Pacific Northwest Weddings with Katy Kamali of Bridal Bliss – E99

Katy Kamali of Bridal Bliss and Matthew Campbell of My Wedding Songs sit down and chat about weddings in the Pacific Northwest and wedding music.



Show Notes:

  • Memorable Wedding Moments
  • About Katy & Bridal Bliss
  • Preferred Vendor List
  • Wedding Trends for 2024
  • Couples Asking for Music Help
  • Traditional Wedding Changes
  • Wedding Planners at the Wedding
  • Popular Songs
  • Wedding Planning Tips
  • Popular Music
  • Hire A Good DJ
  • Contact Bridal Bliss

Welcome everybody to the Wedding Songs Podcast. I am Matthew Campbell. And today we have Katy Kamali all the way from the Pacific Northwest to talk about wedding planning and wedding music and everything in between. So welcome to the show, Katy.

Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to be here. Awesome. I am so happy to have you here too.

Memorable Wedding Moments

I always have to start off with the first question being, do you have a most memorable moment at a wedding? I feel like I do. I keep thinking about what my most memorable moment is. And I have to say, I think the most memorable moment of every wedding is just kind of the grand reveal. When the client sees the space for the first time, the guests enter in their ooze and Oz of everything. And then just at the end of the night, they just come and thank me for a great event.

Yeah, I would think that as well, because that is your pinnacle moment of you spent all of your time decorating this room. It’s perfect. And now hopefully their reaction is, Oh my gosh, this is like fireworks are going off. Exactly. Yeah, for sure.

About Katy & Bridal Bliss

If you could just tell everybody a little bit about yourself and your company.

I’ve been planning weddings for 19 years. Now. I live in Portland, Oregon with my husband. I have 2 step sons and 2 children of my own. And so we’re pretty busy. But, yeah, our company is bridal bliss. We’ve been, around for 21 years. Nora Shields started the company out of Gonzaga University and, I joined her.

A couple of years after she started and we’ve grown to about a team of 14 of us, both based in the Portland and Seattle, area. That’s a very big team. That is something incredible that you guys have really built up. I’m impressed. Thank you. Yeah, us too.

Preferred Vendor List

So when couples hire you, do you have a preferred vendor list that you use?

You know, we do. We love working with vendors who not only take care of us but take care of our clients. We don’t require our clients to work with them, but we definitely want to make sure that they’re licensed professionals and all of the things we just, don’t want. Your uncle, who’s a DJ on the side, or your aunt, who’s a florist, has never done anything like that, but we definitely want to work with professionals and make sure that everyone’s vetted before we recommend them for sure.

Yeah. There’s nothing like hiring a baker and then the leaning tower of Pisa falls over as guests are arriving. We’ve just talked about, having a situation like that, at a wedding where a family member wanted to bake the cake and it fell apart wedding day. That’s a memorable moment.

I was listening to a podcast recently where a guy was taking pictures of the room before anybody got there and he swung the arm of the camera and knocked the cake. But somebody was there, I think the planner, and then they fixed up the cake before anybody arrived.

Oh my gosh. Yeah. For this one, we had to actually call a local baker and have them makeshift a cake out of something to recreate a whole new one. So that was entertaining. Wow.

Wedding Trends for 2024

So are you seeing any wedding trends in 2023 that you think are gonna carry over to 2024? You know, I’m seeing, smaller guest counts, which I do love.

I think inviting your nearest and dearest is definitely, something worth, you know, especially when you want an elaborate wedding or, just based on budget. It’s nice to be able to do a little bit more for those guests. My other one is I really love. Either no bridal party or the bridal party, not standing up, at the ceremony. Just taking their seats amongst the guests.

I really think that there’s something special about the ceremony being just about the 2, the couple and their officiant just saying their vows amongst their family and friends and not really having to worry about what the bridesmaid looks like in that photo. And then her being mad at you because you posted a picture and she doesn’t look good or vice versa with the groomsmen.

I love that idea. I’m wondering if that carried over from the reception where DJs hate the idea of having to introduce everybody in the wedding party and then the trend started off, let’s just introduce the bridesmaids and the groomsmen all together. So we’re not 20 minutes in.

Totally. Especially when it comes to a time crunch and then the bridal party is always stressed out. They’re like, what are we going to do? I’m like, you’re just going to walk in. Don’t do a song and dance. We have to get to dinner. People are hungry. They’ve already been drinking for two hours.

Couples Asking for Music Help

Do couples typically ask you for help with the music to play at their weddings? We usually send them a song list, of just songs to kind of think about prior. If they do want our help, we definitely help advise some ideas.

A lot of the time, it’s onesie, twosie songs here and there, it’s not like the entire playlist, but we’re more than willing to help, but we always leave it up to the professional to. We definitely don’t want to tell the DJ, to play these songs, and then there’s an empty dance floor and we’re to blame.

It’s always teamwork like we said in past podcasts, but I think that. Picking the music, you definitely have to leave certain things up to the wedding couple. Like the first dance, there’s no DJ in the world that will ever pick a couple’s first dance song. Anyway.

Traditional Wedding Changes

Are you seeing couples making any changes from the traditional weddings?

As an example of getting rid of the cake cutting together or the bouquet toss garter toss. I don’t think I had any bouquet garter tosses this entire season. so, yeah, I’m definitely seeing that go away. I’m seeing the cake cutting. If they are doing a cake cutting, they’re not making a deal out of it.

