Wow, I had NO IDEA how long it’s been since I jumped on here for a formal introduction! We’re talking years. By now, we have so many new followers around here! I’m Courtney Shaw, but many in the industry still know me as Courtney Kappus since I spent many years building relationships and creating weddings with my maiden name.
It was just in April 2018 that I switched roles and became the bride instead of the planner. Of course, I was still the bride in the planning role leading up to the wedding, but I let all planning responsibilities go on the day-of to enjoy those moments with the ones I love most.
Courtney Growing Up
Well before the days of planning weddings, I was just a little girl growing up about 40 miles north of Baltimore in a small-ish town called Churchville, Maryland. With my mom being a nurse and my dad being an entrepreneur, I got the balance of caring for my clients while building a business to last for years to come. My dad’s business was in the food industry which helped me learn more than most would like to know about food cost, food safety, and foodservice. This really helped me understand the catering side of wedding planning. Of course, at the time I didn’t know where the path was going to take me. But looking back, I’m sure glad I learned as much as possible from a hard-working man.
My family also loved to throw parties — any holiday gave us a reason to have friends and family gather around food, drinks, and good company you care about. That’s where it all began. I thrive being around people and to this day, my job is still bringing people together focused around those same things.
While I didn’t realize it during my teenage years, looking back, I now realize the many ways that I brought friends together. I was always getting groups to go out for dinners, happy hours, or late-night bar shenanigans. My friends from elementary school, high school, college, and post-college all know each other because as time went on, the gatherings got larger and larger. I’ve always followed the motto, “the more, the merrier.”
Fast forward to post-college (2011) and I landed my first job opportunity in planning… but sports! I worked for Ripken Baseball to help pull together the Cal Ripken World Series. Talk about some logistics! Teams traveling from all over the world, host families for the boys to stay with, sponsors big & small, scheduling, team meet & greets, flights, and ground transportation. Just typing it out could send your head spinning. Luckily it was a large team of people who each had their roles, but my role was helping to pull it all together.
Courtney: Finding Her Passion
It wasn’t too long into it that had the realization that weddings were something I was constantly thinking about. Working closely with couples, dreaming up their special day, and making it happen. Who doesn’t want to help plan the best day of someone’s life? That’s when I started chatting with my mom over lunch one day after doing some research. I told her about this little shop in Main Street in Bel Air which sold wedding dresses but also mentioned wedding planning. The butterflies in my stomach started to move around and I knew I needed to see where it took me. Well low and behold, my mom said my dad knew the owner. I should’ve known, he knows everyone!
The very next day I got my resume together and met with my dad to walk into the shop together to introduce me to Bridget. I quickly learned my grandmother was good friends with Bridget’s mom and our families grew up going to church together. I had no idea! But what I did know, was that she was just a few years older than me and I loved her ambition to open her own business.
How it all started…
That day, I left my resume and didn’t hear anything. It was 6 months later in December of 2011 that I got a random call to come in and interview for a non-paid internship. I was young and living at home so I left my job and went to work for the experience, while side-hustling in my dad’s business to make some money. I juggled the two jobs for a year when I finally went on board with K&B Bridals and Event Planning. It was just a few short years later that we grew the business and I became partner! The dream of owning a business became a reality.
Fast forward to now. We have grown from just 1 full-planning wedding when I came on board to 30+ weddings per year, a new location, new brand and full-time staff. We have built a business on passion for what we do and a passion for the people we do it for. I always tell clients when we meet with them for the first time, that this meeting is to make sure we’re the right fit for each other. We’re going to spend a year or more together getting close and personal, so let’s make this the best experience possible!
Beyond business, I met my soulmate, Ryan, in March of 2013. We moved to Baltimore City and lived there for about four years. During that time, we traveled the world and got married. Our honeymoon has been my favorite travel: Thailand and Bali. We loved Bali so much that we rescued a dog from Wings of Love, Kuwait this past December and named her Bali.
It was just last year that we made the move back to the suburbs. We purchased a home in Fallston, Maryland, which we completely revamped and remodeled ourselves. There’s nothing like living in a home you can call all yours.
The next adventure that I’m looking most forward to is parenthood! Ryan and I are expecting our first baby in a month. I cannot wait to see Ryan take on the role of “Dad.” He is such an incredible and caring husband that I know our baby boy is going to be taught to be honest, respectful, and certainly know how to have a good time!
As for business, there are a few things we’re working on that will soon be released. It’s something I’ve been working on for what seems like forever but will be well worth the wait.
Thanks for tuning in!