Business

Peggy Kelley: Making Magical Experiences in Pasadena

Peggy Kelley. –Courtesy photo / Leadership Pasadena

By Linda Taubenreuther

There are many highly talented event planners in LA. And then there’s Peggy Kelley of Timeless Celebrations.

Long before readers of Pasadena Weekly named her Best Event Planner two years running (2017 and 2018), Peggy’s work had been dropping jaws among jittery brides and big-time event committees all over the San Gabriel Valley and beyond.

Kelley’s formula for success is no secret. It starts with an intense passion for creating “magical experiences,” from unforgettable weddings to powerhouse fundraising galas. But while passion can create sparks, it can’t turn a grand vision into a dazzling reality. Only years of experience and team building can do that.

Enchanted by the magic of Hollywood since childhood, Kelley came to LA by way of Ohio and Texas to learn the restaurant business from Harry and Marilyn Lewis, the creators of the legendary Hamburger Hamlet chain. In a movie-worthy twist, she soon landed a catering job at Walt Disney Studios. She went on to “grow up” as catering director at The Huntington (creating its distinctive style), honing her events mastery with the best (she learned flowers at Jacob Maarse), and making invaluable connections for the future.

That future arrived when Kelley decided to plan her own Italian-inspired wedding at Wattles Mansion (a move, by the way, she does not recommend). Experiencing the process from the bride’s point of view made her want to ease the way for others, and Timeless Creations was born. It quickly developed a reputation for events with a creative edge, exquisite detail, and seamless production. “Exceptional events go far beyond the microscopic details,” she says. “They’re about storytelling, architecture, [and] amazing experiences. The creative world is richer and more detailed than it’s ever been. And since LA can get you anything, the possibilities are endless.”

Church photo John & Colette. – Courtesy photo / Leadership Pasadena

Not all Kelley’s skills were learned. She’s blessed with a natural eye for color, design, and storytelling that gives her projects their unique personality – and sometimes saves her bacon, too. “Once we had ordered these big letters for a Natural History Museum Gala,” she remembers. “When they arrived, they were the wrong size and didn’t work in the space at all. While walking the venue, I saw this big black wall and instantly envisioned how the letters would look on it. The result couldn’t have been more perfect.”

Kelley is quick to point out that her talents are just one part of the Timeless Creations magic. Another key is collaboration with others, from the graphics team that helped her realize that black wall to caterers, florists, rental resources, venue managers and of course, clients. “I really like words that start with C ,” she smiles. “Collaboration, communication, creativity, community.” That last C is a key one: Kelley has always been known for sharing her time and skills where she can make a difference. This marks the second year she’s participated in the Leadership Pasadena Tablescape benefit event, hosted jointly this year by the Junior League of Pasadena.

 

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We await the ladies of the Junior League of Pasadena as they celebrate at the University Club

A post shared by Peggy Kelley (@timelesscelebrations) on

Long a sought-after speaker, Kelley recently added TV producer to her resume after a volunteer stint at Pasadena Media led her to create and produce a local cable show, “Late Nite Bride.” Designed to get couples offline and back into their engagements, the talk show aims to educate, inspire, and entertain them so they can enjoy both the planning process and their engagement time. The show has hosted top names in all areas of the wedding business, including celebrity planner, David Tutera. Kelley was also on the production team for Tutera’s new show “My Big LIVE Wedding with David Tutera,” airing in July on Lifetime.

What’s next? Whatever it is, it will revolve around her two guiding philosophies: Love is all there is, and we’re here to have fun. “Life is a party,” she says. “Celebrate!”

If you’re dying to meet Kelley, she will be a designer at this year’s Setting the Table event in Pasadena. Setting the Table is a sensational, unconventional opportunity for designers, floral artists, event planners, non-profits and others to make stunning visual statements with their interpretation of the table design theme, “The World of Conversation.” The fun-filled evening on Nov. 9 will feature delicious food and beverages – and a tablescape competition. Guests will vote for their favorite design and the top two winning designs will receive a $6,000 ad from Dreams magazine.

Chaired by Jeanne K. Chung, owner and designer at Cozy Stylish Chic and national design blogger, with local Realtor and designer Anthony Guthmiller, this lifestyle event will benefit two renowned community leadership charities, Leadership Pasadena and the Junior League of Pasadena. Both are dedicated to nurturing exceptional, informed, respectful and collaborative leaders who are equipped to improve the quality of life for everyone in our communities. For more information, email info@leadershippasadena.org.

June 17, 2019

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