Listen to the Podcast About Urban Daisy, The Kids Table, Starlight Productions

Podcast for Urban Daisy, The Kids Table, Starlight Productions

Podcast Summary

In a recent episode of Eventful Endeavors, hosted by Alyssa Jones, there was a specially engaging conversation with Nikki Roberts – a much-in-demand figure in the wedding industry. Nikki, who was a venue manager at Urban Daisy and the owner of The Kids Table among her diverse roles, gave fascinating insights about her work.

Originating from Southern California, Nikki found herself drawn to the wedding industry in Minnesota where she demonstrated an impressive versatility. From her role as a wedding coordinator and planner to a venue manager, her commitment to the industry extended to running her own company, The Kids Table, specializing in event child management as well as co-owning a performance education company.

One distinguishing moment in Nikki’s career was in 2023 when she was nominated for the prestigious International Live Events Association Awards. The event was held at Urban Daisy, where she’s been a venue manager since 2022, and her company The Kids Table was also nominated for an award. This intersection of Nikki’s professional lives was clearly a standout memory for her, demonstrating the diversity of opportunities within the realm of event planning and execution.

Nikki is a chief contributor to the success of Urban Daisy, a modern venue located in Minneapolis. And if that wasn’t enough, she’s also part of Ascendance Productions. This all-encompassing venture offers a gamut of wedding services from wedding planning to social media content creation, aiming to elevate weddings to an unforgettable experience.

Throughout the interview, Nikki radiated positivity and enthusiasm, revealing her deep passion for the world of weddings and event planning. This dedication and professionalism make Nikki Roberts an indispensable member of the Urban Daisy, The Kids Table, and Starlight Productions teams. Her story is both inspirational and a testament to the vibrancy and diversity of the wedding industry.

Learn more about Urban Daisy, The Kids Table, Starlight Productions

This interview was provided by Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos

Podcast Transcript

Alyssa (00:25)
Hi everybody, welcome back to Eventful Endeavors. This is Alyssa again from Felix and Fingers and I’m here today with Nikki Roberts, who I’m not even gonna tell you where she’s from, I’m gonna let her tell you because she has her hands in just about every part of the wedding industry. We almost missed the podcast recording because we were so busy talking about everything going on. So Nikki, thanks so much for being on. Can you tell everybody just a little bit about all the many things that you do?

Nikki Roberts (00:45)

Yeah, thank you for having me. So I’m originally from Southern California, but here in Minnesota, I am a wedding planner coordinator. I’m a venue manager. I own my own company that does event child management. And then I co-own another company that does performance education. I, like you said, I’m kind of everywhere.

Alyssa (01:16)
I love it. Awesome. Yeah, Nikki truly knows. Oh, my chair is turning. Oops. Nikki truly knows everything about everything. She actually, can you tell them a little bit about the International Live Events Association Awards?

Nikki Roberts (01:23)

Yeah, so Aylia, they back in 2023, so every year they have the Star Awards. And in 2023, it was held in at Urban Daisy and my company, The Kids Table. Yes. So I’m a venue manager ever since 2022. I’ve been there for the last few years and my company was also nominated for an award after only being open for a little less than a year. So it was really kind of cool to see like.

Alyssa (01:47)
And that’s where you’re the venue manager, correct? Yes.

Nikki Roberts (02:03)
two of my wedding worlds collide and get to go to the event and dress up, but also be there with my other work family, but with my Kids Table work family and get to have a fun night with that award ceremony. And they just, they go full out and it was just the most stunning event that I’ve ever seen and Urban Daisy did a great job of helping them put it on.

Alyssa (02:20)
I love that. That’s such, you just, I feel like you must have a clone. There’s no way that you’re doing all of it. Um, that’d probably make your life a lot easier. So for everyone listening, Nikki is the venue manager at Urban Daisy, which is a wonderful, beautiful, modern venue here. It’s in Minneapolis proper, correct?

Nikki Roberts (02:30)
I wish I had a clone.



