Thursday, March 15, 2012

Becoming a Wedding Assistant

Ever since I started planning my wedding, I've been thinking about how lucky I am to already have all of these organization, shopping, budgeting, planning and crafting skills. More recently, after reading about a woman in New York who offers "craft concierge" services along side her wedding planning, and after talking to two Chicago stage managers who have translated their skills into wedding coordination, I started to think maybe I could make a business out of this. Then, when my fiance told me "this is what you should be doing" after a day working on wedding stuff, without me ever having mentioned the idea to him, I decided that I should go for it.
So here it is on my blog, an official announcement that over the next year or so I am going to be launching a wedding and event assistant business.

Some of the ideas I have about what I want my business to be (in illogical free writing, brainstorming order):
  • I am not a wedding planner, I am calling myself a wedding assistant, because this is not my wedding. It is the wedding of the two people getting married and I am there to help them.
  • There was a comment recently, on one of the blogs I read, from a bride who had the idea that she would do her own bouquets, from flowers she would buy at a grocery store or wholesaler. Unfortunately she had an aunt who was sure it would be a disaster, told her that it would be too difficult and that she would regret it. The bride was convinced and hired a professional florist, now she was wishing she had stuck to her guns. It dawned on me that I would be the perfect person to bridge that gap for people. I am not a professional florist, and will not charge you florist rates, but I have done DIY wedding flowers before, I know what I'm doing, we'll do them together. Having that extra set of experienced hands could give you the confidence to shoot down the nay-sayers and stick to your guns (and not just on flowers, that goes for DJing your wedding with an I-Pod, writing your own ceremony, making your own dress or veil or jewelry, baking the cake, or any number of other projects).
  •  One of my life philosophies, that I think I could bring into the wedding world well is, "You can have anything you want, you just can't have everything you want." Everyone is going to have something special that they want to splurge on for their wedding, whether it is the cake, the food, the dress, the band, the venue or any other number of things. My mission will be to find you enough savings in other places through some creative sourcing and DIY craft projects, that you will be able to afford that one special thing. 
  • I'm an awesome mediator (I'm pretty sure that comes out of growing up the middle girl between two brothers). I am a rock star when it comes to dealing with difficult family and friends and finding compromises. I am great at helping people see one another's side of a problem, and I will be great at heading off any and all possible disasters on a wedding day or leading up to it.
  • Included in my prop designer skills, I am a carpenter and can build special tables, card boxes, alters, centerpieces etc. 
  • I can sew. Not enough to create your wedding dress, but certainly enough to repair last minute rips and tears, make a veil, help you create custom table linens or any number of other projects you might dream up. 
  • I know all the antique and thrift stores in the Chicago area and I visit them regularly. If you're looking for something (vintage jewelry, vases for centerpieces, mismatched china for the place settings etc) I can be on the lookout for you, buying what you need for reimbursement later. 
  • I am great at making spreadsheets, lists, budgets and such, and will be excited to help you make yours. 
  • In addition to all of this, what I could offer to brides would be a listening ear, a brainstorming partner, a voice of reason and calm, someone who will never get tired of hearing about your wedding, and someone who will more than likely show up with ice cream on a really stressful day, because ice cream always helps. 
What I need now is a bit of confidence and some references, so that I can convince people I don't know to hire me. If you know of anyone who might be interested in some wedding or event help (from small projects up to entire events), pass along my information. Right now I would be offering my services at VERY reduced rates in an attempt to build a bit of a portfolio. 

Hopefully, with a lot of hard work and a little luck, I'll have to start another blog soon. This time with wedding projects.

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