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Sarah Kathleen Events Team

Experience, Passion, Dedication, Innovation


“A wedding is a party, not a performance. If at the end of the day you are married to one you love, then everything went perfectly!”

Sarah Rodriguez

Sarah began her journey as a wedding and event planner way back when she was a child, throwing parties for anybody that would attend. After focusing her studies in the hospitality world, she knew this industry was the right path. What better way to bring all of her interests together while having fun with everyone around her? Sarah obtained her bridal consultant certification and worked as an intern at a couple of local event venues before eventually taking a job at an audio visual company that focused on large scale events and incorporated the very best in event technology. It was here that Sarah learned how to create her custom 3D event renderings that are such a unique service for our clients. After a few years, it was time to strike out on her own! Sarah Kathleen Events was founded in 2015 and has been growing ever since. Sarah loves working with her team and clients on creating one of a kind events that leave lasting memories. It’s such a special day to be a part of! With her skills ranging between various different areas, she enjoys not just the planning and designing, but also food and wine pairings, incorporating creative AV and lighting techniques, graphic designing, and overall mood creation. When she isn’t throwing fabulous parties, she enjoys traveling with her husband, Jim, drinking wine and eating cookies, and relaxing at home with her dogs.

“Your wedding should be all about celebrating the love you share – let me help lead the way so you can stay in the moment and enjoy the magic!”

Abigail Anderson

Abigail’s passion for weddings dates back as far as she can remember, from family weddings to Say Yes to the Dress, and hasn’t let up since! For Abigail, it is all about the love story and allowing her couples to be in the moment during the process and on the big day! With a background in business and marketing, Abigail is no stranger to organization and has an eye for details. Weather it is breaking down spreadsheets, aligning party favors, or making sure your veil is straight as you step down the aisle, Abigail is there to help. Abigail has been with Sarah Kathleen since 2018 and has worked at venues all across Illinois and the neighboring states. When she is not busy planning weddings, Abigail can be found traveling, hiking with her dogs, reading a good book, or enjoying a glass of wine. Abigail favorite current wedding trends? Grazing tables, champaign walls, white bridesmaids’ dresses, and custom cocktails!

“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might!”

Alyssa Donlan

Alyssa grew up in the Chicago suburbs where she fell in love with playing tourist. From exploring new places to meeting new people, and, of course, trying new foods, Alyssa felt inspired into the life of a designer. Alyssa spends time scouring Pinterest for new inspirations for cooking, fashion, and of course, wedding design. But what makes her so unique and so right for your special event? With Alyssa, relationships are a priority. At the heart of everything Alyssa does is her family and close friends. She gives them one-hundred percent of herself and plays a genuine and supportive role in their lives. Alyssa will go over and above whatever is needed to care for the people she’s most invested in. And she’s completely invested in her clients. With that same commitment and devotion Alyssa gives to her family, she shares with clients that hire her. She is intensely dedicated and passionate. Alyssa has exquisite attention to detail and a fresh creativity. Her clients can be sure to have a stress-free, stylish, and fabulous experience from start to finish. Although there are many aspects to wedding design that she loves, Alyssa’s favorite part is getting to know each couple and connecting with them on a personal level. She wants to know their story, hear their dreams, and make one of their most important days truly perfect and unforgettable.

“In a world full of trends, I want to remain a classic.”

Hannalori Brown

Hannalori got her start in the hospitality industry in 2015 while working towards her bachelor’s degree in hospitality and event planning at the University of West Florida, where she also planned events for her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega. After moving back home to Chicago in 2017, she ventured into many other aspects of the industry- working in venues, tent rentals, party supplies, bridal gowns, and floral production- giving her insight into all of the different aspects that create an unforgettable event. Hannalori has dubbed herself the “day-of timeline pro” and loves watching her couple’s vision come to life, while making sure the rest of the team is on schedule and moving the party along! She now resides in New Eastside, where she is always excited to explore one of the hundreds of downtown venues. She is a dog mom to her mini yorkie, Moose Jonas, and is the world’s biggest Jonas Brothers fan!

“Always believe something wonderful is about to happen.”

Holly Zientara

Passionate about design and being a true romantic, Holly joined Sarah Kathleen Events to pursue her passion in event planning.

In college, Holly excelled in both Psychology and Interior Design. This knowledge & expertise is the strong base she draws from in order to work with clients in creating successful events. Pivoting after college, Holly began a career in the food industry.  She possesses an extensive catering background with over 20 years experience, working at some of the most demanding catering companies in Chicagoland.

Thinking ‘outside of the box’ and being nimble are Holly’s middle names. She enjoys keeping up with current trends and anticipating upcoming ones. Holly enjoys a challenge, has a superb attention to detail, feels comfortable in sticky situations, and has been told she has the patience of an angel. Holly is a wife and mother of a precocious 4 year old boy, so she naturally possesses the ability to multitask while keeping a sense of humor.