Alyssa (02:46)
Okay, yeah, it’s in Minneapolis proper. It is, go look at the pictures. It is absolutely stunning, amazing. And you also are a part of Ascendance Productions Can you tell us just a little bit about Ascendance Productions?

Nikki Roberts (03:00)
Yeah, so Ascendance Productions is an incredible company. So Ascendance Productions offers pretty much anything and everything under the umbrella of weddings. We have hair and makeup artists. I am not one of the hair and makeup artists. That is one thing I do not do. But we have amazing hair and makeup artists. We have coordinators, we have full on planners, we have designers, and then we also offer social media content creators that’ll come on your day of and just help you make TikTok videos, help record your day, help.

Alyssa (03:12)

Nikki Roberts (03:28)
take pictures, kind of like an extra bridesmaid almost. And then we also help with website design and other social media creation for other companies, typically in the creative wedding world, but also things like restaurants and things like that.

Alyssa (03:44)
I love that. I also love that social media content creation has become such a thing in the wedding industry because it’s, I mean, I don’t know about you, when I’m looking back on memories, I’m scrolling through my Instagram looking at things. And so I think that’s just such a smart way that I would have never thought of. But if your social media is your digital scrapbook, like what a great idea to have those memories of your day.

Nikki Roberts (03:51)
It’s fun.

It really is fun and you also get that content like right away rather than waiting weeks and weeks and weeks for your videographer and your photographer, which that content is incredible as well. But if you have the ability to have both, then when you’re on your way to your honeymoon, you can just immediately start scrolling through whatever your content creator made for you while you’re waiting for your other content from your videographer and your photographer. So you kind of get the best of both worlds.

Alyssa (04:31)
I love that. So the other thing that Nikki does is you own the Kids Table and you are an expert at kids at weddings. And so I’d love to hear just your opinions, what you’ve seen, everything that you know about that.

Nikki Roberts (04:48)
Yeah, so my first introduction to the wedding world ever was with Ascendance Productions when I first started as a coordinator. And through that journey, we just kind of saw the problem of kids at weddings, whether it was couples not wanting kids at weddings and the family saying, you know, absolutely not, your cousins have to be there, or them wanting kids at weddings, but not knowing what to do with them, because weddings are designed for the adults. They’re not designed for…

what we like to call the tiny VIPs. And so that’s kind of where the Kids Table was born. And I actually do have a background in education. I have my degree in early childhood education. I’ve taught kindergarten, fourth grade and middle school literacy. So I have a little bit of experience with children and I love kids too. And so my combination of wedding experience and education experience was just kind of a perfect combination to kind of create the Kids Table. And we, you know, we make it.

so that there are options. So we either get hired to be there on site so that we can create an area at the wedding where kids can come and go as they please and we make sure that it’s neutral colors so it’s not those primary reds, blues, and greens that are gonna clash with your wedding decor. We make sure that it’s neutral and that it’s clean and that it’s not going to make like a big eyesore but it’s something fun for the kids to keep their hands busy so that they’re building or that they’re.

climbing or they’re doing something that’s going to keep them away from your beautiful centerpieces that you spent a lot of money on. Or the other version of that is, you know, if you need offsite care, we offer that as well. Sometimes people will book a hotel room or sometimes people live in the area so they have a house nearby where we can come and we can service in that way. But there’s endless possibilities. Sometimes people just want to rent what we have to just have at their events or their weddings. But it really is, it has been really cool to see because there isn’t really anything else out there like it.

And it’s created that nice balance for couples that are really conflicted with whether or not to have kids at their wedding.

Alyssa (06:48)
I love that. That’s such a thing that I’ve heard so many couples go back and forth over. And it is such a hard question because, you know, a lot of times there is a budget factor in whenever considering having kids at your wedding. But then a lot of times you have family who are kids. Like I’m thinking of my family who has, you know, right now I think six kids under the age of 14. And so how do you have a space for them that

also doesn’t completely take away from your day as well. I think that’s such, so cool and such a needed thing in the industry. So props to you for creating something so special and so wonderful.

