Monday, August 10, 2015

What Made Me Want To Be A Wedding Planner

Every time I meet a new friend in the industry, I’m asked why I started Just Dandy Events.  “What made you want to be a wedding planner?”  I always wish I had some crazy awesome story, about knowing since toddlerhood that I was destined to arrange center pieces and fluff tulle and carry bouquets.  But that’s just not the case.  And I think I’m ok with that.  Even though that would be a very pretty story, it wouldn’t be real.  And I’m all about real life over here ya’ll.
So, what made me want to be a wedding planner?  Well, I guess I’ve always been interested in weddings.  That part is definitely true.  But what little girl hasn’t always been infatuated with the pretty dresses, gorgeous diamonds, and the happily-ever-afters?

As a kid, when I would be forced to accompany my mom to the grocery store, I would walk straight to the magazine rack and grab a wedding magazine.  I’d follow behind my mom, planning out my entire wedding.  Flowers, dresses, bowties, even the food.  I must have planned a hundred or so different weddings for myself.  That was about the only thing that made those trips tolerable.  And to this day, I still hate going to the grocery shopping….thanks mom.
Fast forward to my early twenties, and I found myself engaged and planning my own real wedding.  I remember talking to friends while I was planning and they were always telling me that I had a knack for creating a vision and pulling together all the elements to execute it.  While it was not the right relationship for me and I eventually ended the engagement, I really did enjoy planning out all the details and watching it start to come together.
I went on to help a few friends plan their weddings and also watched a few other friends plan their weddings without any help at all.  I hated the conversations following weddings where these new brides would say something along the lines of “I love being married.  But planning the wedding was a total nightmare.”  I would cringe and sort of tear up for each of them.  How sad to feel that way about a time in your life that should be filled with excitement and anticipation and all the happy feels!
I don’t remember who it was that I was talking to, but one day I just let it all out.  “I can’t stomach hearing another bride-to-be tell me how ready she is to just run off and elope because wedding planning is so unbearably hard.  I can’t keep listening to newlyweds say they wish they had skipped the whole wedding and just gone to City Hall.  It just breaks my heart.  I really think I can make a difference in that season of their lives.  I want to make them look back and smile over the memories of dress shopping, vendor meetings, and all the tastings.  I think I can do this.  I want to do this.”
And so the seed was planted.  When I get an idea that I’m really excited about, it tends to be all I think about.  Before I go to sleep, when I first wake up, and every minute in between, I’m formulating how I can make my idea a reality.  And this was no different.  I came up with a name, started a Facebook page and a blog, then I posted an ad on Craigslist.  I knew that, even though I had a little bit of experience planning friends’ weddings, I really needed to build a portfolio.  So I advertised that I would be coordinating 4 weddings free of charge {that in itself was a learning experience meant for another blog entirely}.
So, that’s it…my un-pretty, but super real story of how Just Dandy Events came to be.  It's sort of funny to think I just sort of took a chance over four years ago and now I can't imagine not planning weddings.  It's just become part of who I am and what makes me very happy.

Elizabeth Henson Photos

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