Kylie Jenner's Event Planner On Creating Those Insta-Perfect Party Moments

Photo: Taylor Jewell/Vogue/Shutterstock.
Back in February, when each member of the Kardashian-Jenner family posted Instagram videos of themselves stepping into the mouth of a giant blow-up version of the youngest Jenner's one-year-old daughter, Stormi Webster, fans and followers couldn't believe their eyes. Stormi World, the Astroworld-inspired birthday party, was thought up by Kylie Jenner several months ahead of the event, and while it was her vision, another person played a key role in bringing it to life. Mindy Weiss is a full-service event planner who has been responsible for creating the Kardashian-Jenner's most exquisite and over-the-top events including Stormi World, and more recently, Kim's CBD-themed baby shower and the Kylie Skin launch party.
In addition to working with the Kar-Jens and other big-name celebrity clients, Weiss is now lending her expertise to people that aren't necessarily on the A-list through her work with PartySlate, an event-planning and inspiration platform that connects users with event professionals and venues all over the world. In a recent interview with Refinery29, Weiss explained her involvement with the party-planning platform. "PartySlate and I collaborate on events and editorial ideas," she told us. "PartySlate gives me a great communication platform to share with my peers and hopefully inspire party hosts that I wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to engage with online."
Those of us that don't regularly host Kardashian-level parties can learn from Weiss's personal creative and collaborative process, which she shares below. She reveals the best parties she's ever planned as well as how to make sure Instagram isn't the only important guest at your party.
Refinery29: How do you choose a theme for your events?
Mindy Weiss: I get my theme inspiration from my clients. Each client is so unique and therefore each and every party is too. I love to have them come in for lunch to start. Having a meal together usually means more details will come out about their lives; their personalities will shine through a bit more than in a meeting when they are relaxed. That way I can find out what they are really into and that helps us come up with a theme.
Your events are famous for their Instagrammable moments. How do you come up with those moments and what do you think are the most Instagrammable aspects of an event?
I try to compartmentalize my parties. That's how I visualize things. I do design some aspects with social media in mind, especially for corporate events and launch parties. People love finding the perfect place for an Instagram photo so I look for spaces for them to have that moment. We may add extra color, neon, or balloons to an area that we think is "Instagrammable." I also light the area differently. Event lighting is different than what will look great for the 'gram, so we plan ahead. If I think the area will be highly photographed, the lighting will be different than something more traditional like the pin spotting of a centerpiece.
I've started to light cakes differently now too. Any place where I know people will gather to take a lot of photos, we take the end result (as well as the experience for the guests at the party) into account in the design.
Do you feel like planning events with Instagram in mind takes away from the actual experience of the event? Is there a way you balance that?
I think sometimes Instagram becomes too much of a focus, not so much in weddings but for parties. It does take away from the purpose of a wedding – what's more important, the vows and life memories or the Instagram moment? So I try to play it down in weddings. I make suggestions, hopefully the clients like them, we make a decision and then we move on. I don't bring up the subject after that; I don't want to focus on it. Though it is a subject that comes up a lot more in the planning process these days.
Even with wedding photography, we now have a meeting with the photo and video team leading up to the day to discuss details and shot lists and the types of poses the couple wants to capture. Clients are much more focused on photography now, which in the end is a good thing because it's what you will have left when the day is over.
What trends are you currently seeing in the event space?
Lots and lots of color! In weddings and parties, all my clients are using color this summer and I'm loving it! I also see people really trying to balance their budget differently to accommodate specialty tabletop rentals. Couples want to upgrade from the hotel stock and use very specific colored glasses and decorative plates. They may only choose to upgrade one plate for the main course or dessert, but it's something different in style. Tabletop rentals have really become an entire design conversation now, a bigger part of the budget and even a Pinterest page all its own!
Are there any trends you wish would go away?
I'd like to see a more elegant photo moment than a photo booth. I think a wedding is a time for some formality and elegance. Guests love a photo booth but perhaps there's an elevated way to create that moment.
I don't think extra entertainment needs to be in a wedding. It feels like it takes away from the focus, the reason why you are there. When you leave an event, guests shouldn't be talking about dancers who performed during dinner or entertainers at the after party, they should be talking about the couple, how the day felt, how special the moments were, and how great of a party it was.
What's the worst disaster you've ever encountered while putting on an event? How did you fix it?
I once had a beautiful wedding cake fall off a table during a wedding (after a waiter knocked it over). But the cake designer returned with more cake before dessert time and everyone got to enjoy a sweet end to the night with the couple's photo op and all.
What's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you on the job?
I once got slimed at a kid's birthday party I planned. We created an entire slime station with lots of green slime (not the designer slime kids are making today). The kids all started throwing it and eventually at me! I was laughing — it was a fun party and a good time!
How did you come to start working with the Kardashian Jenner planner on so many events?
I've known the family for several years. I even did some of their birth announcements when they were born so it was like old friends getting together again.
Is there an event you've created that you're most proud of?
My son's wedding and now my granddaughters' birthday parties are the events I’m most proud of. But I'm always proud at the end of a huge wedding weekend. I just love the end of the weekend when I know we've made life memories for someone — that's what keeps me going. It's so overwhelmingly satisfying to know you've created great memories for people's lives and that's something I'll always be proud of.

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