Nikki Roberts (07:21)

Thank you.

Thank you, I appreciate it.

Alyssa (07:34)
Awesome, so something that I get a lot, and I’m gonna be honest, as a wedding vendor, it took me a while even to understand the difference. So can you kind of tell everybody listening what the difference is between a coordinator, a planner, and a venue manager? Because I hear those terms being used interchangeably a lot, and it took me a while to realize that they are completely different things. So yeah.

Nikki Roberts (07:47)


Yes, it is very easy to mistake. So I’ll start with venue manager because there are, so for example, at Urban Daisy, we do require that you have a day of coordinator or planner on site and a lot of venues are doing that now. So venue manager is not the same thing, but we do have venue managers on site for your day.

So venue managers are the people that are onsite making sure that everything that the venue needs to run is going smoothly. So we’re making sure that things are unlocked that need to be unlocked or locked that need to be locked. We’re making sure that, you know, things are staying stocked. We’re making sure that vendors know where to go. We’re making sure that everything’s running smoothly because we know the space like the back of our hand. And a lot of people are coming there for the first time because wedding vendors, our job is really unique in that our

our space is different every day for the most part, unless we’ve been there before. So our job as the venue manager is to be there to assist everybody that’s never been there or isn’t used to it and making it as seamless as possible. So that is the main overview of what a venue manager does. And we work really hard to make sure that everybody is able to do their job as seamlessly as possible. And then coordinators, day of coordinators, we show up, we’re there.

day of to, you know, whether it’s set out your decorations, tear down your decorations, there to make sure that your timeline is running smoothly for Ascendance Productions, for example, just because every production or every company is different. So the way that we kind of run, you do get a meeting with us prior and we sit down and we kind of talk through your goals and there are different packages. So whether it’s six hours, eight hours, ten hours, however long it is that you’re wanting your day of coordinator.

We sit and we talk about what the priority is for that amount of time for your day. So if you’re really wanting us to be there to set up your decor, then we’re gonna be there earlier in the day. If you’re really wanting us to be there to make sure that the timeline runs smoothly, then we’re gonna maybe show up a little bit later when ceremony starts and just make sure that everything runs smoothly through start to finish. If you really wanna make sure that you’re out of there on time, then maybe we’re there a little bit later to make sure that teardown happens.

That way you can enjoy the party and your family can enjoy the party and that way you’re not fined by the venue by being there too late. We can make sure that everything’s packed up and ready to go. So coordinator is a little bit more flexible and it’s a little bit more custom to what it is that each couple is looking for. Planners is everything that you could possibly need. So planners are there from start to finish. They’re there the whole day. They’re there before your day, making sure that

everything is accounted for, making sure that if there are any needs, any design, any possible little problems, they’re there for you. So planners are that like overall cap of they’re there. So coordinators are a little less hands-on, planners are right there with you throughout the whole process. And on top of that,

We also, as in this productions, and this is also a little bit different for everybody, whether it’s coordination or planning, we do offer complimentary contract checking. So we take all of your contracts with all of your vendors and we just read through them just to make sure that we’re not missing anything. Because when you’re getting married, it’s typically your first time and it’s something that’s new. So you’re not used to reading through all of these different contracts. And we just want to make sure that you’re taken care of and that the day is taken care of and there aren’t any.

you know, things that are thrown in there that you maybe weren’t prepared for. So very different situations in each three of those things, but yes, they do get commonly mistaken for each other. So yeah, I would say those are the differences between the three.

