Katlyn Mogavero

Planning to perfection

For Katlyn Mogavero, the best part of an event, whether a wedding or corporate event, is right before the program starts. It’s a moment of calm where she can look around, take a breath and think, “We did it.”

Katlyn Mogavero
Certified Professional Wedding Planner Director of Sales and Marketing The Grand Hotel

“There’s nothing more exciting than taking the plans we’ve dreamed up together over a few months and seeing it all come alive,” says Mogavero, certified professional wedding planner and director of sales and marketing at The Grand Hotel. “Not many people get to look up during their work day and just see people genuinely enjoying themselves.”

Mogavero ended up in South Jersey almost by accident, she says. A summer in Cape May during college was enough to convince her she didn’t want to leave – at least not any time soon. She transferred to Rutgers to finish her degree in hospitality and business management and immediately got a job at The Grand Hotel, where she’s spent the last 11 years planning jaw-dropping events.

Event planning is the perfect challenge for her, she says – it’s all about creatively putting together small details to bring a one-of-a-kind experience.

“I’ve always been meticulous, always had an eye on the little details that many people won’t notice at first, but the second they do it becomes the one thing that truly makes the event totally unique,” says Mogavero. “It’s almost a magical thing to see it all come together.”

“To have a small part in perfecting one of the most meaningful days in someone’s life is really special.”

As director of sales and marketing, there is no “typical” day. Some days, she’s perfecting the last details of a wedding, the next she’s finalizing plans for a glamorous corporate event. The Grand Hotel puts on more than 200 events each year, which means every week is a new challenge. And because the venue offers a number of unique event spaces, there are often multiple events going on the same day.

Not that everything goes perfectly all the time. Almost every event comes with its own set of unique challenges, says Mogavero. But for her, it’s just another part of what makes the job so interesting. With more than a decade of experience, not much catches her by surprise anymore, which means she’s always looking out for small details that most people would never think to double (or triple) check. And when something completely unforeseen does come up, she has the experience and the practice to step up and handle the situation immediately.

Although, of course, the biggest upset to the hospitality industry came out of the blue for even the most seasoned professionals. “As soon as shutdowns started, we scrambled to adapt,” says Mogavero. “I went from being the ‘Yes, I can do this for you’ person to ‘I’m sorry, you have to change your date, lower your guest count, postpone the event.’ It truly broke my heart.”

There were a lot of tears and frustrations – especially among couples eager to get married – but health and safety came first so that when the world did open back up, the team at The Grand would be able to provide the same high-quality, dazzling events they’re known for. That’s exactly what happened, Mogavero says. Now, her pandemic-postponed events are back on and all the better for the wait.

“It wasn’t easy, but in the end, these events became even more meaningful because we didn’t take the idea that we can be together to celebrate for granted anymore,” says Mogavero. “To have a small part in perfecting one of the most meaningful days of someone’s life is really special.”


Planning the perfect event

Want a stress-free event? Katlyn Mogavero, certified professional wedding planner and director of sales and marketing at The Grand Hotel, has some tips.

Be flexible: Ask questions and take suggestions from your on-site help, whether that be wedding consultants or event planners. “These are people who have the expertise needed to bring your vision to life. If you have an idea, they’re going to do everything in their power to make it happen, but trust them if they need to make adjustments.”

Trust your judgment: When you’re planning an event, it seems like every guest has an opinion on what it should look or feel like. “But when it comes down to it, this is your day, your event. Focus on what’s best for you instead of steering off course to accommodate someone else.”

Choose vendors wisely: There are so many great vendors to choose from, but on the day of, you’re going to want a team that’s familiar with the venue. “There are so many moving pieces, and everything goes so much more smoothly when the vendors already know where to load, where to set up, how things work. It makes a huge difference, especially when keeping the timeline.”

1045 Beach Avenue, Cape May | 609-884-5611