Five years ago, my husband and I discussed my future. At the time, I was teaching dance at an awesome studio near Pensacola, Florida and assisting a well-respected wedding coordinator about every other weekend. I enjoyed my current jobs, but I felt that I could contribute more, be more, learn more. I wanted to have flexibility in my schedule since my husband’s job took him away from home often and unexpectedly. I wanted to reach my fullest potential. I wanted to embark on the dream I’d had for six years of becoming a full-time wedding planner. So my husband sold his car. His gorgeous 2008 orange Mustang. He bought a cute little Ford truck and gave me the leftover cash to start a business.
When we moved to North Carolina soon after that, I opened Galej Events while we were still living in a hotel waiting for the closing date on our house. I was so passionate about being my own boss, creating beautiful things, learning about business development, and fulfilling my passion in organization and design.
They say that when you open a business, it usually takes three years to turn a profit. Almost three years to the day, I took my husband out to dinner with money from my first official Galej Events paycheck. Years of worrying about not getting enough clients, building a portfolio by coordinating free events and styled shoots, and networking like crazy paid off. I learned more than I ever thought I could about website development, SEO, taxes, and business etiquette. And, I met some amazing people – other event vendors who cared about the growth of my company as much as their own, entrepreneurs who had their own passions and experiences, and Norm Brodsky, to name a few.
This year, the number of inquiries I was receiving took off. And, I realized that in order to keep up with demand, I would have to commit more time, more manpower, and more intellectual capital to running Galej Events. The problem was, I didn’t want to.
So, my husband and I had another discussion about my future. I had reached the point where my dreams for Galej Events weren’t expanding. It had reached the fullest potential I had imagined for it, and I wasn’t interested in working harder to help it grow more. This makes me sound lazy. But, trust me, any of my past clients, friends, or family can affirm that that isn’t the case. I just didn’t have passion for wedding planning anymore. So, as of June, I decided to close Galej Events. Then, on September 10, I worked my last wedding.
This was a hard-reached, weighty, and difficult decision. After I made the decision, I got almost ten inquiries in two weeks – an unprecedented influx of potential clients desiring my services. This made me question my decision over and over, but every time I considered the implications of sticking with this job, I knew I would be cheating myself out of the experiences and adventures that the Lord has planned for me. I would be sticking with this job because of an obligation, not a passion, and I am grateful that I don’t have to do that right now.
I will be applying for a doctoral program in Public Policy, and I have just accepted an internship with The Borgen Project, advocating for the world’s poor. This is a 180-degree transition, but the realm of public policy is one in which I believe I have a lot to offer and a lot to learn.
I want to thank every single person who has made my dream of wedding coordination business ownership a reality. The people who supported me, listened to my crazy ideas, helped me sort through design plans, encouraged me when I worried I’d never get another client, worked for me when I had so many clients that I was swamped, and believed in my abilities more than I sometimes did myself. I have truly loved being a wedding planner. I’ve loved getting to know each client, learning about what made their relationship special and how they wanted to commemorate that uniqueness on their wedding day. I’ve enjoyed seeing my clients surrounded by those who love them most, and I’m glad to have been able to take some of the stress of wedding planning off my clients’ shoulders. I’ve loved designing beautiful things, and I’ve loved seeing the passion that other wedding vendors have for their work and their clients.
It is with mixed emotions but an overall hopefulness that I leave the era of Galej Events in the past. Here’s to an adventuresome future…