When I tell people I'm a wedding planner, I invariably get 2 types of reactions. The first one is, "Oh yeah, I can totally see that because you're so Type A about planning & organization in general." Which is totally true!
The second reaction (usually from people that graduated from college with me) is somewhere along the lines of, "You're doing WHAT?!? I thought you went to school for marketing." Yeah, I did, but marketing isn't all I want to do with my life.
Until recently I was in hotel management and there were days I enjoyed my job and there were days I dreaded the monotony. I was good at hotel management but the passion wasn't there. Something was missing. The more I soul-searched, the more I realized it was the lack of creativity that I found most frustrating.
You see, for 20 years I was constantly in a dance studio. First as a student, and then as a teacher. Nothing was as fabulous as creating choreography and then watching my students perform it the way I visualized it in my head. It was such a rush!
And then life kind of got in the way. I was working a full-time job, teaching 4-5 days a week, and also trying to get my masters degree. I was burning the candle at both ends and I knew something had to give.
So I let my teaching job go to focus on the other two. People told me I made the "adult" decision, but all the while I missed dancing. My body was much happier (though my knees still sound like bubble wrap from two decades of jumping and leaping on concrete!). My creative soul, however, was not.
I towed the line and I kept pushing forward in my career. Jobs came and went. Relationships came and went. I tried to convince myself that I was happy with my "big girl" decisions and kept on keeping on.
Then in 2014, the hotel I managed went through some major changes. Three (!) ownership changes in the space of 6 months. Every time I'd almost have the staff up to speed on the changes, the next change would come and wipe everything out. I was moody, mentally exhausted, and more than a few times I cried myself to sleep. It was not a fun time. Something seriously had to give.
One day, I was talking with my dear friend Tara about how frustrated I was with my lack of progress. When I mentioned how much I wanted to do something different, she mentioned that I should think about planning weddings & events as a career.
Talk about a revelation! Event planning - of course!! It perfectly combines my love of pretty with my love of uber-organization. Between the years of hotel management, corporate event production, moving hundreds of dance students from Point A to Point B in a timely manner, and helping friends and family plan their weddings & events, I knew I was forging a path to something special.
That one fateful conversation led me to create my baby - Pocketful of Sunshine Event Design. As a kid I thought if I could catch the sunshine and keep it in my pocket I'd always be a happy girl. I've never actually caught the sunshine but the symbolism behind it stayed with me. Plus it's a perfect match for my eternal optimism. (And I'll bet you're humming Natasha Bedingfield's Pocketful of Sunshine, too!)
I take pride in the fact that I've created a small Southern wedding planning company. To be honest, I have no desire to be the biggest event planner in the area, but I'm absolutely determined to be the best. To borrow a page from my Grandma's book, here at Pocketful of Sunshine we live (and plan) by the motto "Quality Over Quantity."
That motto means we take a limited number of clients each wedding season so we can provide our clients with our undivided attention and show them Southern hospitality at its very finest. I want the planning process to be as memorable an experience as the wedding itself. I'm always dreaming up new ways to give my clients those WOW moments.
I have no idea where this wedding planning journey will take me, and honestly, that's quite alright with me. Let's see where the road goes together! And to my girl Tara, I will always be grateful that you pushed me to take that leap of faith. I'm not sure I would have done it without your encouragement. You're the best and I love you to the moon and back!