Welcome to the first edition of Women in the Wedding Industry! I'm your host, Kendall Rose.
Okay, this isn't late night cable television. This is a journal about my feelings, and every other Wednesday I want to take you on an intimate journey into the lives of some of the women I work with, admire, aspire to learn from, and inspire me through their work.
I'm a wedding planner - not exactly by trade or training - but sort of a unique combination of unexpected career changes matched with my available skill set and the availability of freelance work and industries in the area I live in.
Oh hey, it me. Photo by Josh Hartman Photography. Bridal shop Grace Elizabeth Bridal.
I'm from Metro Detroit, and spent eight years in Grand Rapids where I met my boo/thang but for three years have lived and worked in Northern Michigan, a region known for it's stunning beauty due to proximity to the Great Lakes and ample public land, an international tourism and Midwest wine mecca, and a storied place full of rich heritage, century family farms, and a burgeoning food, music, and arts culture.
Most of the women I plan to interview for Women of The Wedding Industry will be people based in this area, but like me they come from other parts of the state or country and have moved here to get back to their roots, or maybe establish some in a place that feels like home.
That said, I'll also be sharing stories from women across Michigan, because I work anywhere my couples take me.
Through this project, and these stories I hope to share with you the people who, like me make up this sometimes elusive, often misunderstood, sometimes under-appreciated world known as "The Wedding Industry".
I know what you're thinking.
You've seen too many 90's movies portraying the industry as pushy and chaotic and demanding. With overpriced services and slimy salespeople preying off of peoples' emotions. Or you spend too much time in the 2000's on glossy blogs and Pinterest boards thinking our world is made up only of glamorous moments and swoonworthy soirees in exotic foreign locations. Maybe you've avoided the industry all together and would never consider planning a wedding with your partner. It's just too...much.
And I get it, we're not here to convince you of anything different. And I myself would have never pictured falling into this particular entrepreneurial path, but I did. And within this work I am surrounded by a network of women who are hard working, honest, creative, helpful, collaborative, smart, professional and esteemed for their work. They balance other side jobs, and family, and children, and also are the single sole force sometimes keeping their business afloat. And I want to tell those stories. Give them a little love because they make my world as a wedding planner more enjoyable.
I'll be honest. I do have a little more to say. As wedding planners or florists or photographers or venue managers, we often encounter couples who are off-put by our pricing. Or maybe off-put by certain rules or stipulations. Or maybe don't see the value in what we offer, and try to talk us down from our pricing and/or say unkind things in the process of shopping for services for their wedding.
We get this all the time.
I won't say I have thick skin yet, and that it doesn't hurt. But it's one of the lessons I'm learning as a wedding planner just starting her second year of business. And I can relate, I was a bride planning her wedding in 2017 and I also had to be conscious of a budget. I also asked for proposals and then had to let vendors know I hadn't budgeted for their services, and had to look for other options. Sometimes I didn't even do that, because I had fangirled over them so hard and was embarrassed that I didn't know how much their services were worth.
But I want everyone reading our stories to know, that we wholly respect your budget. And your priorities. And often, we are really great at helping you move money around in your budget to meet your priorities better.
But we also appropriately price our services.
We pay ourselves for our time and materials and overhead costs and taxes and insurance and tools. We pay our own sick time, vacation time, health insurance, maternity leave, 401k contributions, and taxes. We determine the cost of what we need to make each year, month, or week and then we carefully determine what we can offer our services for. It's a difficult process that takes years to figure out, and a lot of trial and error.
And I'm in that boat now. As a full-time small business owner, I balance my cost of living needs with my perceived market value, and test various methods along the way as I grow my business. I always hope for clients who understand why wedding planners are a good investment, and are happy to bring me on to their vendor team, but I also consider it a part of my job to help educate couples about where and when we offer the most value.
And I get passed up, a lot. Oh man, the rejection is real, so real! I have a feeling it will totally get easier over time, but one thing I can count on is the ability to talk through my problems and share ideas and sometimes bitch about the hard days with the friend's I've made in this community.
Being a part of this community has pushed me to continue with this business, even if every week, day, or hour I feel under-qualified or too insecure to do so.
And I owe that to the Women of the Wedding Industry. And yes, of course I love our dudes as well. I'll probably share some love on them in another blog theme somewhere down the road.
So, I hope you're here for the long run. This is my way of putting a human face to the people behind the industry, and in doing so hope to invite you into our world, one beautiful face and story at a time.
Thanks for being here!
Take er easy,