For the past few years, I've been blessed to really find out what my passion is. I knew I was destined to be a wedding planner on a spring day in my third year of college. At that point I hadn't really had any experience with weddings. Isaiah and I were just moving in together, it was a really sweet time in our relationship. I went to Seattle Pacific University to study in the School of Business & Economics, I majored in Business Administration with an emphasis on entrepeneurship. At this point in my college career I was fed up with all the numbers and nonsense and was feeling really burnt out. The creative side of my brain was not being stimulated (at least in the classroom). I felt so confused about what to do but was generally just drifting on, expecting to work for a bigger company in Seattle after I graduated doing something in the field.
Anyway, back to the spring day. We were at Greenlake to get some Starbucks and walk around the lake. It's one of my favorite spots in the city. Isaiah and I always felt so inspired and have great talks while we're walking or hiking. I was day-dreaming about our future wedding (with no ring on my finger, might I add) and thinking about what we should do with our lives after I graduated when it hit me.
Why couldn't I use my degree to start a business that employs my creative and organizational skills? The answer was that I completely could, and it made sense. I've always loved designing gatherings for my friends, entertaining and helping events get planned and organized. Leadership is one of my top strengths but I've got a natural eye for design and color. I thrive on long term projects where I can create meaningful relationships with people, but like to get things done day to day. Honestly I'm pretty good at managing my own time when something is important to me. I love creating something out of nothing and pulling together an event that will leave a memory. Weddings. It was like a huge "duh".
After this all ran through my mind in about 10 seconds outside of Starbucks at Greenlake, I blurted out, "I'm a wedding planner!" and immediately I took ownership of that title. Isaiah essentially just looked at me like I was crazy. His first assumption was that I was going to continue on to another several years of expensive schooling. Once I assured him that that wasn't the case, he was still confused. Haha! It could have been that he thought I was getting wedding crazed myself or who knows what. The important thing is that he has always backed me up 100%.
The next day I went after an internship with one of the top event planners in the city, and joined the team shortly after. I learned a lot really fast about design boards, client meetings, all the phone calls and e-mails it takes, and just how many satin ribbons must be tied into bows. It was three months of bliss for me. What an amazing learning experience. Once my internship ended my mentor helped a lot with shaping my long term goals. She believed that I was entrepreneurial and should start my own wedding planning business. Of course, so did I.
Long story short, we moved to Traverse City, Michigan, I started planning weddings (including my own) and now I'm hooked. I've also had the chance recently to start dabbling in floral design, and had my first full service floral design client booked in September. Wow, life changing. Those flowers rocked my world.
So why am I telling you this story? For one, it helps me process my journey and see how I've always been moving in the direction of my dreams, even when I get side-tracked. This summer I have an amazing wedding booked for May, and I'm not sure what the rest of the season will bring. For one, a baby. After that, not quite sure. All that to say- even if I have one intentionally slow year for the sake of our son it does not mean that I've slowed down momentum toward my ultimate goal of giving my clients a wedding day that will bring the sweetest memories for life. It also doesn't mean I've given up my intention to live a happy, fulfilling life so that I can give happiness to others in my own way. This just makes me so excited.
On a related topic, my next business post will be about my 2013 business goals. I've got some pretty amazing stuff lined up, even for a slow year. Stay tuned!
To Your Dreams,
P.S. Two of my very favorite people to look up to in the wedding industry are hosting a THREE PART Webinar this month! I attended the last one in November and the content was so valuable. More information is on the blog. They really inspired my Making Things Happen movement at the end of last year. I have so much to learn from them! Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Emily & Lara!