February 18, 2018

Florida Life

Wedding Planners

Lori Capullo | 2/1/2011

Kimberly Bartoli, 43
Owner, Elegant Beginnings, Panama City

Kimberly Bartoli
[Photo: Sue Senkle]
Raised in the Florida Panhandle from age 3, Kimberly Bartoli has spent most of her career in the hospitality business, including a stint as Marriott Resort's catering sales manager. "We did a great deal of social events, and my niche was weddings," she says. After becoming certified through Weddings Beautiful Worldwide six years ago, she opened Elegant Beginnings. Bartoli now employs four coordinators, and the company averages 60 weddings a year throughout the Panhandle, most of which occur in May and October.

Top Offering: "Our ‘Lavish Soiree' package requires a $20,000 minimum budget, but we have a variety of other packages and pricing." The "Full Planning Package" is the whole ball of tulle, from finding locations and vendors to helping the betrothed with budgets and other details.

Craziest Request: "We had a bride call us with her ‘day-of concerns': She asked us to make sure none of her 100 guests were chewing gum and that the groom didn't step on her toes during the first dance. Let's just say we did what we could."

Take a Vow: "A good planner will not only help you with costs, family dynamics and finding the perfect vendor, she becomes your friend and is there for the bride in many ways that can't be described."

Price Range: $1,450 for a day package; the "Lavish Soiree" starts at $3,000, but the bride must have a budget of $20,000 or more.

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