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Thursday, November 10, 2011

{Shot in the Arm}

Attending the Business of Brides, the Association of Bridal Consultants' annual conference, is often referred to by experienced planners as getting a "shot in the arm."  Those of us who have been around a while may not come home with tons of new information, but usually return with a reinvigorated passion for our industry.  How many times have you felt bored or even angry with your profession?  In the emotionally-draining work wedding planners do, it's very easy to feel beaten down and ready to change careers.  

I just returned from the fabulous Tremont Grand Plaza hotel in Baltimore (see right) where the conference was held.  I got to hear from celebrity planner Diann Valentine and magazine maven Grace Ormonde.   I learned tips for what to do if a less-than-honest new planner steals your work, picked up a few new design ideas that dazzle guests and enhance their experience, and got to hear from the true green wedding goddess (who really knows her facts), Kate Harrison of the Green Bride Guide.  In addition, I connected with all my old friends that I see year after year and met several more than can benefit my future growth. 

This was my 8th Business of Brides.  I attended my first one in 2004 just after deciding to start a wedding business.  I didn't have a name or business cards, but was welcomed with open arms into the community.  After seeing all the new Master Bridal Consultants get their designations, I was reminded about this blog and the reason for its creation.  My "Road to Master" is not only for my graduate degree, but also to become a Master Bridal of the most difficult designations to earn and most widely respected in our industry worldwide.  So, I came up with a plan that I will layout here (thus being held accountable to it):
  1. Submit seminar topics for the 2012 conference so that I might present
  2. Become Texas state coordinator (my term starts March 2012)
  3. Grow my membership in Texas
  4. Put in bid to host a future Business of Brides conference in D/FW
  5. Oh yeah, start my venue and plan fabulous weddings that I can submit with my portfolio
So, that's not so hard, right?  I told you the standards are pretty high for Master Bridal Consultants, so I gotta step up!  

The Best Medicine...

I must tell you, however, that the best medicine for rejuvenating a worn out wedding planner is the sincere appreciation of our clients.  On the Saturday just before flying out to Baltimore, I had the pleasure of coordinating a wedding in a small town outside of Austin.  It was a Tara Wilson Events-styled wedding in a beautiful backyard for one of the sweetest brides you could ever imagine (I would post pics here but you never know, it could be in a magazine soon!).  Not only was she easy-going and genuinely thankful, but she and her fiance were cute as a button and totally in love.

Just as we had set up the big "send off," I give the bride's dress one last adjustment, hand her bouquet over, and send them up the hill where guests are waiting to toss dried herbs on them.  They are walking and are about to be upon the guests when she stops, turns, and runs over to me with arms wide open.  I am embraced as she tells me how wonderful the day has been and how thankful she was to have me there.  I smile and send them up over the crest and into the barrage of herbs, but a tear comes to my eye once I am alone.  

It doesn't matter that I was on my feet for 6 hours the day before doing set up or that I had stayed up until midnight (and some the following day) assembling their favors.  It doesn't matter that we froze our fingers off at 7am that morning while setting up the tables or got splinters when moving the wood chargers.  Every ounce of energy and drop of sweat is completely justified when you have a client like that.  For all you event professionals reading this blog, may you be showered in appreciation for everything you do.  

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