This may surprise some of you but when I went to college I was an athletic training major. I thought I would graduate in 4 years, head to a high school to become their athletic trainer, and stay there forever. It turns out I don’t love anatomy, math, science or blood so that dream ended and I was SO lost. I did what any freshman in college does when they need help, I asked my Facebook friends what my major should be. Someone told me I would make a great event planner and that was it. Everything clicked into place and I HAD to find the best wedding planner to work for.
My best friend’s cousin had a best friend who was a wedding planner and I landed an interview with one of the top planners in Chicago the summer of my sophomore year of school. I started as an assistant and within a year I got to move into a lead planner position. The only issue was I was heading to New York to live with my then boyfriend. Yes, I was that girl who was going to leave her dream job for a guy. To be fair we are now married with a pup and a cutie kid but I digress. After graduation I got to commute to Chicago to keep planning the weddings I had booked but soon it was time to end my time with the company. I was devastated to leave something I had truly come to love but I just wasn’t willing to give up being in love. I’m kind of like the girl who didn’t go to Paris…
By then we were moving to Virginia and again I felt totally lost. There weren’t as many wedding planners around and 0 of them were looking to hire someone. I was in a new place, without friends and without a career. Fast forward almost a year and I finally landed a new position doing events at a fancy Williamsburg resort. I had never worked in an office and I am pretty positive I never will again… Office politics and even wedding venue politics (aka a very rude pastry chef) were just not my thing. When I was 3 months pregnant the venue was purchased and I was no longer allowed a maternity leave so like before I had nowhere to go until I basically begged Jess with Wedding Co of Williamsburg to hire me. And you know what? SHE DID! Because she didn’t know me and because I was super pregnant (I got hired 10 days before my due date and I didn’t fit at the tables at Starbucks) I was an assistant to start. But as things changed with the company I was almost instantly promoted to a lead. I finally felt like I belonged.
I got to work with Jess for 2 years as a lead planner and if I was still in Virginia I might even still be planning for her. I got to plan a wedding with 450 guests, one with a celebrity pup in attendance, one with a full fireworks show, and countless others. But of course we moved AGAIN. But this time instead of feeling lost and jobless Jess encouraged me to start my virtual assisting business. Now I get to still work with her every day along with other wedding creatives.
I truly love the wedding industry and to be honest I do accept wedding planning clients but only if someone really wants me or knows me. However I am so happy to be doing what I am doing. And you know what else? I actually get some free weekends now! So go follow your heart, take suggestions from friends, and make your own career dreams come true – even if it takes you 8 years to get there.