It’s, it’s kind of like, let’s go do sunset photos. We’ll go for sunset photos. Bye. slice the cake before the photo, but we don’t need to make the whole deal where everybody’s crowding around us for that moment. I’m seeing a lot of that. And then, I’ve seen a lot of more, I think, choreographed dances.

It’s not as awkward as they used to be in the past. They’re actually nailing it this year. They’re practicing. They’re practicing a lot. Yeah. And they’re hiring good people to help them. Yes. Many DJs, even the first dance, many DJs will tell their couples to just practice in the kitchen. Just practice, just practice because you don’t want that to be your first dance.

And the first time you’ve done it. Yeah. Or when you see the groom, just counting the steps he has to take the whole time, you’re like, no, you need to enjoy this. That’s great.

Wedding Planners at the Wedding

So, as a side question, what percentage would you say of the couples that you’re booking that you are actually present at the reception?

I am present a hundred percent of the bookings. Yeah. Post COVID there were obviously some weddings where we were double booked. We had reschedules, and things like that. but I’m typically present 100 percent of the time.

Are you booked in as a wedding day planner and that’s part of the package?

It’s part of the package. Yeah, we execute, we do design, and execution of the wedding day too. Interesting.

Popular Songs

So then because you’re at every single reception, are there common songs that you’re seeing that may be unexpected during the reception that you’re thinking, wow, I haven’t heard this and everybody’s going wild, or songs that, are really getting everybody involved.

A big 1 here in Oregon, because of the University of Oregon is Shout, because they play that out all the football games. So that’s really fun. there’s your typical Mr Brightside, all of the we are family, things like that. I guess I haven’t really heard a ton of new ones.

but I’ve definitely heard some ones that I would love to never hear again. We all have those. Yeah, for sure. You don’t have to answer this, but this is one of the debates, even in the song shout. Do you have the Isley brothers version or do you have the Animal House Morris Day version playing?

And a lot of DJs around always select the Animal House version. Do you have any, preference for what’s being played up in your area? So they play the Animal House version, because the football team and Ty from Modern Family, did a whole music video to it. So they play that version and then they actually, if they can play the video too, they’re playing that video alongside.

Well, there you go. You’ve heard it here.

Wedding Planning Tips

Can you give any tips to couples that are planning their weddings? Yeah, I think hiring professionals and just putting your trust in them. I mean, we all do this for a living and, one of my clients said it best to me once she’s the heart surgeon.

And she goes, Katy, at the end of the day, you’re not going to come to me if you need heart surgery and tell me how to do surgery on your heart. And so I just knew that I could trust you. I did my research, all of that kind of stuff. And I just. Let you do it and I couldn’t have been more thrilled. And that to me really resonated.

I’m like, you’re so right. I don’t go to my dentist and tell them how to clean my teeth. I don’t go to any vendor to tell them what to do. My way. I put my trust in them and I would hope that my clients would do the same. So I think that, when you hire professionals, listen to what they have to say a lot of the time.

I do give feedback if there’s a reason why I don’t recommend doing something a certain way or not, but, you know, just kind of trust that whole process. Awesome. Thank you. Great tip.

Popular Music

Are you seeing any particular type of music in your area that’s really popular right now?

I’m seeing a lot of mix of everything. Clients, if they want, jazz, we play a lot of jazz. We’ll play it obviously during cocktail hour dinner. The non-danceable stuff. And then, I had a wedding a couple of weeks ago. That was probably 75 percent of all country music. But it kept the dance floor packed because they just knew their crowd.

I definitely think while you want to control the music, giving your DJ the reins to just kind of make sure that the dance floor’s packed the whole time. Obviously giving them a set list of I will stop talking to my aunt Jeannie. If this song comes on to play, to dance, but just kind of trusting that process and, not necessarily nitpicking every single song for every single minute of the night.

I can’t tell you how many times at 7:45 I want this song played. Okay, yeah, but what about the time to take off the dress? You’re, you’re forgetting all this other time. Yeah. Well, and I had a client do that once and the dance floor was empty the whole time. And the aunt came up to the DJ and she’s like, why are you playing this stuff?

And he was like, the bride was adamant. And I just went up to her and I was like, Hey, no one’s dancing. Can we please switch it up? And she’s like, I guess so. And as soon as we did, the dance floor was packed for the rest of the night. Yeah. It’s such a hard topic with couples that I always tell them that if they want to incorporate their type of music, do that during the cocktail hour, do, do that during dinner.

But the dancing part is exactly what you said, if you know your crowd and they love country play the country, but if you love your music and you get three songs in and nobody’s dancing, it’s, or even one song in and it clears the dance floor, it’s the DJ’s job to let’s switch it up at that point.

Hire A Good DJ

Is there anything else you want to talk about weddings and music today? no, I don’t think so. Hire a good DJ, you know, if you’re going to hire a good DJ, make sure they can do a great job emceeing and obviously keep the dance floor packed. Cool.

Contact Bridal Bliss

Well, before we go, why don’t you tell everybody where they can find you and how they can contact you?

You can reach us at or on Instagram. It’s at @bridalblissNW. Fantastic. So are you sharing pictures from your events on your Instagram page? We are. We definitely are. So make sure you check that out. Stay tuned for next week for our next wedding pro interview.

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