To quote (very loosely) Drake: “started from the bottom now we’re here.” And by here, I mean like maybe and inch or two off the ground. I really can’t claim to have “made it” in any sense of the phrase yet, so I will warn you now this post isn’t going to give you the secret to making a beaucoup of money while only working a handful of days out of the year. And I’m not sure it’s even going to convince you to quit your day job and follow your entrepreneurial spirit. It’s just a little story, very much mid-plot line, about doing a thing and faithfully trusting in God’s provision.
The College Kid
Whenever people find out I’m a wedding planner, they usually want to know how I got into something like that. Was it my major? Or was I super inspired by planning my own wedding? No. And heck no! But that’s a story for another time. I will say that I knew I wanted to plan events for a living before I went to college. It seemed like a good balance for my super creative yet super detail-oriented brain. When I chose my major at Biola University, I suppose it may have made more sense to study Public Relations (where I could have taken coursework in event planning), but I jumped ship to Communication studies. I figured if I was going to pay lots of money to go to school, I should learn something, and, oh boy, did I need to learn how to effectively communicate (after coming off some rough years of wonky family dynamics). My heart still fills with joy reflecting on the Holy Spirit’s leading in the decision. God used it as a significant space of healing from events and relationships in my childhood/teenage years (I swear some of the interpersonal comm assignments were basically just group therapy sessions). AND it also prepared me on a larger scale for event planning and client management, particularly regarding weddings which are so relationship oriented.
The Intern (and the likes)
Long story, very short: I was an intern. I bounced around the wedding industry as an intern, working in everything from catering to florals to planning/coordinating. I also held some small paid positions (all still in weddings or events). Unbeknownst to me, I was able to land most of those positions due to some amount of “networking” …though I liked to call it sending inquiring emails to anybody and everybody. I am incredibly thankful for the team at Colette’s Catering, Love Anne Joy, and Paintbrush Weddings for their willingness to teach, mentor, and give me opportunities to grow in the industry.
The Real Life Adult
Then I graduated. And I moved—halfway across the country. College was over, internships were over, and I was far too chicken to think I could make something like wedding planning business work in a new city where I knew no one. I attempted to work at a daycare, tried my hand at retail, and looked for a team of planners who were hiring. Some jobs stuck a little longer than others. I will have you know that caring for seventeen two-year-olds is not my forte.
The Business Owner
After much prompting from my now husband, I eventually did decide to start my own business. I wrestled with the thought (and insecurity) that I would just get lost amidst all of the other very talented planners and coordinators here in the Kansas City wedding industry…which is honestly still something that lingers a little in the back of my mind. BUT I did it. I knew that I wanted to create a planning/coordinating experience that was relaxed, served couples well, and gave them and their families’ the freedom to be fully present and focused during such an exciting and pivotal time in their lives.
I got engaged. Got married. Got pregnant. Had a baby. Moved a few times. All in the first official year of my business. I would say that I wouldn’t exactly recommend that particular timeline, but, as always, God knows what he is doing and what we need. As I have ventured into the latter half of the second year, I feel like I’m finally getting my ducks in order, so to speak. I am consistently booking weddings, have invested in a few different styled shoots, and am in the process of discerning practices that are working and looking for areas in which I may want to pivot (all I hear is Ross Geller’s voice in my head haha).
I’m still only in my official second year of business (and like six years or something in the wedding industry). I still have part time jobs. And this business isn’t quite my main source of income. I love what I do, but often second guess it and sometimes want to throw in the towel. I’m in a place in my life where I don’t wholly identify with my role as a business owner/lead planner lady, which I think has a lot to do with becoming a wife and mom all in the same short time frame. I’m also attempting to really root my identity in Christ. rather than the roles that I hold, because, let’s face it, that’s where the real value comes from anyways and everything else is subject to change. God has given me an overwhelming sense of peace in continuing this business, but I truly feel like it is in a stage of transformation—one that I still don’t have the clearest vision on yet. So here we are a couple inches off the ground (figuratively speaking) in this whole process, trusting God for where He is going to take it, and looking forward to this season of pivoting, unfolding, and surprising joy.