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#ExquisiteSpotlight: Kristen Dawson of The Westgate Hotel

Dealing with panicking brides is kind of where Kristen Dawson shines—because she’s been there done that, even moving up her own wedding a day to avert from a hurricane!

Here, the on-site venue coordinator and catering Sales manager at The Westgate Hotel opines on the best parts of her gig, the wedding trends she’s loving now, plus the venues and vendors she adores. Oh, and about that hurricane…

What traits define you and, as an extension, the company you work for?
My attention to detail. I am dedicated to providing the highest level of service and creating an impeccable experience. This hotel emulates just that.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Coffee! But on a serious note, my love for life—we only have one, so we have to make it count every single day.

Where is your favorite place?
Since I went four times last year, I’d have to say Cabo. It’s also where my husband and I got married. It’s a great getaway and, of course, filled with wonderful wedding memories, celebrating with 60 of our best friends and family.

Your job in three words: Fulfilling. Enjoyable. Creative.

What do you love about your gig?
The Westgate is family-owned and -operated. I love that I get to be a part of the Grand America Hotels & Resorts family and invite our clients into our home.

What’s your go-to motto?
Relish in your successes, learn from your mistakes, and never give up.

Tell us something surprising about yourself.
A few days before my husband and my destination wedding in Cabo, Hurricane Blanca was predicted to hit on June 6, 2015… our wedding day. We moved the wedding up a day to a completely different ceremony venue and replaced the rehearsal dinner venue for the reception to avoid the bad weather. All went well and Hurricane Blanca downgraded to a tropical storm. I like to keep that story in my back pocket if I have a bride freaking out about bad weather.

The wedding trend I am obsessed with right now is: Bringing back tradition! (Almost every single one of my couples have opted out of the first look trend. They want to share that moment with their loved ones when they see each other for the first time walking down the aisle.)

What’s your favorite detail you’ve seen recently in Exquisite?
One of my best friends, Krissi Trevino’s #ExquisiteSpotlight! She’s an absolute rock star, determined, smart, and business-minded with style!

What San Diego wedding venue do you adore?
Any beach venue. I’m a born and raised San Diego girl, and we have some of the most beautiful beach ceremony spots.

Which San Diego wedding vendor do you admire?
I have worked with Lavish Weddings for over a year now, and they have been one of the best vendors I have ever worked with. Christine [the owner] has an eye for design that I admire. Every coordinator I have ever worked with from her team is seasoned, overly detailed, and absolutely wonderful.

What is your most beloved wedding?
I had the pleasure of working with Stephanie and Kenneth on their gorgeous November 10 wedding. (It was also my birthday.) I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter, more genuine couple. They exuded kindness from the day I met them. Not only were they the calmest couple I had ever worked with, but their wedding was spectacular. Every detail was specifically calculated and gorgeous—from the scroll menu cards to white chiffon draping and monograms.



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