Alyssa (11:43)
Awesome, that’s so informative. I think that’s so important for people. I see and hear couples all the time going, I’m right at the beginning of my planning process and I don’t even know what the difference between things are because the truth of it is, I can’t even talk today. The truth of it is, is that like you said, a lot of times, most weddings I would say are people’s first weddings and that means that they haven’t done this before. They haven’t…

Nikki Roberts (11:59)

Alyssa (12:12)
looked at all the little tiny details like that. And so I think it’s so awesome to be able to have people in your corner. I love also the complimentary contract checking. That is, I’ve never heard of anybody doing that, but that’s so smart to make sure, you know, even as things as little as making sure that the date is the same date on all of them and making sure that you didn’t fill out the paperwork wrong because I’ve seen that happen of, you know.

Nikki Roberts (12:31)

Alyssa (12:35)
you checked everything else and forgot to check the date because it seemed so obvious and it was filled out wrong. So I think that’s so, so awesome. And I always talk about all vendors, all planners, everybody is being a team on the day of the wedding. And I think for couples understanding all the different pieces that go in, it can be really helpful to feel like that whole team has your back.

Nikki Roberts (12:39)

100%. I agree.

Alyssa (13:02)
Awesome, okay, we’re gonna move on. So my next question for you is what’s your favorite trends that you’ve seen recently? And I’m gonna add a little bonus question on here too. Can you also tell us a little bit about where you think that trends come from and how do wedding trends move in the industry?

Nikki Roberts (13:19)
Yeah, so that’s a really hard question to pick my favorite because there are so many good ones. I’ll start with your bonus question because, so being from Southern California, and I’m not the first to like discover this, so I’m not gonna claim it as my own idea, but something that our team has noticed is that a lot of trends are definitely coming from the West Coast. So California, for example, you’ll see that

Alyssa (13:25)

Nikki Roberts (13:49)
For example, like a lot of the things that we were seeing trending in California last summer are the things that we’re starting to see coming into this summer. So we’re not that we’re behind, but we’re definitely seeing it travel and coming it up to the Midwest. So a lot of the times when we are helping the design process, that’s kind of where we tend to look when we have couples that are looking for those unique ideas. And so for example, last summer we had a…

wedding that was very cultural, very colorful, and the couple was really wanting to, you know, stay away from colors because their colors were so prominent. And back last summer, it was either the trend was very much the like black and white, which if you look at Urban Daisy’s website, it’s very black and white. It’s perfect for that trend. It is stunning for that trend. And so,

Alyssa (14:40)
It’s a good thing.

Nikki Roberts (14:43)
That was kind of what we had started with because that was the trend of last summer and it just wasn’t clicking. So something that we had kind of seen in the West Coast that had been trending was a lot of crystal decor. So we were with a company called Petite Vette, which is a company over in Savage that we love to work with, one of the greatest decor companies I’ve ever gotten to work with in the wedding industry. And we were just kind of working around and designing, trying to eye things and eye.

decided to pull some crystal pieces. And immediately the bride was like, yes, that’s exactly what I want. And it was something that we hadn’t thought of yet at all because we were going with what was currently trending in our area. And so being able to kind of step outside that box and see, well, you know, this is what is kind of over here and what we’re probably gonna see later. So why not kind of jump on that train early? And it was the perfect blend for that wedding particularly because it wasn’t adding any color.

but it also wasn’t the black and white that we were currently seeing. So we weren’t sticking to the trends of our time, but we were still meeting the criteria that couple was looking for, if that kind of makes sense.

Alyssa (15:53)
Definitely, I love that. That’s so, I’ve heard people say before, like I said, I don’t like the term that the Midwest is behind in trends, but I’ve heard from multiple people, but I’ve never really heard it discussed regionally like that. Like a lot of them are coming from the West Coast because I grew up in Texas, and I will tell you that the wedding trends in Texas are very different from the wedding trends here. And so it’s really interesting to see how there’s different regional.

Nikki Roberts (16:11)


Alyssa (16:22)
Regional trends, I can’t talk today. It’s really awesome to see those regional trends and see how they all play into each other too.

Nikki Roberts (16:24)
I’m going to go.

