I never tire of this question. Each time I am asked, I discover a new reason, happenstance, and affirmation for the how and why I do what I do. As new perspectives emerge, the story evolves. As of right now, this is the story of how I became an Event Coordinator.
At 10 years old I attended my first wedding with a friend. Somehow she knew the bride, so we got backstage passes to see the Princess and her Posse getting ready in the pastor’s office. I listened to the women laughing, wondering where to stuff their tissues (cleavege or bouquet?), watched family popping in and out, and felt the excitement full the room. I liked it there, with the adults, and the fun, and the conservatively dirty jokes. As much as I longed to be bride, I longed to have the chill and coolness of the bridesmaid. And I wondered… who made all this happen?
At 15 I stepped into a role at my church, organizing and facilitating weekly services and events for up to 300 teenagers. I learned about flow, timing, communication, grounding, and managing many moving parts.
Forward the story 4 years and I am the Maid of Honor in my cousin’s wedding.
Picture this: the venue double-books, the groomsmen are 2 hours late, the music isn’t chosen yet, the decor is set up by exhausted aunts and cousins, the bride is doing her own hair, the photographer is “getting experience,” and people show up who were not invited.
Despite every hiccup, we made it happen. The decor, the hair, and food, the photos, and the ceremony all happened smoothly without an official coordinator. (This is where I give serious props to my eldest cousin for being the best Bad Cop/MOH to my Good Cop/MOH I have ever seen!) That weekend I learned just how well I operate under stress, in a pinch, with narry a team, at the last minute.
Of course, I swore I’d never have a wedding after that (it’s now my post-wedding tradition to declare, “Not for me! Never!” until another friend is engaged, and I fall in love with the process all over again).
After that experience, I paid attention to what was in the gap for events, meetings, fundraisers, church services, weddings, photo shoots, fashion shows, seminars. Everywhere I went, I picked up in what worked and didn’t work, made notes, and supported any event I could with the knowledge I collected.
I’ve spent the last 12 years learning, teaching, hosting, consulting, facilitating, and taking in every drop of fun this career has to offer.
What comes next is how on earth I am going to create an entire second career out of this! I invite you along on this journey as I set out to hone my skills and turn this passion into a purpose.