Holly strongly believes the most important part of event planning is knowing her clients, on a more personal and detailed level. Understanding client needs, wants, and wishes are imperative to her planning process. Holly recognizes each event is distinctive and important. An event is not simply about a cake topper or napkin color, it is about the feeling you get when you create unforgettable memories, that will be cherished for a lifetime.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Jessica Anderson-Gonzalez

Jessica labels herself as a helper. She loves helping others. She is currently a practicing Licensed Clinical Social Worker and works in a private practice setting where she helps children regulate their emotions. When she is not in the office as a clinician, she is a mom of 4. She’s an adoptive mom, a special needs mom, a biological mom and even a soccer mom. Between these various environments and helping roles she has mastered being organized and keeping her cool under pressure. All of these things have helped shape her into the day of coordinator who takes pride in helping couples have the seamless day of their dreams. Her favorite before the day part of planning is having the master timeline perfectly pieced together and envisioning how the day will flow. Her favorite day of wedding part of planning is watching the bride take a deep breath before walking down the aisle knowing that all of their hard work has paid off for this moment. She doesn’t take for granted that each couple she works with is allowing her to be an important part of their memories.  

“A wedding is an event, but marriage is life. Make it memorable!”

Jody Langbauer

Jody Langbauer has a bachelor’s degree from Troy University in Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management. She has a passion for planning and organizing all aspects of life!! She grew up in southern Alabama and now lives in the suburbs of Chicago, IL with her husband, their cocker spaniel, and a new baby on the way. She loves traveling and spending her free time exploring the outdoors.

While traveling throughout the United States is what led her to peruse the hospitality industry. She fell in love with the hospitality industry when she worked at the Aspen Meadows Resort in Aspen, CO in events and fine dining. From there she continued her work in the hospitality industry in Orlando, FL with The Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott.  

“We’re all a little weird and, life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love”

Kara Neeley

Kara got her start in corporate event planning, but has since fallen in love with weddings! She is a very detail-oriented person. This helps her focus on even the smallest aspects (that sometimes turn out to be the most important) when she’s helping you create the day of your dreams! She loves that she get to develop a personal relationship with each couple – Kara feels that it is truly the key to making each event a unique and special affair to remember! She’s often found helping friends throw birthday parties, baby showers, benefits and any other type of fun get together! When she’s not working, she enjoys traveling and exploring new places!


“Wherever you go, whatever you do, do in love!

Loraine McConnell

Loraine’s aspirations to become a wedding coordinator started after planning her own wedding. Ever since she was a teenager, she always loved helping to coordinate dances and events with student council. Loraine’s keen eye for detail and perfection helps make your special day everything you could have dreamed of. She is very passionate and hardworking to ensure event day is flawless and stress free. Her current favorite wedding trend is gold geometric terrariums, candles, and lots of greenery! In her spare time she enjoys crafting, reading, and spending time with her husband and puggle.

“Once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale. I want to be the one to help bring that fairy tale to life!”

Luis Reveles

In just a blink of an eye, the world can change and Luis’ world changed when he met Sarah from Sarah Kathleen Events about 3 years ago. With his funny, caring, and creative personality, he was brought on as the first ever Sarah Kathleen Events intern. Since then, Luis has moved into a role as a lead coordinator and enjoys helping his clients live their fairy tale. A true romantic himself, Luis is passionate about helping to showcase every love story while making sure each event is visually stunning. He has an active and dynamic approach to work and getting things when it comes to flipping a room from ceremony to reception. With his friendly, helpful, and polite way of doing things he makes a great Wedding Coordinator for Sarah Kathleen Events. He is also an avid baker and often whips up cupcakes and other tasty treats for the team! When he isn’t working on weddings, Luis loves being around his family- especially his new baby niece!

“Every wedding brings a different kind of magic, and I can’t wait to see what your big day holds!”

Melissa DeLong

Melissa found Sarah Kathleen Events by chance: meeting one of their coordinators at her partner’s high school reunion. What started as an internship to test the waters turned into a career and, more importantly, a passion. In 2021, Melissa left her job to pursue weddings full time, with both Sarah Kathleen Events and as an Event Manager at The Haight.

Melissa’s favorite part of weddings is pulling pieces together one by one, until they make the beautiful, completed puzzle that is your wedding day! She loves handling everything behind the scenes before her clients have a chance to worry about it, and takes great pride in being able to say “it’s already taken care of”. All you should have to worry about on your wedding day is getting married to the one you love, and Melissa will do everything she can to make that happen!

“Every simple detail will be extremely significant to me.”


“I am a recent graduate of the University of Iowa with a degree in communications and a certificate in event planning. I have always loved working with people and being in the service industry. Ever since I was younger, I have planned all of my family vacations, holidays, birthday parties, etc. I love creating a vision and then seeing that vision come to life. I am so looking forward to hearing about my bride and groom’s visions and making that a reality for them on the most special day of their lives. “

“The greatest thing you can hold onto in life is one another. Let’s have fun planning your forever together!”


Annabelle’s passion for event planning started from a young age. That desire led to her majoring in Event Planning and Creative and Professional Industries in college. Throughout her studies in Virginia, Annabelle was very involved in weddings. She started as a decorator and assisted with wedding set-up during her freshman year. She then moved into an assistant wedding planner position for the next few years. Upon graduation, Annabelle wanted to continue helping brides create their vision and plan their special day, which led her to start with Sarah Kathleen Events in 2023.

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