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Kelly Bollis wears many different hats as the owner and creative director of Maven, a full-service event production and design house in Minneapolis. From planning and floristry to styling and custom prop crafting, her team creates magical celebrations that leave a lasting impression. Here, Bollis discusses how she got her start in the industry, shares her favorite wedding design trends and offers advice for creating memorable events.

Photography provided by Maven

How did you get started in the event planning industry?

It was never on my radar until I started at an international nonprofit where events were at the forefront of how we raised support for our mission. Working at a fundraiser was a great foundation for event planning and shaped the basis of our philosophy, which is about making the guest experience the top priority. I’ve always hosted events for friends and family and had a passion for hosting, but learning how these shared experiences can leave a lasting impression changed the game for me.

What’s the Maven consultation process like?

Our consultation process is based on clear communication and mutual understanding. With any client, we always start with the big picture by asking about the goals of the event and identifying the most important details for them or their guests. We want to understand their needs and make sure that aligns with their event goals so that we can deliver a successful experience.

Where do you find inspiration?

I always find the most inspiration in the client and their story. Whether we’re working with a couple planning their wedding or a nonprofit organizing a gala, we try to create a narrative with the details and find creative ways to do that! We had one client with a hobby of traveling around the country to try out escape rooms, so we planned a custom mini escape room for their event.

Which wedding trends are you most excited about?

Bold and vibrant colors are becoming more popular, and couples are moving away from traditional neutrals. There’s also a growing emphasis on sustainable wedding practices like using locally sourced seasonal flowers, eco-friendly decor and digital invitations.

Do you have any tips for creating memorable events?

Creating an elegant and memorable event involves careful planning and attention to details. Focus on the guest experience, and consider what they will see from the moment they step out of their car to the moment they leave the building. How are they experiencing your event and what details can you incorporate to make it unforgettable? Small touches can have a big impact.

Any exciting projects on the horizon?

We have so many amazing clients, and this is going to be a great year. We’re working with a number of nonprofits that are reimagining the ways to approach gathering supporters instead of the traditional gala route. That type of new thinking is what excites us the most!

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