NYC's 'Top Wedding Planner' Is Living the American Dream

You could say wedding planner and small business owner Lyna Larcia-Calvario is living the American dream.

A native of the Philippines who moved to the US when she was 12, Calvario launched her own event planning business, KasalNY, in 2005 after leaving a corporate job.

“I think every small business owner … has to realize that there are some risks out there," Calvario told Lauren Simonetti on “Small Business Center” on “You’ll get some doubters … They’ll say, ‘Oh, there’s no money in events planning.’ But, you know, I stuck with what my heart was telling me.”

Calvario’s persistence paid off – she has received nothing but glowing reviews from her brides and has been named “Top Wedding Planner in New York” by The Knot for four consecutive years (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) and also earned the “Bride’s Choice Award” from wedding vendor website from 2010 to 2012.

Interestingly enough, Calvario says she doesn’t advertise her service and relies on word of mouth to get new clients.

“Word of mouth is the best marketing tool out there. I don’t believe in advertising,” said Calvario.

Calvario’s advice for those looking to grow their small businesses is to do your best and hire the right people.

“I used to do everything by myself. Now I’ve hired great staff, who are just truly knowledgeable about what they do. I trust them. I delegate,” said Calvario.

As for her heritage, Calvario says being Filipino has helped her as a wedding planner and designer.

“It has worked for my advantage because this business requires a lot of patience and hospitality and I think that's very natural for us. As Filipinos, we just like to go that extra mile.”