Some monograms I’ve produced for past clients will be the eye candy featured here today. Wish I had more handy! Monograms are my WEAKNESS! The best way to tie everything together! :)
In my journey through this career that I’m immersed in, I’ve learned quite a bit about what NOT to do. Almost as much as what TO do. Funny enough, the nights spent with tear-filled eyes are the most growingly painful, and the most character building. How do you work in an industry full of love and emotion, yet have a thick-skin to potential clients rejecting you on a weekly basis? Or being displeased with your services in any capacity? Or trying to talk down your price even though you KNOW you charge under what the going rate should be?
There are a million questions that go along with how to start a business. But… weddings as a business?? Now, THAT is intense. Bringing love into the picture creates a whole new ball game. I just want to show you mine- what players I’m using, who my “biggest hitter” is, and my score board so far. Hopefully it’s inspiring to someone. That’s why I’m writing… for that someone!
Step 2: The Experience.
Get an internship. Intern, intern, intern. There are plenty of coordinators/planners out there. You need to decide, right away, what style you’re looking for. What is your personality, really? Are you more analytic and geared toward the event production side of it [timeline, organization, spreadsheets]? Or perhaps you’re whimsical, creative, flighty…. like me! Is your passion for event design, or for planning the perfect event? Don’t be mistaken- they are so different. My advice would be to find a professional in your area known for their professionalism in the niche you’re looking to break into. Ask to intern. FOR FREE. Seriously. Who doesn’t need a helping hand around? You may need to ask a few. You may need to be patient. Seeking out industry organizations and their members will help, too. Places like the Association of Bridal Consultants, Wedding Industry Professionals Association, International Special Event Society…. they all have chapters in most areas. Try to find someone who can give you experience beyond just being an extra body on the day-of. Though, most likely, this is where you’ll start out. And to be quite frank: if you hate that [assisting], you’ll hate this [career]. It’s not glamorous. It’s a bunch of hours of hard work that, when all put together, amount to an amazing[ly stressful] day full of beauty and emotion and then it’s gone in the blink of an eye. The goal with an internship is to not only teach you what you’re in for, but to find a place for you to then settle down into being an assistant. Experience will only allow you to become more familiar with the industry. The longer you work [even part time] in this industry, the more familiar you’ll get with local vendors, big names [national, international, area-specific…], and the job itself! If you intern for free, you’ll likely find a place somewhere with that coordinator/planner/designer. If not with them, with one of their contacts. If you’re a great employee when working for free, they won’t want to let you go!
I have the most incredible mentor a girl could ask for. My mom knew her before I was born, through a local community church. They lost touch about 30 years ago but still my mom remembered that she was a wedding planner. I hesitated. I wasn’t sure, I felt strange. I am NOT outgoing. As a person, that is. Then, when my husband [through his job at the time] ran into that SAME person and they exchanged cards as she told him “have your wife call me!” in regards to wedding planning… I knew it was undeniable. She was supposed to be in my life. That lady is Melody Walker. I’m not sure how I can put into words what I learned with Melody. She, most obviously, taught me how to run the Day-Of. She got me acclimated to the industry. She took me to industry events. But more than that… she cared for me. She oozes love and affection. She creates a wedding day experience that is unparalleled. She encourages and loves just like any mother- and she is the mother of your event. She’s seen it through, from beginning to end. She’s bright, peppy, excited. She’s everything I want to be and more. I came on as an intern for her boutique planning company and worked for 6 months without ever asking for a dime. I wanted to KNOW my industry. She promptly hired me to assist her as I carved my own way into the industry. I stayed with her a year as I slowly took my own weddings, step by step, towards the end. After branching out on my own, I still had a lot- and I mean a lot– to learn. My biggest challenge was finding out who I was as a planner/coordinator/designer. I knew from the beginning that my [as referenced above] whimsical, creative, flighty personality is best fit for event design. But having not interned or apprenticed with a designer, I truly had no idea how to get into it. Truth be told, I’m still figuring it out! Piece by piece. But at least now I know my voice. I know my niche. I know who I am. And that is invaluable.
And two for specific clients and colors, last year. A beachside soiree, and a wine-country feel pink toned party:
“Do something today that makes you remember you’re alive”.