s best customer service leaders, Nordstrom, Kerry Lee served as Special Events Coordinator for Nordstrom Santa Barbara following her college graduation. She then continued to be as she calls it “baptized” into the events industry by working for years in the hospitality industry as a Director of Catering and Wedding Sales. This is where she truly learned the soul of event planning and what set the stage for her career.
After some world travel, living in Paris , France for a brief time, Kerry Lee met up with national wedding celebrity/author/brand Beverly Clark and has served on retainer to Beverly Clark Enterprises, LLC in the capacity of the co-developer, trainer and Vice President of the Wedding Certification Training Program and currently trains and certifies wedding professionals world-wide.
Kerry Lee has had the privilege to be the sole event planner in Santa Barbara chosen to serve the “horse whisperer” Monty Roberts himself as Corporate Event Planner his Flag Is Up Farms in the Santa Ynez Valley, working with top CEO’s from all over the world in planning their events at Monty’s ranch for his corporate program . Kerry Lee has also spoken at various conferences , including the ARA International Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada at Mandalay Resort where she was specifically invited to present on “Legendary Customer Service Standards” in the events industry , based on her reputation for her business practices with clients.
A Certified Wedding Professional, Kerry Lee continues to learn and attend industry events regularly so her clients receive the most up-to-date standards and expectations and stays active attending ISES (International Society of Event Specialists), ABC (Association of Bridal Consultants) , NACE (National Association of Catering Executives) and SBEP (Santa Barbara Event Professionals) meetings.
Integrity never a hidden agenda (or fee)
Santa Barbara Wine Country Weddings & Events does not ever accept kick-backs from any of their event supply partners. Period. The result? That clients are assured planning and referrals to vendors are the most suitable for their budget, vision and plan and not simply who will give the event planner the biggest incentive or monetary bonus for their referral. Also, consulting fees are for services and clearly stated. Period. What you see is what you get. If it is determined that a client’s needs are going beyond the scope of the contract, the client will be notified in advance of a possible fee increase and be let to make the decision if they want to add the additional work (and fee) on. There will never be a surprise bill.
Connections sorry, but it is all in who you know….
Our work in the trenches both as an event planner with over 600 events’ experience and the fact that we have been aligned with the industry’s leaders on a national and international level mean our clients benefit from the most up-to-date trends, vendor referrals and industry standards.
Soul that certain “je ne sais quoi”
“You’re not like those typical carping wedding planners. You have a joy to planning and know your stuff and make it fun for everyone.” Well, we couldn’t have said it better. We love what we do. And we also know that with all the planning that takes place prior (i.e “crises prevention” as Kerry Lee calls it), there is a certain “magic” to allowing the event to breathe and have its own pulse, too. CEO/Founder Kerry Lee Dickey has a background in theater arts and one of her signature essences is finding the soul of every event – which is unique- and making the experience flow seamlessly with various fresh touches to entertain and delight guests. She is also known for a “secret ingredient” in creating timelines that are known to be 99.999% fail proof and allow the event to go off exactly as planned.
When not planning events or traveling to consult with and train industry professionals, Kerry Lee lives with her family in Santa Barbara and loves teaching Jazzercise as a certified instructor in her “down time”, rounding out this professional wedding planner’s life with all the things she loves most in life.