Why I Got Into Wedding Planning

One of the questions I am asked most often is “Why did you become a wedding planner?”  Here is the answer that I rarely give!

There are several of answers to this:

  • I love creating spaces and moments that enable others to celebrate, feel at home, and take a break from their daily routine.

  • It combines my creativity, organizational, and planning skills.

  • I wanted a job connects me with people on a deeper level over an extended period of time. I love walking through life with others.

  • I fell into it. The same spirit that made me want to help others celebrate well also involved me in events at Rocklands Farm. At the time, my husband and I were living on Rocklands Farm where I helped coordinate, manage, and plan many of its first weddings.  

 

Probably the worst sounding answer, but also the most true, is I fell into wedding planning so I could prevent others from making the mistakes I made as a bride.
The nicer version is:

I became a wedding planner so my friends, their friends, and their families could benefit from the lessons I learned as a bride.

But let’s be real for a minute, the lessons we learn from mistakes we’ve made stick with us for a while.  Also, I’m the type to mull over mistakes or problems that come up, figuring out the best way to prevent them in the future.  My mistakes are often my greatest source of change and growth.

Photography by Two Ring Studios

In July 2000, I was one of the first of my friends to get married.  With the help of my mother and mother-in-law, I planned our Washington, D.C. wedding from Seattle. There was a small website (www.marylandweddings.com) where I found Neil and Carla of Freed Photography, but my resources were limited to bridal shows, word of mouth, and a little book called the Yellow Pages.

I am a type-A person who loved getting A’s in school and being a bride is (often) a one-time experience.  Much to my dismay, there was no training course I could take to get an “A” in being a bride.  

As my dear friends got married, I wanted them to benefit from my own wedding planning experience. The way I often phrased it was, 

You are my friend. I want you to have the best wedding day possible. Let me help you navigate this wedding planning adventure and have a wedding that is uniquely yours without all of the stress.

 

This led to many different roles at my friends’ weddings (I’ve been in the bridal party of fourteen weddings): a florist, an assistant photographer, a catering manager, an event designer, a venue manager, a day-of-coordinator, and, ultimately, a wedding planner.  

 

A quick, little secret- I struggle a bit with the title “wedding planner.”  For me, it conjures up visions of Martin Short in “Father of the Bride” or Jennifer Lopez running off with the groom in “The Wedding Planner.” It also elicits nightmarish stories of weddings and wedding planners from people I meet in the grocery store, the gym, and cocktail parties.

But today, as I near 14 years since my first wedding as an official wedding planner, I view my work as one of the highest privileges in my life. I am welcomed by fascinating couples as a participant and guide to plan their personal, thoughtful and creative celebrations.  I get to share their life with them for awhile and help them make their wedding dreams come true.  

After all these years I wake up excited each day about the couples I serve and the experiences we create together.  I can’t wait for the couples and events on the horizon!