Welcome to our “Day in the Life” series! We feature wedding and event planners from around the world with many different levels of experience. If you would like to be featured, download our questionnaire here and email your responses and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are excited to feature Mexico wedding planner Katie Thompson today!
Name: Katie Thompson
Business Name & Location: Wanderlust Weddings Baja, Los Cabos, Mexico
Years Working in the Event Industry: 14 years
Years Owning Your Event Planning Business: 10 years
Business Facebook Page: Baja Wedding Planner
What is your typical day like?
When I don’t have an event, I love to relax in the morning by doing CrossFit, hiking in the desert, taking the dogs on a beach walk, and swimming in my pool. After that, about 11 a.m., I hit it hard! It’s time to sit down at my computer and get the work done.
Because I live in Cabo San Lucas, where everyone else comes to vacation and party, it can be a bit difficult sometimes to pull myself away from the beach, the food, and the fun! But I always have so much to do, so Cabo for me is more about work than the good times.
During the week, I work on social media, promotions, marketing, and writing my blog. I also spend time connecting with my clients via email and phone. I spend quite a bit of time doing paperwork, updating wedding budgets, invoicing, and creating wedding and event timelines. I take the time to manage the tasks related to running a planning business as well.
I make time to visit new and old venues where I can take pictures, get updates on the venue properties, and make new contacts. This reinforces for me how gorgeous our little part of the world is and that Los Cabo is definitely a destination wedding paradise.
How did you get started in the industry?
It’s actually a funny story! Like many others here in Cabo, I came here on vacation in 2004 and really never left. My family (husband & 3 kids) and I sold our house in California, bought a beachfront lot a bit north of Cabo, lived in a trailer on the property, and put our kids in school in a small town called Todos Santos.
Then, we looked at each other and said, “Well, one of us has to work. One of us has to take care of the kids. Whoever gets a job first will work.” There is a small local newspaper here called the GringoGazette that had an ad for a commission-only job for a Wedding Coordinator for a small American-owned wedding company in Cabo. I applied (buying an interview outfit at a department store on my way to the interview as I’d been living in my bathing suit for months), and it’s been wedding planning for me ever since!
I worked for this company for 4 years, planning and coordinating about 50 weddings a year. I also started my planning company, Dazzle ‘Em Event Design. When the company I was working for closed, I expanded my event planning business to include the ever-growing and beautiful Todos Santos/Pescadero area, about an hour north of Cabo. I have re-branded and re-named my company, Wanderlust Weddings Baja, to better reflect my client base and the way I view my business and the type of weddings I create.
What inspires you?
Los Cabos inspires me! Living in Mexico inspires me. The beach, the sunset, the views, the crashing waves, the Mexican people, the stunning resorts, and wedding venues here inspire me.
It is vibrant and gorgeous everywhere I look – cacti, palm treas, bouganvillea, bright colors, aqua ocean water, palapa roofs, mariachi music drifting down the street. There is a reason Mexican destination weddings are so popular…the spirit of love is everywhere.
I am inspired by the architecture and landscaping everywhere I look – rustic, colonial, modern, sleek.
I am a Pinterest fiend, and I do need to keep up with U.S. wedding industry trends, as all of my clients are American and have American aesthetics as well.
What are your favorite online resources for your business?
I use the wedding planning program, Planning Pod, to keep my events organized and up-to-date. I love that I can share specific parts of the program with my clients so we can share information that way. The program also includes a wedding website and an RSVP collection link so this is an easy way to plan menus, food counts for BEOs, and seating plans.
I love to recommend The Man Registry because sometimes the grooms get overlooked and they have great ideas and wants and needs too.
I also love Dropbox and the ease with which I can share everything (especially photos!). And of course, Instagram and Facebook.
Aside from wedding and event planning, how do you spend your time?
My children are now grown and living back in the U.S. so I have more free time now. I schedule my business so that my husband and I can travel during the slow season here. No one wants an outdoor beach wedding during a hurricane!
We recently traveled to Amsterdam, New York City, New Zealand and Australia, San Miguel de Allende, and Alaska. We also camp and surf all up and down the Baja. Our next big trip will be an overland camping trip through Africa. We also rent casitas on our property here in Los Cabos and we think running the rental business is fun and interesting! We meet people from all over the world who want to explore the Baja.
Katie, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story and a day in your life. If you are an event planner and would like to be featured, download our questionnaire today and email it to us along with a photo. If you aren’t sure about being featured, take a few minutes to read how it can help your business.