The Knot Announces the Wedding Industry’s First-Ever Ones to Watch List of Notable Emerging Wedding Professionals
Chosen by The Knot Editors and Industry Experts, The Knot Ones to Watch Honors 26 Trendsetters, Visionaries and Tastemakers Inspiring Today’s Weddings
NEW YORK, NY, April 19, 2023 — The Knot—a digital wedding planning authority and one of the largest vendor marketplaces in the US—today announces its first-ever Ones to Watch list, honoring emerging wedding professionals who are disrupting the status quo and making a notable impact on the industry. The Knot recognizes this next generation of wedding pros at a moment of great change within the wedding industry following the global pandemic and Gen Z’s 2022 entrance into peak marrying age.
Finding the perfect wedding vendor team is no small task. According to research by The Knot, couples book an average of 14 different pros to bring their wedding visions to life. In order to help couples find their perfect team, The Knot created Ones to Watch, evaluating the many talented vendors within the industry to choose a cohort of 26 up-and-coming wedding businesses doing exceptional work. As norms shift around wedding traditions, these artisans and educators are leading the charge, helping couples challenge expectations and create meaningful experiences authentic to them.
“Unlike any other recognition in the wedding industry today, The Knot Ones to Watch honors the rising talent across the nation going above and beyond to service couples and fellow wedding professionals,” said Hannah Nowack, The Knot Senior Weddings Editor. “We sought value-driven pros who are cheerleading and change-making, educating and amplifying. Our honorees are the future of weddings.”
Chosen by The Knot editors and industry experts, The Knot Ones to Watch recognizes the next generation of leaders in the wedding professional community across five categories: The Innovator, The Advocate, The Connector, The Realist and The Mentor.
These pros are trailblazers and visionaries. They’re trendsetters and tastemakers. These vendors are constantly thinking outside the box to dream up new and inventive wedding ideas.
- Alex Moreau, XO Moreau
- Dani Blasena, HauteFêtes Fine Weddings & Events
- Kelsey Butler Harrison, Pop & Drop
- Elisa Bricker, Emerson James Rental
- Elizabeth Gopal, East Made Co.
- Jenny Vu-Tran, Intricakes
- Christina Kim Mathis, Blue Box Bakery
These pros are uniters and amplifiers. They’re motivated by inclusivity and a desire to invite people in, while creating work that authentically reflects a couple’s roots.
- Bo Shim, Bo Shim Photography
- Kelly LaFleur, K. LaFleur Films
- Xin Huang, Le Petite Privé
- Erin & Steve Sok, Sok Vision
- Caitlin Fulton Kuchemba, Fulton Events
These pros are embracers and bridge-builders. They care not just about success, but about creating spaces and bonds that allow all couples and vendors to thrive.
- Julian Leaver, Julian Leaver Events
- Megan Pettus, Megan Pettus Films
- Hannah Forsberg, Hannah Forsberg
- Rudney Novaes, Rudney Novaes Photography
- Angelica Laws, Angelica & Co. Weddings
These vendors are down-to-earth cheerleaders. They’re team players who seek to be your supportive sidekick, the one you know will tell it like it is and disrupt the status quo for the better.
- Amy Shack Egan, Modern Rebel
- Erica “Gem” Benson, Alternative Standards
- Jordan Jeanty, Jordan Jeanty Studios
- Kiara Hancock, K. Hancock Design
These pros are coaches and advisers. They’re educators who want to share their wealth of knowledge and are invested in supporting emerging artists.
- Afrik Armando, Afrik Armando
- Shean Strong, Shean Strong Design
- Kaytee Stice, Roots Floral Design
- Samantha Leenheer, House of Joy
- Erice McNeff, Everbloom Floral Design
“I am incredibly humbled to receive The Knot Ones to Watch recognition,” said Rudney Novaes, CEO of Rudney Novaes Photography. “As an LGBTQIA+ person of color, I have faced many challenges and barriers throughout my life, which have inspired me to create meaningful and impactful art. Much of my work is a personal reflection of my identity and experiences, and this acknowledgment provides me with more opportunities to amplify the voices and experiences of similarly marginalized individuals. Moreover, I believe it will enable me to continue pursuing and highlighting the common threads of what it means to be human. To be vulnerable. To share. To discover. To connect.”
“I am astonished to receive this honor from The Knot for a business that I created in an industry I love,” said Alex Moreau, CEO of XO Moreau. “Initially, my goal was to plan weddings and create incredible events that left lasting memories for couples and their families. Winning awards and honors never crossed my mind. This recognition from The Knot provides me with a platform to showcase my talents and create even more unforgettable events for people worldwide. I am grateful for the unwavering support of such an iconic organization, recognizing my efforts and proudly supporting XO Moreau every step of the way.”
For more information about The Knot Ones to Watch and this year’s honorees, visit theknot.com/onestowatch or pick up a copy of The Knot Magazine on newsstands nationwide starting on April 25, 2023.
About The Knot Ones to Watch
The Knot Ones to Watch honorees were selected by a seven-person committee made up of four editors at The Knot as well three respected industry experts, plus further vetting through reviews by industry peers the honorees have worked with. The committee evaluated businesses based on their skills and expertise, identifying those who approach their field in an authentic, innovative and relevant manner. Businesses were required to have operated for fewer than eight years in the wedding industry.
About The Knot
The Knot offers everything couples need to enjoy bringing their wedding celebration to life—from inspiration and relatable advice to finding the perfect local vendors and creating and managing guest experiences, wedding registries, invitations and more. The most trusted authority on wedding planning reaches a majority of engaged couples in the US through the #1 planning website TheKnot.com; the iOS and Android mobile app with the most 5-star reviews, The Knot Wedding Planner; and The Knot national wedding magazine and The Knot book series. Since its inception, The Knot has inspired approximately 25 million couples to plan a wedding that’s authentic to them. Visit The Knot online at TheKnot.com and follow on social media: Facebook.com/TheKnot and @TheKnot on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Senior Director, Communications