Wednesday, June 14, 2017

6 Lessons I Learned As a Wedding Planner Intern

When I was a Senior at Meredith College I applied for an internship with a local wedding planning company and went for my interview and was hired right on the spot! All throughout college my dream after I graduated was to either work for a wedding planning company or start my own wedding planning company, but as some of you know your dreams don't always come true. 




After I graduated Meredith in May 2013, I began to nanny for a family full time during the summer. I absolutely loved the family, but I knew I didn't want to do that as my career so I began the horrendous job search. I think I may have applied to over 50 or 60 event planner/wedding planner jobs in the area and either didn't have enough experience or had too much. At the end of the summer my dad offered me a job at his company as the Administrative Assistant and I took the job and 4 years later I am still here and I love it! 

There are days that I think about what it would have been like if I had landed that event planning job out of college or what it would be like to start my own business, but then I freak out and go back to my daily duties.

That internship during my senior year of college was amazing! I really felt it help me come out of my shy shell and challenged me in ways I didn't think an event planning internship would. Any type of event planning career path is long hours and a lot of hard work; I learned that quickly. My first wedding I went to as an intern I was there from 10AM until 1AM, talk about a long day. Luckily the bride and groom fed us! 

I know most of you will never be a wedding planner, but some of you may get married and hire wedding planners and those wedding planners may have interns, so here are a few little tips that I learned while I interned for  Adams & Events!

Things don't go as planned, but don't tell the bride unless you have to.
My first weekend as an intern I really got pushed into the world of wedding planning with a double wedding weekend of sisters. One got married Saturday and the other on Sunday..on Labor Day weekend. So there was of course going to be something wrong, but in this case no one could have ever imagined this.

Saturday bride was late - limo forgot to pick her up or something, but that wasn't the big problem. On the Sunday wedding the reception would be outside with a tent for the guests and a tent next to it for the caterer. Well, near the end of the reception right before the exit the catering tent caught on fire. Yes, on fire. Flames and everything. Tracy, my boss, ran to me and told me to get the guests into the exit line and get them out fast before the bride sees this. We got them out and the bride didn't know until later the next day that anything was wrong. Praise the Lord!

Eat when you can.
This goes for pretty much anyone involved in the wedding - eat when you can as much as you can because who knows when you will have the opportunity to eat again. There were plenty of weddings where there was a buffet of some bread and I just wanted to grab some but I couldn't because it would be unprofessional.

TIP FOR THE BRIDE: Include your wedding planner(s) in your meal count so they get a meal as well. Not all couples do this but it is very much appreciative knowing we can have something to eat during your wedding.

Go to all the wedding shows, fairs and/or expos.
You get in for free if you are a vendor and you can see all the beautiful dresses, try cake for free and all the fun wedding planning stuff. Oh and find new clients of course!

A post shared by Ashley Stephenson (@ashleyc_stephenson) on


When a couple cake tests you don't get to.
This was my least favorite thing I learned as an intern. Tracy told me we were going to go with them to cake test but typically we didn't taste them, unless the bride insisted. 

You have no weekends during wedding season.
There were a good couple of months that Timmy barely saw me on the weekends because I had weddings after weddings. I was thankful for the weddings where I didn't have to be there until 4pm but there were some weddings where it was an all day and all night type of event. If you go into this field be prepared to have long hours, like I said before!

You get to be part of someone's special day.
This was my favorite part about being an intern for a wedding planning company. These couples are trusting you and your team to help make this the best day ever and getting to see you helped their dreams come true is an amazing feeling. I am not going to lie there were a few weddings that I cried at. 

I would never have traded the experience I got from this amazing internship for anything. I saw love grow, I saw Tracy pull off miracles and most of all I got to live out my dream for a year. I may not have pursued my wedding planning dream, but it gave me the passion for planning and trust me I plan out almost everything so give me a party and I go all out! 

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5 comments :

mypixieblog said...

Thanks so much for sharing this--I used to think about this line of work because I thought planning someone's dream day would be a wonderful career choice. For the right person I believe it absolutely is but those are some very long hours -- and sacrificing that many weekends is huge and not something I think I would have been able to do. Also I can't imagine not eating all day but that's because I am a gremlin :)

coach-daddy said...

As I'm sure you've discovered, these lessons apply to so much in life! If I have someone to my place or somewhere by my request and it's a meal time, they're going to eat with me. That's all there is to it.

I think working a job like you did with your internship is a lot like waiting tables as a college student. You learn to prioritize and manage damage control, but also get the sense of your power to really help make an experience memorable for someone.

Rachel said...

It sounds like you would definitely get a lot of fun stories out of a job like that! My sister just got married two weeks ago and that was one LONG day for all of the family who set up and took down everything and prepared all the meal--by the end of the day we were falling asleep standing up! :P It was a lot of fun to work together with family to pull off the event!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Oh gosh, I can't imagine how many long days a job like this would have but it sounds like a great job when things all go right in the end. But yeah, I wouldn't want to be at the cake testing if I couldn't eat cake! LOL

Lauren

Midnight Cowgirl said...

I've always wondered what it was like to be a wedding planner :)