RAMSEY, N.J. -- Kristen Takla is all about creating events with soul. So much so that the Ramsey-based event planner whose company bears her first and middle name -- Kristen Ashley -- writes about this "sixth sense" on her website.
In business since 2010, she said she starts asking clients "soul searching" questions almost immediately because it creates a unique opportunity to be completely open with each other.
"Anyone can say 'I would like to have an intimate wedding with navy linens and a good band.'" she said.
"But the soul-searcher really digs down and asks about the experience they are wanting to have.
"Once I connect to the experience they are looking for, I can then pave the way to creating those memories. I'm able to hone in on the details and make it more fun for them because I get their vision … so 'navy linens' translates to a grounded and elegant table setting to share a meal and conversation while the 'great band' lets their spirit catch fire and dance.
"I turn the details into the backdrop of the celebration of their dreams."
She believes her success comes from the trust her clients have in her because she's relatable and has the ability to put them at ease.
Takla prides herself on producing "really beautiful and exciting events" all while making the planning process fun.
"I’m very organized and transparent with my clients, which builds a great basis for that trust…and when you can trust that you're in good hands, you can breathe easier and enjoy the process much more," she said.
Kristen Ashley Events runs the gamut from weddings to bar/bat mitzvahs to milestone birthdays, anniversary parties, showers, christenings and other life events.Gaining ground in popularity: Honeymoon Homecoming celebrations.
"As some couples are opting for destination weddings or to include friends and family that were unable to attend ceremonies that were out of state or great distances, parents of the bride and groom are hosting more informal and intimate gatherings for people to get to spend time with the newlyweds once they return from the honeymoon," she explained.
"It’s a great way to get to actually connect with the couple since they aren’t rushed from trying to spend time with hundreds of guests."
For those planning an event and curious about Takla's favorite off-the-beaten-track Bergen locations, she likes Walsh Hall, a converted Seminary Chapel in Rio Vista in Mahwah and the Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern.
Other Hudson River Valley favorites are Skylands Manor, Torne Valley Vineyard, Bloominghill Farms, Stone Barns at Blue Hill and Bedford Post Inn.
She's also big on transforming people’s homes into amazing celebration spaces.
Check out her new Instagram "behind the curtain" view of different venues later this year. Takla is teaming up with Jen Fox of Fox Images Photography to give a sneak peek inside venues that may not be on someone's radar, but are definitely hers.
Go to www.kristentakla.com/ for more information.
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