Meet Payton Kester, Private Event Sales Coordinator with Maymont. Read about her love of working with engaged couples and of traveling and celebrating holidays with family!

Payton Kester - Maymont

If you care to share, how did you get to where you are now?
In spring of 2021, I graduated from VCU Arts with a BFA in Art Education. So how did I end up at Maymont? To be honest, I followed my heart. Maymont’s pocket of greenery within the city has always been a place of joy for me. After I graduated, I decided to see if there might be a place for me at Maymont, and sure enough, there was an opening as an events coordinator. Having a background in the arts has served me well here; as a venue coordinator it’s my job to inspire clients with the creative opportunities that our venues hold.

What makes you or your business stand out and why should a couple hire you?
Maymont has built a generational legacy in folks from the Richmond area. Many couples are drawn to Maymont for its longevity and the sense of nostalgia it evokes.

Leslie Nichole Photographer

What’s your favorite thing about working in the wedding industry?
Truly, it’s the joy that comes along with celebrating others. I am constantly asking myself how I can make those around me feel celebrated. Whether it’s a friend having a baby or a loved one’s birthday, I’m eager to celebrate and encourage them. Being in the wedding industry allows me to assist in crafting the perfect celebration.

What’s a unique tip you tell your couples?
There are so many beautiful places to take wedding photos on the Maymont grounds. You aren’t tied to just your ceremony or reception location. Ask me for recommendations!

What’s your best piece of advice for couples planning a wedding?
I always recommend that couples schedule a pocket of time prior to the ceremony to spend a quiet moment either by yourself or with your partner to take a breath and enjoy the moment. During your ceremony you may be nervous and preoccupied, and things may feel like they go by very quickly!

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding?
I love watching guests arrive. To me what makes a wedding so special is that each and every person has played a role in the couple’s life and story, and everyone is there because they care deeply for the couple. Watching guests arrive is like finally seeing the puzzle come together. I work with couples for up to two years, and slowly I get to know them and their family. Then, finally, on the wedding day the full picture comes together. Never again will this exact group of people be in one place again. I just think it magical to see this once in a lifetime event unfold as the couple’s loved ones arrive!

What are your favorite wedding trends right now?
I have really enjoyed seeing couples have a private first dance at our ceremony sites before joining their loved ones at the reception. I just think that moment is incredibly sweet and intimate.

How do you de-stress?
Exploring nature is my go-to remedy to unplug and de-stress. I love going to local parks with friends to wander the outdoors. Since my partner and I live in the city, going to a park or farm outside of town is really relaxing. When our schedules don’t allow for frolicking in an open field, my partner and I find rest in spending time with our close friends.

Payton Kester - Maymont

What would your perfect Saturday be like?
Going to the farmers market to pick out a fun treat to inspire my weekend, followed by a home project or a hangout with family or friends.

What’s the coolest thing you’re working on now?
Turning our shed into an Airbnb to extend hospitality to folks visiting RVA.

Do you love to travel? If so, what are some must-see destinations?
My family and I love to travel! Year after year my first choice for a destination is Maine. We spend our time in Acadia National Park where evergreen trees meet crystal clear water.

What is your favorite season of the year and why?
100% summer. Not because of the warmth, more because of the extended daylight. When the days are longer, seeing family and friends is so much more attainable. The only downside is mosquitos.

What’s your favorite family tradition?
Hands down: Thanksgiving. My family has built Thanksgiving into an action-packed 5 days of fun! My extended family is spread out in different states, and Thanksgiving is the one time of year when everyone comes together in Virginia.

Meet Payton and learn more about all the beautiful and unique options for your wedding at Maymont.