The Gilded Ones
The Life of the Party
SHE MAKES BEAUTIFUL THINGS HAPPEN.
When Kate Edmonds walks into a room, you know it. Her vivacious energy quickly replaces whatever low-key vibes existed before she arrived and suddenly the temperature of the place changes. It becomes lively and exciting. Because in Kate’s world, anything can happen. Well, almost anything. And that’s good to know because making dreams come true is Kate’s job. You see, Kate creates events. Whether weddings, excursions, or corporate shindigs, Kate makes beautiful things happen. We can attest to this as we’ve seen her in action. She planned the gorgeous wedding of Auvere's co-founders, Gina and Steven, in just 9 weeks! We knew then that we wanted to feature Kate in The Gilded Ones. Why, you ask? Three reasons. 1. She is one of a kind. It’s not often (or ever) that you run into a former British nurse turned preeminent New York City event planner who has thrown events for a queen, a president, and a mayor in her 30-year career. 2. Because everyone should know an event planner extraordinaire, and she is just that. 3. Finally, Kate loves gold jewelry. And you know what? She looks absolutely radiant in our 22 & 24 karat gold pieces. Scroll down to meet Kate Edmonds.
Home. Sweet. Home. I was born in Sydney, Australia, of British parents but grew up in Lincoln, England, which is a beautiful, historic cathedral city perched on a limestone edge. My mother was a middle school teacher and my father was an artist and a journalist. My paternal grandfather was an army colonel who specialized in gun design!
School Daze. I was educated in the United Kingdom, including becoming a registered nurse there. I did, however, complete several post-graduate courses in Australia.
The J.O.B. I own Kate Edmonds Events and Private Events Ltd. It is a boutique event planning company, which, at the moment, is quite focused on weddings. Nothing in my formal education quite prepared me for my current occupation; however, I was always interested in the fundamentals of business and I studied fine art, photography and culinary art, all of which have served me well at Kate Edmonds Events.
Nostalgic Moment. Back in the day (sometime in the late 1980s), when I was planning the after parties at Saturday Night Live, I remember being at a restaurant late in the evening and standing on a table to get a better view of Run DMC. There was a bloke in my way, so I whacked him repeatedly with a napkin until he moved. I was later informed it was Stevie Ray Vaughan. I was very young at the time and I recall I was wearing a hot pink silk jacket. He didn’t seem to mind at all.
Daytime Reverie: I often daydream about what it would be like to have a cleaner ocean with healthier coral, a world without plastic, and a return to civility, beauty and elegance.
Sign Language. I am a Virgo with a Leo rising and a Scorpio moon. So my version of Virgo is a bit spicy and unpredictable.
YOU ARE KNOWN AS ONE OF THE BEST AND BUSIEST EVENT PLANNERS IN NYC.
How did I go from being a registered nurse in the United Kingdom to event planning in New York City and London? That’s a good question. It certainly seems like a stretch! As an only child, I figured out how to amuse myself but I also longed for good friends. In order to make friends, I learned how to throw fabulous parties and as a result, I learned the art of hospitality at a young age.
IN WHAT WAY HAS your profession changed since you started IN 1986?
The two big changes that come to mind are the internet and the mobile phone. Both have had a major impact on all interpersonal businesses. Many years ago, the business was conducted via landline phone calls, many faxes, and a word processor. It all sounds archaic but in many ways, things were easier back then. Even though emails are supposed to be an efficient means of communication, navigating, organizing, and storing them every day can become a full-time job in and of itself. That said, the internet has provided the ability for me to work with people around the globe that I might not have ever had a chance to meet.
What do you love most about event planning — weddings in particular?
I really enjoy anticipating who I’ll meet next. Some really marvelous characters and accomplished couples have walked through my door during my career. I also really enjoy the process, layering on ideas and working with talented vendors all while having a lot of fun with my clients. Last but not least, I enjoy being on-site with my team whenever possible to see the finished result come alive. After all, a truly great event is a moving piece of art.
YOU RECENTLY GOT MARRIED IN FRANCE! How fantastic!
Give us the details. Tell us what made your wedding special.
