Reneé Dalo is the Los Angeles wedding Moxie
by Janice Bremec Blum
When I asked Renée Scotti Dalo, owner of Moxie Bright Events, about wedding planning, her big blue eyes got brighter with her smile when she announced, “Everyone’s in love, let’s celebrate!” And it’s that kind of celebratory “moxie” that makes Dalo the go-to gal for the betrothed in Los Angeles.
Dalo didn’t set out to be a wedding planner, it planned her. Always the organized one, she was the friend that everyone went to for party advice. “I always said ‘yes’ and then I’d figure it out!” And figure it out she did to the point of turning what was first recognized as being a “hobbiest” into a full-fledged wedding planner with an eye for detail, style, and of course, budget.
She giggled when telling the story of being a guest at a wedding with her husband Joe who went to the reception bar and came back with a glass of gin. No mixer, just gin. “It was all they had!” And why? Because Dalo discovered that the bride spent her wedding budget on a $12,000 gown with nothing left for the party. “Something that I have learned along the way is to never compromise the experience of your guests in favor of a luxury choice.”
With a background in catering, Dalo understands firsthand how to run a party but more importantly, as the guest of that all gin wedding, she really understands the plight of the party attendees. “I always ask these questions; is this welcoming for the guest? Is this going to be comfortable for the guest? Are they having a good time, are they hungry, thirsty, bored?”
Assuming that everyone at your wedding loves plain gin is surely a question that Dalo would have loved to have asked the bride donned in a pricey gown. “Everyone enjoys beautiful things but those things can’t be enjoyed if you’re thirsty or starving or annoyed or cold” says Dalo. “If you have a gorgeous outdoor wedding with no heaters, no one is going to remember how gorgeous it was, they are only going to remember how cold they were.” Wise words indeed!
Dalo believes that every wedding is personal. She guides her couples towards an event that is specific to them, not just a carbon copy wedding. “Enough of the mason jars, burlap, and succulents.” Says Dalo with an eye roll. That type of wedding is a typical example of an event that is more focused on a trend rather than an intimate experience with the couple. It’s not about fitting into the current mold but instead, asking what are your specific priorities. “However,” says Dalo, “If that’s what the couple wants I’ll give it to them.”
Dalo does not impose her own feelings towards design choices but instead, she encourages her couples to develop their own vision even if sometimes that vision needs a solid wedding planner to reel it in when it becomes too broad. Dalo chuckled when she told me the tale of a couple whose chose a carnival theme for their wedding and was surprised when the bride, after perusing Pintrest, came across a picture of a peacock and wanted to incorporate that into her party.
“Where do peacocks fit into a carnival?” Asked Dalo who had to gently explain to her client that yes, Pintrest does have a lot of great images but not every image needs to be jammed into an already established theme. That’s the mark of a great wedding planner, it’s not about just being the yes man, but more about keeping the focus with your feet on the ground. “I’m cool under pressure,” says Dalo.
Dalo has some tried and true philosophies that she brings to her clients and it is sound advice. Weddings can be expensive so Dalo suggests that you spend your money with people you like. “When you write a check to a vendor you should feel good about what you’ve spent, not feel drained. Love your vendors,” she says adamantly.
Another Dalo tidbit is an old adage that always bares repeating, “You get what you pay for.” Weddings require a different skill set so cutting corners in areas that need more attention is not a way to save money but it is a surefire way to create an unwanted headache. And lastly, “If it’s not worth it, don’t get it.” There is no need to spend your hard-earned cash on expensive tchotchkes that in the end is nothing more than garbage.
What struck me most about Dalo while she talked about Moxie Bright Events, was the look in her eyes that told me that this is a woman who is committed to her career. It’s refreshing to be with someone who not only loves what they do but does it well. “I don’t want to be everyone’s wedding planner,” says Dalo, I want to be your wedding planner.” And she accents that statement by saying that weddings are a special day not just for the couple but for everyone. “I care about the experience of every person at your wedding and I help my clients be the best possible hosts to their guests.”
When the question is asked and the answer is “yes,” after the celebratory phone calls to family and friends, your next call should be to Renée Scotti Dalo of Moxie Bright Events.