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Tips from the Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky area wedding planner, Abbie at OKOTA.


Abbie Kinnett


If you're getting married soon I'm sure the Pinterest DIY's are really building up. There's endless ideas for DIY table numbers, seating charts, centerpieces and more. I must throw it out there though... I often warn that do-it-yourself projects for the infrequent crafter can wind up being twice the time, stress, and cost than buying it finished and ready to go. You can relate?—Don't feel bad. In most cases, those gorgeous Pins are done by professionals who know what they are doing. 

If you think you've got this, more power to ya! These DIY projects you can spend time doing with your bridesmaids and future hubby add an extra story to your wedding journey, and another element of personalization to your special day. One thing to keep in mind if you plan on doing some DIYs over the next few months is to take advantage of Black Friday! So many brides are super focused on those electronic steals and bargain accessories for gifts and don't even think about using this day to their wedding advantage until after.


Craft stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Joann Fabrics all offer great doorbusters and coupons that you can use to help stock up on basics like glass vases (Michaels) and supplies for those DIYs. 

Extra tip: Download their smartphone apps that include coupons cashiers can scan right from your phone. (See below for links to download)

Pro tip: Many craft stores such as Hancock Fabrics, Joann Stores, and Michaels accept competitor coupons. The rules are they can't be total purchase coupons, they have to be printed for Hancocks, and Michaels coupons cannot be used on fabric since they don't carry fabric themselves. (I may have done this once or twice can you tell? :))

See the Newport, KY Michaels' Black Friday Ad and Download their app.

Download Joann's (iOS and Android) and Hobby Lobby's apps.


Abbie Kinnett

Father Daughter Dance Wedding Photography

Father Daughter Dance Wedding Photography

We know... It's a BIG decision. It's the dancing with daddy right after you've officially become a wife! It's sentimental for the both of you and it has to be PERFECT. So in honor of Father's Day this year we've compiled a list of the top ten father daughter dance songs that can probably get your wheels turning and hopefully not your eyes watering (it's totally normal if that happens too though). Now let's get started...

10. I Loved Her First by Heartland

A true classic that was absolutely made for father daughter dances. So true of a dad's relationship with his little girl.


9. My Girl by The Temptations

If your dad is into oldies, he's going to love this suggestion. Such a cute song when you're daddy's little girl.


8. My Little Girl by Tim McGraw

For any country fans out here this one is so perfect. Such a sweet sweet song that will have all your guests thinking about you and your dad, and the meaning behind this moment. Also, probably crying. 


7. Daughters by John Mayer

A more modern and sweet song if you're not as into the country vibe by Mr. Mayer, but for obvious reasons still appropriate. 


6. Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison

If you've got brown eyes, your dad has probably sung this to you more than once. This is a super cute upbeat song. You may be even able to get some twirls in with this one :)


5. How Sweet It Is by James Taylor

An upbeat wonderful song for this dance, you'll surely remember forever.


4. Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder

A true classic and there isn't a soul in the room who won't agree that the brand new Mrs. with her newlywed glow is certainly lovely.


And now for the most popular out there...

3. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

"I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do, but they're really saying I love you." How perfect for a wedding atmosphere?!


2. Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole

Everyone knows this one. Everyone loves it. It's so perfect as long as it's perfect for you and your daddio.


1. Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle

A song about a little girl's relationship with her father and growing up. When cuddled close her eyelashes tickle his cheek... thus butterfly kisses. We DARE you to listen to this song and try not to cry (or bawl like a baby like we do every time). Another fair warning is that this song is SUPER long, so if you're going to be struggling with this emotional moment already, it will be a lot to endure.


Give your dad a hug, wish him a happy Father's Day and dream of this moment until your big day comes!


The OKOTA Team

How to be the Best Maid of Honor Eva!


Happy National Best Friends Day! What else is better than celebrating your best friend’s wedding? Being asked to become her Maid of Honor of course! The MOH (Maid of Honor) is a super rewarding role to be in for your best friend. With this role come many responsibilities that help the bride prepare for her wedding day. We’ve gathered some tips on how you can be the best MOH ever and have your bestie’s back on her biggest day!

Communicate with the wedding party.

This involves being totally honest with a question the bride asks, ensuring wedding party are all on the same page or fixing a mishap with a vendor. Communication is super important for the planning and big day to go smoothly.  A lack of communication is an easy way for things to go wrong, so avoid easy problems by staying in touch with everyone.

Remain calm, even when things go wrong.

Planning a wedding is a huge deal! It’s expected that things will come up, not go the way they are supposed to, and changes have to be made. This is okay! However, as a bride, it can be stressful. Help her out by remaining calm (instead of freaking out too) and helping her tackle the issue at hand. Come up with some solutions to remedy the situation on hand and plan ahead for potential wedding day problems.

Know that she comes first.

It’s 2 a.m. and your best friend calls you freaking out about something for her wedding. Oh, and she wants to start meeting once a week during that one time that happens to be your beloved spin class. It may not be a big deal to you, but it matters to her. Your role is to be there for her, and offering some extra time comes along with it. Work with her on scheduling times that work for both of you, and listen to her when she calls or texts freaking out. You’re her right-hand woman! Spending a bit more time comes with the territory, so work it into your planner.

Understand what she really wants.

It seems obvious that you know the bride better than anyone, but make sure you understand what she really wants to have planned. Whether she wants to go on a girls trip to Vegas or have a simple spa day with her mom and close friends, ask her before you plan anything. Also, keep tabs on the ideas or plans the wedding party and groom may have. She may not want any embarrassing stories told at the reception or cake shoved in her face! A few simple questions can easily help you out!

