Kismet Event Design Interview with Eliza Jane Photography
Southern California is full of so many unique and talented wedding professionals. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with a wedding professional whose work I greatly admire: Saadia Kibriya of Kismet Event Design in Fullerton, California. For twelve years, Saadia has been bringing couples’ visions for their wedding days to life through her incredible eye and attentiveness to detail, her keen sense of style, and her elegant yet vibrant touch she brings to each event she designs.
I really enjoyed getting to know Saadia, meeting her team, and photographing her beautiful studio!
How would you define your style?
I’d like to say that my event design aesthetic is a little bit more fusion. I myself am a second-generation Pakistani-American, so I admire and respect the culture, my heritage. But then again I was born here and I appreciate all things that are modern and contemporary. So fusing the two worlds is definitely my aesthetic. That’s my aesthetic when it comes to design: I’m very bold, I like to make a statement with things. I’m not very subtle, but at the same time, I can do subtle too. So I’m kind of like a chameleon when it comes to those types of things.
What tips do you have for brides and grooms that are beginning their search for an event designer?
(see video below)
What inspired you to get into event design? How did you begin?
I’ve always been design oriented, ever since I was a kid. I’ve always been into what’s pretty, looks, and how things are designed. It was something I was naturally good at too. And I did my sister’s wedding a long time ago. I think that was the catalyst in me getting me into event design. But it’s honestly the passion of beauty that definitely fuels what I do.
What do you use as inspiration when designing a wedding?
Being in the wedding industry, you’re witnessing a lot of couples that love each other profusely and I feel their events should echo their personality and their love for each other. So when I see the love of two people, that’s honestly what inspires me. As soon as you walk in the door, I’m looking at your shoes, I’m looking at your outfit because I’m picking up these things about you. I’d like to say that I have bridal telepathy. When I sit with the bride, I automatically can kind of get what type of aesthetic she’s going for. I’ll complete their sentences and it’s like, “I can tell, don’t worry, I can read your mind.”
What are the smallest and biggest events you’ve done?
The smallest event I’ve ever done was for myself because sometimes we just need to treat ourselves, right? The biggest event I’ve done was well over 2,000 people. We do it annually, so that’s not a problem. I’ve been involved in other events that have had thousands of people, so big events are not a problem for us. We’re actually better at bigger events, but we can do any size.
How many events per year do you design?
We are all about quality over quantity. We do around 50-75 events a year. About 40-50 wedding a year. But each is uniquely special and I can remember every past client based on their flowers.
What is your favorite event that you’ve done and why?
I don’t know if I have a favorite event, but I do have a favorite thing: when brides completely trust me. Because when they trust me I am able to be very creative and very infinite in my ideas. When it’s controlled and they keep showing me things that’s when things are stuttered. You can’t control a creative person and if you respect that and they give you that respect, that’s when you are going to get something beautiful, regardless of how limited the guidelines are. That’s what I’m saying, don’t give a million pictures just give a few and say run with it. That’s the best thing you can do for me.
Do you offer any planning services?
We used to offer planning services, but not anymore. Kismet doesn’t offer any planning services, however, we have a plethora of coordinators that we work with that are amazing and we have a lot of locations that we work with and have great relationships with. Whoever we refer, you should feel confident that we stand behind them and that they will deliver a good product. We will not refer someone that’s not good. Whoever we refer has our stamp of approval. But we basically offer event design, florals, backdrops, linens, custom stages, rentals, that sort of item, anything design aesthetic related we offer. We also have an amazing graphic designer in house, Jomana from Pences Design Studio. She does amazing graphic design so for your day of work she can offer those types of items for you as well. Things like escort card tables, cards, and what’s awesome is you’re getting two designers for one. So we’ll pick each other’s brains or I’ll give her a design and we’ll kind of run with it. So anything aesthetic related is what we handle in-house and we have a bunch of other vendors that we refer out for any other types of things.
Why did you choose the name Kismet?
Kismet means Destiny. Like the alchemist, the universe conspired with me to get me into the event industry and produce beautifully executed events that reflect the love of a couple. It’s destiny that brought a couple together, it was destiny that brought them in front of me. So I didn’t choose Kismet, Kismet chose me.
Saadia and her team hard at work.
Thank you so much, Saadia! Aap se mil kar bahut acha laga! (“Very nice to meet you”, in Urdu).
To get in touch with Saadia and to find out more information about Kismet Event Design:
Kismet Event Design
4070 N Palm Street, Suite 701
Fullerton, California 92835
You can head over to Eliza Jane Photography to read the original interview.