photo by Krystal Balzer
I met Alison a few years ago working on a wedding in Brooklyn. I was then honored to work with both Alison and Jonathan on a wedding at a ‘super secret hotel’ this past October. I love their attention to detail, their willingness to go the extra mile and just how easily they work together. They could certainly plan and execute an event on their own, but choose not to. And for their couples and clients they say, “why have one planner, when you can have two?” Without further ado, I’m proud to introduce you to JONATHAN STAMPER-HALPIN & ALISON SZLEIFER from TWO KINDRED EVENT PLANNERS!
What was the path that led you to become planners?
We both come from a diverse event background that eventually led us to become wedding planners. Jonathan started his professional career planning conferences for a non-profit in Washington, DC, before diving into the world of catering. Alison used to work in galleries – planning art events. She then became a sommelier and started planning wine events in New York. I met Jonathan working for the same Brooklyn-based catering company. We both quickly realized that we wanted to be involved in the entire planning process, not just the food side, which is how Two Kindred Event Planners came to be!
photo by Ryon Lockhart
What excites you about weddings?
We love that every wedding we produce is unique and reflects the couple’s individual personalities. It’s always the same recipe but you always end up with a different result. For a lot of people, their wedding is one of the most important days of their lives. To be able to be a part of that and to do everything we can to make this important milestone as perfect as it can be, is so fulfilling for both of us.
What do you look for in a couple?
We don’t look for anything in particular with our couples, but as communication is so key in our process, having a connection with our couples is very important. There’s a desire for our couples feel comfortable with us, as we spend a lot of time with them, often working with them for over a year. Wedding planning can be a stressful experience. It’s important that couples feel that we are their confidant, and most importantly their advocate throughout the entire process. We love working with couples who have amazing ideas but are unsure how to execute them and truly bring their vision to life. We try to make the process as collaborative as possible so that the couple’s individuality is expressed in their wedding.
What is the greatest compliment you’ve ever received?
It’s difficult to pinpoint one specific compliment but getting to read the reviews from our couples after the wedding is over is always so humbling. One bride in particular perfectly articulated our approach in her review. “They really stood out from the other wedding planners we talked to because we got the vibe that they genuinely wanted to execute the wedding we envisioned, no up-selling or over-promising anything. […] Alison and Jonathan truly helped fine-tune what we were envisioning. Throughout the entire planning process, they shed light on all grey areas we weren’t sure about, they asked questions we never thought about, and always provided expertise and guidance without ever making us feel like we were compromising our vision.”
What do you desire for your business?
We always strive for quality over quantity. We aren’t the planners who crank out 3 weddings per weekend every weekend. When we help plan a wedding we are fully invested and really focus on every little detail. In order to do that, we prefer to do fewer weddings while being more involved. That way we can be fully present on each couples’ wedding day.
What are you grateful for?
We are grateful for all the amazing couples who chose to work with us. As we mentioned previously, a couples’ wedding day tends to be one of the most important days of their lives and we are so thankful for the couples who entrust us with such a special day and allow us be so intrinsically involved with the planning and execution of their weddings. We are also grateful to be based in New York, where the wedding industry truly is a community full of amazing, inclusive and diverse vendors that we are proud to call our contemporaries.
Any recent cause for celebration?
We just found out that we won Best of the Knot for a 2nd year in a row! Our final wedding of the season was last weekend and we are looking forward to a month of R&R in January!
Let’s join the Two Kindreds in celebrating their amazing (and well-deserved) accomplishment ! And wish them a ton of rest and calm in the new year!