As we’re in the midst of the festive wedding season, we chat with Rosinne Chlala who, along with her brother, Executive Chef Bill Kaliff, have owned the Festivities events and catering company for thirty-two years (and have been honored as Best of the Gold Coast wedding planner several times). In addition to planning the perfect day, Roe also makes giving back a priority through a foundation called Pass on the Love. Recently adding 2,000 square feet to their space in Norwalk, she’s opening a store that stocks nearly new entertaining ware, and all proceeds benefit the Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport.
ROE SHARES SOME TIPS, INSPIRATION AND WEDDING WISDOM
Q: WHAT’S POPULAR NOW?
A: Years ago you got married at a five-hour event at a reception hall and you were done. Now we’re often celebrating for three days and having multiple parties. Last year I did a four-day destination wedding in Westport with shopping, a beach party, brunches and more. In terms of décor, rustic and vintage are everywhere. Blush is everywhere. For venues, farms, barns and historic locations are really on-trend. People also love being by the water. I’ve put together a portfolio of twelve unique venues in the area and created catering packages for them, so that you can use these venues—a farm, a barn or a historic site—with a complementary menu (see theknot.com).
Q: MOST HEART-WARMING MOMENT?
A: I had a dad who was so concerned about his dance with his daughter that we set up the room for him ahead of time and he mapped out his steps, 1-2-3-4. On the day of the wedding, he was weepy and yet so intent on counting his 1-2-3-4. It was so very sweet. Those are the moments. That’s what makes it special.
Q: BIGGEST DISASTER AVERTED?
A: When there was lightning near the tent at a New Canaan wedding, a fire marshal wanted us to evacuate. I held him off and the lightning went away. The most important part is to be responsible with all of the officials. They trust me, so they give me some leeway. When they come, we salute.
Q: MOST OVER-THE TOP REQUEST?
A: At a wedding in Southport we had Grucci fireworks let off from a barge. I had to move the guests to the site near the water just in time. And I had to coordinate with JFK and LaGuardia, also spending many hours getting permits and working with the fire marshal. It was awesome.
Q: IS BRIDEZILLA REAL?
A: No. Well, she is and she’s not. Navigating the wedding process is not for sissies. It’s very emotional, even more so now because Pinterest has put so much pressure on couples. I ask our brides to allow themselves time to process all the information. To avoid the Bridezilla syndrome, I try to help our couples navigate families. When you honor your mother and father, stepparents, or whoever is a trigger in your life and include them from the beginning, they get off your back. A Bridezilla happens when a bride gets overly emotional, so you have to see what’s bothering them and help them figure it out.
Wedding photo: Craig Warga Weddings