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Meet Tahnie Benitez of Ivy Weddings and Events

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tahnie Benitez.

Tahnie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My earliest memory of starting my own business began at the ripe ‘ole age of 7. I grew up in the small town of Ojai, California and I wouldn’t come home until the sun set its last rays upon the Topa Topa Mountains. As an avid nature kid, I began picking and bundling wildflowers and selling them door to door to my neighbors for $5 a bouquet. I guess that’s when I can say I found my passion for creativity. Post college I began managing a cupcake bakery and cafe shop in Santa Barbara, where I would have to create cupcake and dessert displays for weddings. I would travel to the most beautiful Tuscan style properties, lavish waterfront hotels and rustic wineries on the Central Coast. Being a part of the many puzzle pieces that create such beautiful moments, as in weddings, made me want to be more involved with creating this masterpiece event. I eventually moved south to Newport Beach and began assisting a high-profile Wedding Planner. Seeing the production on a much larger scale, left me awestruck and that’s when I just knew- This is EXACTLY what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to make people happy, and help organize one of the most important days of their lives and make it beautiful. Having the privilege to start a home-based business, to consistently challenge myself, my growth as an owner, a coordinator, a Girl Boss, is such a special opportunity I would not want my life to be any other way. Now, I am creating new networking opportunities in San Diego, and I look forward to continued success and to hopefully help others who want to mold into this career path down the road. I am going to grow an empire and create the Ultimate League of Happiness.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The big challenge for me was just simply learning how and where to start. You create a website, a yelp page, register your business, get insurance, create new emails, learn to do accounting, try to get clients when you first begin your business journey. Where do you start? We are lucky enough we live in the age of technology and there are so many wonderful (FREE) resources to aid you along the way. I think it is also challenging to educate new clients the value of your services. As a wedding and event coordinator, although you are not providing a tangible object such as a cake, a photo, a bouquet, I still am- if not more valuable to take upon the role as your planner. Clients put their trust in you on the biggest days of their lives. That’s a lot of pressure. But you have to prove your worth and own it. I think another challenge can be connecting with other coordinators. I truly believe and live by the phrase, “Community over Competition” Make connections, work amongst each other, give each other appraisal. That’s what this industry is all about.

Ivy Weddings and Events – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Ivy Weddings and Events is a design and event coordination service. We specialize in day of two full service planning. Most of our clients are the “untraditional” Bride and Groom.

We mix a lot of New Age trends with some classic value twists. Coming from a background with excessive high-end hospitality training all throughout the California Coast, we pride ourselves in turning any small ideas into a big dream and help you paint your own masterpiece with any budget. We simply construct all the pieces together. The benefit in working with Ivy, is that we know and work with a lot of amazing vendors!

You want 25 lavender up lights, with a custom monogrammed Gobo over a 20 x 20 white vinyl dance floor in a 50 foot tent dripping with Eucalyptus and peonies while you enter riding a white horse?

We can make that happen.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Making a genuine connection with a client is outstandingly successful! I began this journey to make others happy.

Success to me is failure.

The only way to learn is by doing. The only way to succeed is by learning. I learn by making mistakes. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are all bad. I often encourage others to “Make GREAT Mistakes” I succeed by asking for help. Many people are afraid to ask for advice, for help, for their opinions because everyone fears rejection. That’s one thing I learned REALLY quick is that you will get rejected. By a client you spent hours writing their proposal, by advertising because your small business can’t afford the costs, by venues not accepting your services to be enlisted on their preferred vendor list, by other planners who have been around for decades- and they just don’t have time to spend with a new coordinator nor do they want to engage in their ‘competition’. You cannot let rejection deter you from believing in the one thing you are most passionate about. Overcoming these obstacles and only improving my services, is success.


  • Day of rates range from $950 to full service $2000.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Geoff and Lyndsi Photography
Emily Magers
Sweet Blossom Designs
Otis and Pearl
The Fig House
La Arboleda
Grace Loves Lace

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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