How to Get Started in the Wedding Industry
The question I get asked at least three times a week, maybe four or ten actually, is
“How did you get to where you are?!”
People ask me this question constantly. (And it is truly so flattering) But, I want people to also know that I am still growing and learning too! I have worked hard and it has not been easy to get here, but I believe that all of you incredible humans can get here too! And don’t just stop when you get here, keep on going.
But, there is a story to how I have gotten to be where I am at Grit and Grace. One that involves a lot of determination, some luck, and flexibility. All important things in life.
When I graduated high school, I wanted to be an event planner and I knew it. I was so sure! I, also, knew that the traditional college route would take 4 years before I could get involved within events (...which was not very appealing to me, TBH).
I was in Orange County, where there are events going on everyday that people travel the world to attend and I decided to try to get into this scene as early as I could. This meant going to school at Orange Coast College in their meeting and event management program. The classes cover just about every type of event you can have in hospitality - including weddings. I cannot express enough that if you are wanting to learn about the industry and hospitality, this is an option worth thinking about!! Trust me, I am not a huge school gal and I love this place.
I then started to look around for event jobs, but couldn’t find a position that best fit. Some of them required experience which I had none of besides high school student council (which in truth was actually some incredible experience) but, I didn’t qualify.
Now here’s where the luck and hard work paying off kicked in. I was chatting with a group of friends and one of them was talking about how she helps her aunt with wedding planning. I instantly jumped at the opportunity to ask her a million questions and she gave me her aunt’s information. Long story short, I interviewed with her aunt and we hit it off and I began interning with her for a few months. It was exciting! I helped out at some absolutely beautiful weddings at venues known all over Orange County. I got to see the inner workings of weddings and catering and the way vendors communicate with each other. Although I was not getting paid, the experience was absolutely priceless. I would have paid for that experience back then!
At the time, I also started to work at Anthropologie. This is the place where THE magical moment you may or may not have heard about happens. Yep, I met Claire! We barely even worked a shift together, but I kept telling everyone I wanted to be an event planner one day and was currently in school for it. One of my managers briefly mentioned to me that Claire was starting her own event company and I should reach out to her.
Like I said, Claire and I barely worked together, and on each shift I would run into my manager’s office and ask if “Claire the one who is a wedding planner” is here.
One day, she FINALLY was. I was nervous but I ran up to her and just kind of word vomited something along the lines of “I want to help you”. I don’t even know if my name was introduced, oops. She was very kind and told me that it was such a fresh company she wouldn’t be able to pay me yet, but I didn’t care. I had a good feeling about Claire and wanted in. I wanted to help in any way possible. At the wedding, rehearsal dinner, on social media, and any other task.
Now here we are, about 2 and a half years later! It sounds all short and sweet on paper, but please believe me when I say this was a long process that took patience. And I am so grateful for all the hours I volunteered my time, asked questions, and took a chance. I am extremely flattered that so many people DM us and ask about my story, and I hope that this gives you some inspiration to keep reaching out, to work hard, and to not give up on your dream!
Next week, another blog will go out with a few steps I suggest you take if you are seeking experience in the industry, and all of my Instagram questions answered! Thanks for reading and being interested in my story.
I am always here for YOU and cheering you on!!
All the best,