It’s our birthday this week! We’re turning 7! It’s crazy how fast time flies. It feels like just the other day I decided to start my own business. And yet at the same time, Mango Muse Events has evolved so much that it feels like eons ago that I successfully finished my first wedding. I still love what I do and while my knowledge and expertise has grown tremendously over the years, the reason I do what I do still remains the same. For those of you who don’t know my story, I thought now would be a fitting time to share it.
Once upon a time, there was a girl named Jamie…
Haha! No, this is not a fairytale and I promise I won’t write this in 3rd person. I actually stumbled into event planning through my first job at a money management firm. It was not what I had originally set out to do and event planning wasn’t my actual job (I worked in sales, then marketing), but I got tasked early on with planning all of the annual sales galas and incentive trips for the sales team. This proved to be quite a feat since I had my real job as well, but I acquired the skills quickly as I have always been organized and a good communicator. I taught myself how to manage vendors, create schedules, take care of guests and VIPs and make sure the day runs smoothly, so essentially I learned how to plan a destination wedding. While the event wasn’t a wedding it had all the same elements like planning from afar and coordinating musicians, catering, venues, decor, special activities, welcome gifts, spa days and more. When I look back now, that role as an in-house event planner really laid the foundation for what I’m doing now. But, back to the story.
So, I worked for this firm and handled their events for a number of years until I left because I wasn’t happy (there is much more to this part of the story, but that is for another day). I got a new job a few months later at an online marketing firm (which was what my actual job was at the first company) and while I was good at it, I didn’t feel fulfilled. I realized soon after that I missed event planning, so I decided to pursue event planning full time, but I was much more interested in the personal side of it. I wanted my job to have meaning. So, to make sure I was making the right jump, I interned and helped a few wedding planners out. After my first wedding, I was sold. I loved it. I loved the sheer joy on the couple’s faces and the knowledge that I played a part in making someone’s wedding day special, in taking care of everything else so that they can make new memories and really experience the moment.
Now that I knew what I wanted to do, the next question was whether I should try to work for someone else or start my own business. That was when it happened. I got gifted a wedding book by a friend who knew I was switching careers, which it was very sweet. But, as I was looking at it, I was just astonished. While the book was pretty, it was all about picking a theme and colors. As I looked at it, I couldn’t see myself in any of it. I was beachy and edgy and romantic and vintage and modern and whimsical. I was a little bit of this and a little bit of that and I didn’t fit into their boxes. So, I did more research and it was the same everywhere I looked. Pick a theme! Pick a color! Pick a style! One word that kept popping up in the back of my mind, was why? Why do I have to pick? Why does this matter? Why can’t I just do what I want?
I was honestly disturbed that this was how someone was supposed to plan their wedding, that this was the advice that was out there. So, my business was born. I wanted to help couples create their wedding. I wanted to help them create a wedding that they loved, that brought them joy by celebrating who they are. People aren’t just one thing or one category or one style or one color. We are a blend of our likes and the people and experiences that have shaped us. I thought it was important to celebrate that and I still do. It’s what drives me to help my clients so that we can make their wedding and their experience true to who they are and celebrate their love story.
So, as we celebrate our birthday this week I’d like to say thank you to all of the lovely couples that I’ve had the opportunity to get to know. Thank you for trusting me to take care of you and your special day. And thank you to all the amazing vendors friends I’ve made over the years. You are all so talented and I’m honored to be able to work with you. It’s been an amazing ride and it’s only getting better. We’re embarking into some new territory this year which we’ll be sharing soon I promise, but I’m so excited to continue helping couples and making their lives more joyful. Happy Birthday to us!