Carmen’s “I Do” Crew
We work by appointment to give each bride and groom our undivided attention. For your convenience, an appointment can be scheduled any day of the week. All our passion for weddings is amplified by your passion for each other. The “I Do” Crew has been carefully selected, based on their enthusiasm, great attitude, creativity, wedding experience, and professionalism. Our goals are to make your wedding personal, unique, and — of course — to exceed your expectations! We especially want you to have one of the best memories of a lifetime.
Our “I Do” Crew takes pride in our sense of style and the creative flair we bring to each unique wedding, channeling that from your love story. Our years of experience, flexibility, unparalleled attention to detail, and our relationships with great wedding professionals in the wedding industry make us successful. Even if you want to plan your own wedding, you can meet with us, brainstorm ideas with us, and select services à la carte that best fit your needs and your budget.
Chief Executive Officer
Carmen Hocking, owner of A Beautiful Wedding, is renowned as the premier wedding planner in Lawrence, Kansas City, Topeka, and surrounding areas. A Beautiful Wedding has been honored by “Best of Lawrence” —First Place Award, Event Planning (lawrence.com); The Knot “Best of Weddings”; and WeddingWire “Couple’s Choice Awards.”
With 32 years’ experience and more than one thousand weddings to her credit, Carmen’s passion for her work has earned her the highest respect from industry professionals and clients alike. Carmen helps with weddings all over the world that are as unique as you and your fiancé, each reflecting the wedding couple’s personal taste, culture and style. A Beautiful Wedding has earned a well-deserved reputation for executing truly memorable high-end weddings, as well as small unique celebrations of love.
Carmen has had the opportunity to have learned from some of the top industry professionals, including: wedding planners and designers David Tutera, Preston Bailey, and Colin Cowie, as well as Carley Roney, co-founder of THE KNOT, and Millie Martini Bratten, Editor in Chief of BRIDES Magazine.
Carmen earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources from the University of Kansas in Lawrence. She helped plan events in the corporate world for Halls (retail division of Hallmark Cards) for both the Plaza and Crown Center locations in Kansas City for four years. In 2006, Carmen founded WING—Wedding Industry Networking Group. She is also the Vice-President of the Lawrence Wedding Extravaganza.
I have been with A Beautiful Wedding since 2015, and have helped in many aspects of wedding planning and coordination. I believe in treating others as I would like to be treated. I combine my passion for helping people with my creative ideas.
I consider it an honor to be part of each couple’s wedding and I do my best to follow their wishes. I make sure the wedding couple feels comfortable and confident as I help keep track of details and act as an extra set of helping hands. Being a part of the most important day of our clients’ life is special to me, and I look forward to making it special for you!
My family and friends are the loves of my life. I love photography, singing, playing the piano, writing music, exercising, and laughing with friends. I’m a sports enthusiast, and I enjoy staying healthy and positive.
I really enjoy the elegance, love, and energy that thrives at weddings! I love having opportunities to get creative, like I do when working weddings with A Beautiful Wedding.
I have been working with Carmen at A Beautiful Wedding, the #1 wedding planner in Lawrence and surrounding areas now for 2 years. I love helping transform our clients visions into beautiful events that are executed flawlessly and with passion.
In addition to working weddings, I also sell Real Estate and I love helping wedding couples find their first home as a married couple.
I do my best to always add value to the spaces and lives of those around me. If I can be any part of a positive change in someone's life, such as being a part of making their wedding day more beautiful and charming, that makes me happy!
“Thank you so much for helping us to make our wedding day the happiest day of our lives. We are so happy we met you and will always count you as one of our friends. You are one of the most genuine and caring people in the world. God truly gave you a gift, Carmen, and you are using it to bring happiness and serenity to people like us. You are amazing—we will never forget you. Many Blessings, Andi and Eric.”
Andrea (Andi) and Eric Rauscher
“Carmen was amazing! My husband, Dennis, and I LOVED working with her. We hired her to help us plan our wedding and also to officiate our wedding. . . . Half-way through planning we decided to book our honeymoon through A Beautiful Wedding. Carmen made some really great destination suggestions, and we ended up going to Puerto Rico. If you want the best, hire Carmen. She’s a great planner AND great officiant.”