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Then comes marriage...

Zahradnik creates wedded bliss as Kirkwood Hotel wedding planner

By Emily Margeson
On April 30, 2013

The Hotel at Kirkwood Center has many services to offer the college and the community. One service that many people may have not heard much about is its wedding planning services. Jennifer Zahradnik, catering sales manager, is the official wedding planner of The Hotel.

Zahradnik said she started working at The Hotel six months before it opened in January 2010 and was the fourth employee hired. Before getting her job at the hotel she was a corporate meeting planner. She said, "Most of my career has been in marketing and communications so I had always dabbled a little bit in event planning.

"It was just something I always had an interest in. It wasn't until later in my career that I was able to focus on it fully," Zahradnik said about her work at The Hotel organizing wedding receptions.

Getting ideas for wedding designs has been a learning experience for Zahradnik.

"I've learned from masters David Tutera and Kristen Bailey. They are both leaders in the weddings industry. I have had the opportunity to work with both of them. I get a lot of inspiration just from our clients too," she said.

According to Zahradnik, communication with brides is key to successful wedding planning. "There are a lot of moving parts. We book weddings about a year in advance and from the moment it's booked I start communication with the bride. When we get about six weeks out we have an in-depth planning meeting."

Since starting as The Hotel's wedding planner she has organized approximately 80 weddings. Zahradnik said her favorite part of her job is establishing a relationship with a couple.

"You just get to know them and their story. Each wedding is so unique in its own so I am constantly planning a new event every time," she said.

With The Hotel being such a new venue in Cedar Rapids Zahradnik said, "I think this is the best place to have your reception, not only in Cedar Rapids but in the Corridor."

She said The Hotel has room for multiple weddings in a day but they choose to only have one so the focus is on that couple. 

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