My husband and I got married in the Dordogne region of France. This region is famous for its truffles, foie gras, white asparagus, chestnuts, and the local sparkling dessert wine (designed to pair with the foie gras). When I first started to plan our wedding, I was thinking of renting a small house for ten; however, my husband had different ideas. He twisted my arm into booking a chateau that housed thirty. I wanted to do something I hadn’t done before, in a country I’ve always loved and to which I have ancient family ties (my great-grandfather’s family crest, which I use as my logo, originates from France). Our wedding was a three-day affair held in the middle of the week just for fun. I wore a classic and timeless full-length gown made out of silk chiffon with a small train. I picked it up in a boutique quite by chance and had it tailored to suit me. The result was exquisite! My look, which included a veil, was inspired by a black and white photo I saw while working with one of my brides at Mark Ingram Atelier.
What was it like to plan your own wedding while simultaneously planning weddings for other couples?
Truthfully, it was a lot. Obviously, my office helped wherever possible but we were so busy with clients that much of my own wedding planning had to be done after hours. I went to France in May to visit the site and meet the vendors. It was a bit of a challenge planning a wedding in French, but I got the job done. When we went back to France for the wedding, we arrived several days in advance in order to conclude the planning and stayed in a nearby farmhouse owned by the same family who owns the chateau in which we were married. France is a country I’ll visit time and time again. J’adore.
YOU HAVE PLANNED EVENTS FOR ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE, INCLUDING A NEW YORK CITY MAYOR, A U.S. PRESIDENT & AND A QUEEN!
Tell us about the most dramatic or interesting or unusual event you have ever pulled off. In a thirty-year career, the stories are endless. I think I’ll have to write that book! Nevertheless, I’ll always remember when we took over the Frick Museum and took it back to the year 1912 when Henry Clay Frick first occupied the house. Everyone, including the staff, wore costumes that were in keeping with the 1900s. That was one hell of a party!
IMAGINE THAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO THROW THE PERFECT EVENT FOR 100 OF YOUR CLOSEST FRIENDS.
You have 10 days to plan this event and expense is of no concern. What would that event look like? Because so many of my closest friends live all over the world, a ten-day planning period would definitely pose a challenge. I really enjoy the thought and creativity that go into an event, and though we plan some weddings within a couple of months, ten days doesn’t allow much time to create all of those devilish details that I love so much. However, while I am thinking about it, I’d fancy taking a trip with my close friends on a beautiful sailboat off the coast of Portofino.
NAME 5 THINGS THAT ANYONE CAN DO TO MAKE A PARTY SPECIAL.
- 1. Stop worrying about yourself. The essence of good hospitality is putting the needs of your guests first.
- 2. Hire a really good event planner who has the skill set to bring to life whatever desire that you have for your event.
- 3. Pick your guests carefully.
- 4. Keep the lighting low.
- 5. Add loads of candles
When you are not planning or partying, what are you doing?
I’m cooking for great friends, reading, or hanging out at different Soho Houses around the world. I’ve got my nose in a vase of flowers or I’m taking photos. I’m also interested in skincare, beauty, health, and nutrition. And always keeping my eyes peeled for the next cool or unusual thing. A perfect day for me is out on the water and ending it watching a classic film.
WHAT THREE WORDS DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
Tidy. Glamorous. Pared down.
HOW Have you been described by people who know you well?
I’ve been described as:
- 1. A loyal friend.
- 2. Decisive. I am known for turning chaos into calm, beautiful order.
- 3. Warm and bubbly with a huge presence.
- 4. Particular visual sensibilities. I like things to look “just so.”
- 5. Stylish and “leggy.” I must say, I do like my legs.
Do you take fashion risks? If so, what are they?
I don’t really follow fashion. I prefer to march to my own drum. I have an innate sense of what’s appropriate, but I love it when my husband encourages me to take risks.
HOW does jewelry fit into your daily wardrobe?
At this time in my life, jewelry is of the utmost importance. It is the icing on the cake. I just love jewelry, I really do. Gold works particularly well against my skin and hair color. Though I do love my diamonds and pearls!
LET’S TALK ABOUT STYLE ICONS. WHOSE STYLE DO YOU ADMIRE THE MOST AND WHY?
I appreciate beauty in all forms; however, I’m very attracted to all the gorgeous dancers who used to accompany Fred Astaire. A dancer’s figure is my favorite body type. As a child, I worshipped Audrey Hepburn but I never understood the fascination with Marilyn Monroe until recent times. I love the British Royal Family. I love the style of Princess Diana during the latter part of her life. I very much respect Kate Middleton's style and I cheer on Meghan’s independent sartorial choices. One of my favorite mornings was spent with Princess Margaret at the Frick Museum. She was dressed head to toe in punchy yellow, including her handbag and pumps.
