(A beautiful shot done by Boston Avenue Photography, for our very first wedding every coordinated in 2008 for Jennifer & Michael)
It's hard to believe that seven years has gone by, without a blink of an eye. One minute you are registering a business, taking baby steps and being a sponge, learning everything you can; the next minute, you've been lovingly booted out of the "rookie" category, and clients look to you to know everything because you have been in the industry "for that long". And I've loved every minute of it.
Seven years ago, I was a bright eyed, bushy tailed event planner just like any other professional just breaking in the business. I was willing to do anything - anything - for the experience and to build my portfolio. Seven years ago, I launched my business with little to no experience in wedding and event planning and only had my computer, my cat and my superstar father as a business mentor. I had no clue about how to manage my money, how to quote properly, how to establish boundaries. I had no networks. I only knew a few people that have done this before, but was also too proud to ask them for advice.
We've come a long way. We went from averaging 4-5 weddings in our first couple years to now 25 weddings - give or take - for one six month season. We went from a team of 1, to a team of 2 (me and hubby) to starting an internship program in 2012 that has changed the face of the business forever. We also launched a decor and floral division (with me kicking and screaming!) in 2012 - and I have to admit that it was one of the best decisions ever made. We now have friends in the industry, whom I'm never afraid to ask, "How did you get over this hurdle?" and we have people wanting to learn from us, to grow with us and be a part of this journey.
Then in 2013, I went full time. Nobody ever tells you what it takes to actually do this. Nobody can prepare you for that moment when you finally just say, "F*ck it" and you quit your steady job. You're not just saying "f*ck it" to the job - you're turning your back on what is considered normal and stable. You are declaring to the universe that you want to rise above that and you want to live in the struggle for a little bit so you can style the rest of your life the way you want. For me, it was a particularly difficult journey, with many many days of wondering if we can make our mortgage payments and with lots of support from familiy and friends (I will never complain about my mom's ability to access my house without warning anymore - this means random home cooking showing up in my fridge at any given point!).
But it's now 2015, and we are okay. We are busier than ever, being profitable, improving our systems and overall, loving what we do. Because that's the point, isn't it? The point is to love what we do, do things with passion, treat people with respect and honesty, never take anything for granted and be able to support ourselves and our families in the meantime.
So here's to the next 7 years - may we all live life with passion and love the life we were meant to live.