Remind the bride this is her day.

This is one of the biggest events of your best friend’s life, so she should focus on her own happiness, not other’s. It can be stressful, and sometimes others may interfere with events. However, today is about her and her significant other. Remind her to make the best of her day and focus on making many memories to last for years to come.

As a MOH, being in charge of your best friend’s big day is so rewarding! You get to be with her every step of the way with the planning, events, and wedding day itself. Whether you’re in the process of planning yourself or become a MOH in the future, these tips will surely help you get situated in your amazing role.

OKOTA Is Hiring An Assistant Photographer

Abbie Kinnett


OKOTA is a wedding planning, photography, and design company owned by Abbie Kinnett Guthier.


OKOTA, LLC is looking to hire an assistant photographer to photograph weddings alongside Abbie at weddings. Abbie will be contacting assistant on an as-needed basis for assisting at OKOTA weddings. Typically weddings are on Saturdays, and occasionally Fridays. Travel to and from weddings is the responsibility of the assistant. It may just be a few times a year, for a few hours, depending on availability of all OKOTA assistants. Weddings typically range in location from Northern Kentucky to Dayton, OH. 


  • Be a second eye at weddings getting alternate angles, capturing details, and helping Abbie with equipment
  • Manage large groups of people in a timely, organized manner
  • Follow the timeline for the wedding day
  • Once commited to wedding dates the applicant must arrive on time


  • Applicants must have experience in photography, event and wedding photography experience is a plus
  • Applicants must have knowledge of camera lenses, tripods, speedlights, pocket wizards and be comfortable working with and operating them, experience with Canon camera equipment is a plus
  • Assistant must provide their own camera equipment, not including memory cards


This is a paid position. Compensation details are negotiable and will be based upon experience.


If interested please submit a brief explanation of your experience in the above, your portfolio link, and why you feel you may be a good fit for this position to

Please look at to see if the company will be a good fit for you prior to applying.

If interested, but have more questions about the position please do not hesitate to reach out with any comments or concerns to

Planning my own wedding… I got this! (I thought) ...The one aspect of wedding planning that brought the wedding planner to a screeching halt...

Abbie Kinnett

I’m a wedding planner. My own wedding will surely be the easiest wedding I’ve ever planned. Right? Wrong. I’m now one year out. I’ve finished all the more difficult tasks and have questioned my decision to have a 2 1/2 year engagement much more than once. But I have to say, it’s much different than I thought it would be. Being the actual bride that is.

I should admit that I probably had it much easier than most brides. I wasn’t overwhelmed with knowing where to start. I knew exactly what I liked and what I wanted. I had experienced first hand all the Pinterest wedding successes (and fails)—that’s for another post :) And I’ve learned all the best vendors. There was however, one aspect of planning that brought me to a screeching halt. An aspect of wedding planning I haven’t done before. The biggest wedding decision (other than you know, the groom)… the dress

I was SOOO intimidated by this! First, I had heard horror stories of brides going to shop for their dream dress and being so upset by their body image issues that they couldn’t enjoy the process or actually look at the dresses themselves. If you know me you know that I feel I have “room for improvement” on my body shape we’ll say, and I became SUPER worried about this (my trainer will tell you. I used the word “terrified” more than once). Wedding planners are often part time therapists so I’ve counseled brides worried about this more than once, but when it comes to yourself… well things are different. I don’t typically like to listen to my own advice a lot of times. :) Who does?

Secondly, I have seen like four million and six wedding dresses at this point. Don’t get me wrong, every bride I’ve ever worked with I’ve felt like their dress was amazing. It always looks SO beautiful on them, and it’s like I couldn’t imagine their wedding without them in that dress. They have all be so perfect for them. However, that doesn’t work out so well when you then try to flip the script and imagine a dress for yourself. I felt like every one I looked at I imagined a wedding I’ve already done. I wanted to feel like myself. 

I did shop around. I looked at countless dresses online, I attended my fair share of bridal fashion shows. Nothing. I honestly, typed #weddingdress into Instagram in hopes that my dream gown would magically appear on the screen. Still nothing. Literally nothing. My mom would stare at me in disbelief after fashion shows ended and I declared that none of the dresses stood out to me. I thought for sure I was doomed. It wasn’t until much later that I found ONE I liked online. Photographers that I follow posted a photo they took of a recent bride, and I thought the dress was stunning. I wound up finding it on the designer’s website, but I wasn’t sure how my family would feel about the “less traditional” hue the dress was in. But, I saved that photo in hopes I would find something that wow’ed me as much a that dress AND BOY DID I EVER.

I went to Hyde Park Bridal to find my dream dress, and my experience turned out amazing. It was like playing really (REALLY) expensive dress up. And I could not have felt like more of a princess in those pink, sparkly rooms. The gowns overshadowed my imperfections and the consultants there were so amazing in helping me design a custom gown that I’ve never seen before—because it doesn’t exist yet! 

Dress—Check! I will say I was absolutely EXHAUSTED after this hour-long appointment. And I only went to one dress boutique! I felt it as soon as I put it on, before I even looked in the mirror. It was absolutely my dress. I was tearing up walking out of the dressing room, before even seeing my family’s reaction.  It’s emotional trying on dress after gorgeous dress, finding the one and then putting on the veil—let’s just say by this point in the appointment I refused to look in the mirror. I knew I would loose it. They made me anyway. I did. I lost it.

:) Abbie

More wedding planning stories from the planner’s wedding to come… Subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss them!