Yeah. And it’s not just the wedding industry either. It’s like a lot of industries will look at that way. I have a best friend who owns a bar in Ohio, so not even Minnesota. And he looks at the same situation. He’ll look to California or the West Coast a lot of the times to see what’s trending there, to bring it to his face. And then it’s a hit and he’s the first to do it. And his community thinks he’s the, you know, that he’s the first to think of it. But really, he just looked to what was trending somewhere else.

Alyssa (16:55)
It’s a secret, don’t tell anybody!

Nikki Roberts (16:57)
Exactly. So it’s this really great concept because you get to be this hero when really you’re just kind of doing your research. But that’s, you know, half of what it comes to being a creative is, you know, taking from other creatives and seeing what’s around you and what works and what doesn’t. But to answer your first question, my favorite trends, I have always really loved the disco. I don’t think I’ll ever not love that one. I love disco balls. I’m a really big fan of that. I’m loving, loving the…

Pearl Veils, the veils that have the like pearls in them. I think those are absolutely stunning, especially with the like backless dress. It just adds that really beautiful element to it. I’m really liking, I’m seeing a lot of late night snacks being food trucks lately. That’s been really fun. Urban Daisy, we had a ice cream truck for a late night snack last summer, which was really cute. And then…

Alyssa (17:34)

I love that.

Nikki Roberts (17:54)
I would say another cute trend is people are bringing their dogs to weddings a lot more, which has been so, so fun. And then we’re seeing like their faces on cocktail napkins, like the dog’s faces, and the dogs have just become such a huge part of the day. And I have cats, but I love dogs too. So I think that’s been a really fun trend as well.

Alyssa (18:14)
I love that. I actually have a family friend who got married really recently and their cake topper was a like miniature version of their dog and their cat. And it was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I was like, I don’t want me on the cake. I want my pets on the cake.

Nikki Roberts (18:25)

Yeah, so cute.

Alyssa (18:34)
But it’s super cute. Okay, I have one final question for you. And that is, say we have a couple who’s at the very beginning of their wedding planning journey, what is the number one thing that you can offer them as a piece of advice?

Nikki Roberts (18:48)
I would definitely say that the starting point is so important to sit down and really talk about as a couple what your priorities are. We’re seeing a lot of couples jumping back about trends. We’re seeing a lot of couples jumping into this process and rather than, because it used to be that weddings would take years to plan and now it’s people are rushing into it and really like, okay, we’re gonna get married in six months. And that’s

great if that’s your goal and there are great benefits to that as well. But really sit down and just talk about what is going to work best for you as a couple and because the process should be enjoyable and if you’re going to be able to enjoy it in a rushed scenario then awesome. But really, really sit down and if you can get married in six months and still be able to stay sane, more power to you. But if you have the ability to maybe stretch it out just a little bit longer.

Take your time, enjoy the process, let it be fun throughout the entire journey rather than it be this mad dash to the finish line to where you feel like it’s a job rather than your wedding day. I think that would be really, really helpful for a lot of couples to hear because I see a lot of couples in this head space of, okay, we gotta do this, we gotta do that, we gotta do like all these to-do lists, which is important, but also you’re getting married and that’s so fun. So take the time to just.

breathe and love on each other and enjoy the entire journey.

Alyssa (20:20)
I love that. That is definitely such good advice. I know I’ve talked to people all the time about how can we relieve the most stress possible because at the end of the day, you’re getting married. That’s the most exciting thing. And it’s important to not lose sight of that, I think.

Nikki Roberts (20:33)

I agree.

Alyssa (20:39)
Awesome. Well, thank you so, so much, Nikki, for all of your expertise and everything that you bring. I hope that everybody listening found this super helpful. Nikki is such a great person, such a great resource. But we’re so glad that you came today. And thank you all for listening. And we hope you have a wonderful rest of your day, too. This is Alyssa from Felix and Fingers and Nikki from Urban Daisy, the Kids Table and Ascendance Productions. Thanks. Bye.

Nikki Roberts (20:43)
Thank you, Alyssa.

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