Creative and unconventional – two words that perfectly describe event-planning mastermind Kristin Banta. With a long list of accolades tucked under her belt, Kristin’s unique vision has created unforgettable events and weddings for many. For our latest Jovani Influencer Interview, we speak to Kristin about what makes any special event original and memorable.
Sharing some of her secrets for planning personalized occasions, Kristin has revealed some wisdom for us to take inspiration from. Preferring to shun tradition and create stylish juxtapositions that last in the memory, Kristin’s modern and fresh approach to event design creates an elevated atmosphere for guests. Her weddings beautifully represent the couple in question, sharing who they are with subtly crafted details.
Each event is designed with an elegant finesse that transcends the typical and takes you into an unexpected vision. Her goal is to tell a story, be it romance or celebration. She has graciously agreed to share some of her knowledge with those planning their own event or wedding.
KRISTIN BANTA: The brand was originally created to fulfill what I deemed a largely untapped market, designing for those wanting un-formulaic or less traditional weddings. I originally studied stage production in college, working in catering and interior design after graduation. My experience led to early assignments designing and planning events more associated with fashion, music, and non-profit while doing post-graduate studies in marketing at UCLA.
Though I had little experience in weddings, upon completing my marketing program, I started KBE to offer an alternative, fashion-forward and progressive approach to wedding design based on my professional experience and personal point of view.
JOVANI: What are the most important elements when planning formal events?
KRISTIN BANTA: It’s important to first consider all the elements that will keep your guests comfortable as no matter how beautiful the space looks, it will not be appreciated if the guests are too cold or too hot, hungry or without a cocktail, without a seat or made to walk too far in heels. These are what I call “creature comforts,” and if these are not met, the event cannot be a success.
If creature comforts have been addressed, you have creative license to entertain and design with as progressive or unorthodox of an approach as desired – there are no rules.
JOVANI: How do you create a theme/style for a wedding or formal event?
KRISTIN BANTA: The theme is developed around inspiration drawn from the client. In my opinion, the client IS the theme. Designing around an abstract theme or color palate without intention or relevance can feel thin or one-note. To avoid this, I develop concepts based on the client’s interest or passions, the event’s purpose, the story of the brand, and the origin of the product being launched.
Think about any event as a unique entity with its own personality and fingerprint – it’s greater than a theme – it’s telling a story that is the spectacle’s soul.
JOVANI: Where do you find inspiration when creating an original tabletop layout?
KRISTIN BANTA: I invest a tremendous amount of time getting to know the story behind the event, our client’s passions and interests or the brand’s objective and messaging, depending on what type of event we are designing for. The inspiration comes from the characteristics behind the event that make that event’s “story” unique.
At the end of the day, events are and should be thought of as a medium for storytelling. They should be multi-dimensional, provocative, and memorable. After understanding what is behind the event, I pull from a vast array of creative outlets, from fashion to architecture, art to interior design, and history to film, all of which assist me to clearly articulate the design line of the event.
JOVANI: What advice do you give brides with a tight budget but who want to create a personalized wedding experience?
KRISTIN BANTA: Simple statements can make a big impact. It’s not about walls of flowers and gigantic centerpieces; it’s about thoughtful design and relevant details to who you are as a couple. Sometimes the most simple designs are the most dramatic. And personalization – that doesn’t mean putting a monogram on everything, it means importing personality.
I would rather you serve your favorite carrot cake with no decoration than spend on a lavishly decorated cake you are not as excited to eat. From the beginning of the process, consider the details that make you YOU – your passions, the things you love, your favorite places to travel, and the things you enjoy eating and drinking. Think about your ideal home, favorite movies, and what makes you laugh.
Then determine your top priorities for the day. Once these things have been considered, you can successfully elect where to spend your investment and get a clear idea of what details will make the day special and memorable for you and your guests.
JOVANI: We love outdoor weddings! What are some gorgeous ways to add rustic touches to a countryside or garden wedding?
KRISTIN BANTA: I like to introduce a paradoxical element between the space and the event design. Hence, if hosting within a barn, I often elect to import luxe elements to give sophistication to the rustic or natural surroundings.
Consider beautiful Persian rugs, Belgian linens, velvet slipper chairs, and love seats as a counterpoint to the raw wood of a barn or the lush greenery from an open field. Just as we often like to bring the outside into an interior space with trees and greenery, bring the inside out to create opulence and comfort in a rustic setting.
JOVANI: Beach weddings are increasingly popular – can you share a way to make a beach wedding stand out as different?
KRISTIN BANTA: Most will design beach weddings with a distinctive seaside spin that is always timeless and beautiful. However, to refresh oceanside styling, consider a polished residential approach by electing to import luxurious upholstered chairs and a tailored ceremony structure featuring a clean valance with kick pleats.
Of course, the finished look should still feel cohesive to a beach setting, but why not defy an expected island-inspired aesthetic by recreating the eastern seashore with sea grass and nautical rope or offering a French Riviera twist with cafe chairs and rows of striped umbrellas?
JOVANI: What’s a great way to make any wedding more memorable for guests?
KRISTIN BANTA: Personal touches are imperative to creating a memorable guest experience. When we talk about “the devil is in the details,” this doesn’t necessarily mean having a monogram on everything – it means articulating your clients’ personality and interests into the day to give it meaning and point of view.
For one of our recent weddings, we incorporated personal art photos that the couple had taken from their life and travels and created a museum-style exhibit in their afterparty lounge, showcasing enlarged prints of their favorite images. Additionally, when provided with the couple’s favorite quotation from one of their favorite movies, we elected to have this printed on their cocktail napkins in lieu of their name, date, or monogram.
JOVANI: Do you have certain requests for weddings that have increased in popularity – what are the current wedding trends brides should be aware of?
KRISTIN BANTA: We discourage designing around trends to keep the event timeless, personal, and relevant.
A big thank you to Kristin for taking part. Stay up to date with all of her news and events by following her on Facebook and Instagram. Catch up on our previous Influencer Interviews, including makeup expert Rachel Anise, who shared her incredible beauty tips and recommendations.