What are your 6 go-To Wardrobe Pieces?
- 1. Blue jeans and a Liberty shirt
- 2. A minimalist black and white jumpsuit; it’s great for jewelry!
- 3. Short, shift dresses with sleeves for work.
- 4. My creamy cashmere from Brooks Brothers for travel.
- 5. I’m digging my peach Zimmerman dress!
- 6. A glamorous party dress in a bold color.
WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Sustainable travel to India, Australia, Hawaii, and the Polynesian Islands. I am still yearning for that cruise with friends off the coast of Portofino.
WHAT ARE YOUR CURRENT OBSESSIONS?
- 1. Zimmerman dresses
- 2. Gorgeous jewelry
- 3. Getting super healthy
WHERE WOULD YOU TELL FRIENDS TO GO IN ORDER TO GET YOUR NYC EXPERIENCE?
I’m not sure I want to give away all of my secrets! Although, Kate Edmonds Events does curate high-end New York City visits, including places to stay, things to do, and places to eat. I will let you in on my favorite restaurant at the moment: Wild Ink in Hudson Yards. It is the New York outpost of a London-based restaurant, which boasts a menu based on a chef’s notebook as he traveled through Asia. Such great food!
IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD, where would it be and why?
London. My delightful nieces live there and I would love to watch them grow up. Also, I think London is one of the most fabulous cities in the world. A huge plus to living there is that Europe is just a hop, skip, and a jump away
LIGHTNING ROUND! PICK ONE.
On personal aura: Mystery or Clarity?
On personal style: Minimalist or Maximalist?
On NYC apartment living: A large laundry room with a normal-sized washer and dryer or a massive walk-in closet with rows and rows of shelves for shoes?
WIC with lots of room for shoes.
On NYC museums: MOMA, Met, or Whitney?
On jewelry, pt. I: Delicate or Bold?
On jewelry, pt. II: Arm candy or ring bling?
On travel: Adventure filled with spartan digs or calm, and quiet but supremely luxe?
Calm, quiet, and supremely luxe!
On nightlife: The coolest dance club in London or the hottest restaurant in Manhattan?
Coolest dance club in London!
On people, pt. I: Favorite human trait?
On people, pt. II: Least favorite human trait?
The need to control.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT GOLD?
I love the glow it gives my skin. I love how gold catches the highlights in my hair and how it brings out the gold flecks in my eyes. Gold compliments my clothing the best.
WHAT AUVERE PIECES MUST YOU OWN?
This was fun! I loved sharing my story with you. Do stop by and say hello. We’d love to party with you.
KATE IS WEARING:
Peach Dress: Zimmerman. Boots: Ralph Lauren Collection. Sunglasses: Celine (Eyes on Madison). Jewelry: Auvere (Astra IV Cuffs, Luna IV Ring, Cage Rope Convertible Necklace, and Galactic 8 Hoop Earring).
Silk Print Pajamas: Violet & Wren. Trench Coat: Vintage Burberry. Shoes: Diane Von Furstenberg. Sunglasses: Gucci (Eyes on Madison). Jewelry: Auvere (Galactic III Earring, Open Cage Cuff, Pavo Necklace, Lips Necklace, Wishbone Necklace, and Astra Bangles).
Black & White Jumpsuit: Lauren by Ralph Lauren. Jewelry: Auvere (Cage Pendant & Chain, Triple Cage Necklace, Plexus Earring, and Luna IV Ring).
Red Dress: Adrianna Papell. Shoes: Michael Kors. Sunglasses: Celine (Eyes on Madison). Jewelry: Auvere (Torsion Earring, Capture Ear Cuff, Double Moon Ear Cuffs, Double Y Cuff Bracelet, and Butterfly Cuff Bracelet).
Burgundy Velvet Dress: Escape. Shoes: Diane Von Furstenberg. Jewelry: Auvere (Valo L Necklace, Golden Globe Necklace, Arthropod Earring Satin, and Callista Cuff).
Leopard Print Silk Dress: Zimmerman. Sunglasses: Celine (Eyes on Madison). Jewelry: Auvere (Ornate Cone Amulet & Chain Large/Polished, Ornate Cone Amulet & Chain Small/Polished and V Neck Earring Polished).