Mango Muse Events Turns 15 and Our Hopes For The Future

Mango Muse Events turns 15 years old this week!

Can you believe it?! I’m not sure I can.

15 years of destination weddings!

Saying it out loud makes me feel old. And let’s face it, while I’m not OLD, I’m older for sure.

At least, older than when I started this business way back in 2009.

But, it’s true that with age comes wisdom.

Now I’m not saying that I’m a smarty pants and that I know everything, but I’m wiser than I was.

Because experience makes all the difference in the world!

And I’m not just talking about being a destination wedding planner, but as a person.

Life experience makes a big difference.

It’s like with anything, the more you know… well, the more you know.

And with knowledge comes understanding and a more informed perspective.

It’s also interesting how your perspective changes when you age.

If you’re a youngin, this might not mean as much, but if you’re in your late 20’s and look back, you can see how your perspective on life, your work, yourself, and the world is different than it once was.

Because you learn, you grow and you change.

And as you change (and age), what you care about changes too.

Bride and groom sharing a special moment during their first dance at their wedding in Monte Rio by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Bustle and Twine)

In my 15 years, not only have I changed and thus, my business changed, but the industry has changed too.

Weddings are much different now than they were 15 years ago.

Just like they were different 15 years before that (and so on and so forth).

The explosion of wedding content and social media, FOMO and keeping up with the joneses, and an increase in accessibility of travel has changed how weddings operate.

Weddings are a much bigger deal and a much more intense planning process than they were in the past.

And of course the budgets have also exploded.

Now I’m not denying that this benefits me and what I do. It does.

But as both I look back and look forward, I worry about where we’re headed.

When there’s a market for a social media specialist at your wedding so you can get wedding coverage specifically for your social media accounts, that’s concerning.

When there’s a market for a Airbnb that caters towards bachelorette destination weekends because it’s all pink, has a glam space and cutesy signage, that’s concerning.

And when there’s a market for every personalized piece of clothing, accessory and item imaginable that’s made for one time use only, that’s concerning.

I worry that we’re focused too much on how things look and creating for the gram.

And not focused enough on what’s really important – people, the feeling and the experience.

And let’s not forget the effect your wedding has on climate change (something I’ve been thinking and talking about a lot).

There’s not enough conversation happening about sustainable weddings. And not enough options to make this an easy choice.

Hanging orchid chandeliers, live tree centerpieces and twinkle lights in a clear tent wedding reception in Hawaii by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Marina Miller)

Now, I don’t say this to bum you out.

I say this, because as Mango Muse Events turns 15, it’s a great time to not only reflect, but to also look forward to the future.

To look at the state of where we are and see what we can do to make things better.

To make weddings more meaningful, more intentional and more sustainable.

I know how much everyone loves the pretty, but shouldn’t the focus be less on that, and more on the two people choosing to spend their lives together?

On who they are, their relationship, what they care about and what they want for the future?

And I think that comes down to decision making.

Making a choice in a big picture way to be more intentional, but also when it actually comes to daily decisions both big and small.

Part of that comes from couples themselves and making decisions based on what really matters vs for appearances’ sake.

But wedding pros and the wedding industry itself plays a big role too.

When we focus on all the stuff, you can’t help but think you need all the stuff.

And that becomes what’s important.

If we can shift the focus collectively, then what the industry cares and talks about, will be something couples talk about too. And vice versa.

And while I’d love to be able to make it all happen magically myself, I’m no Taylor Swift.

Side tangent: The power and influence that woman has is ASTOUNDING. Just imagine the impact she could make if she used it to better the world. Not just donating money, but encouraging her followers to take action.

Because the collective effort matters!

We are stronger as a group and can get more done if we’re all doing it together.

Bride and bridesmaids arms around each other and supporting each other at a tropical beach destination wedding in Hawaii
(Photo credit: Christie Pham Photography)

As we’ve already established that I’m no Taylor Swift, change really starts with me.

I mean change always really starts with ourselves, right?! But especially when we’re talking about big daunting changes.

We have to start small first.

But I can make a difference, even if small, with what I choose to do with Mango Muse Events and for our clients (P.S. So can you!).

So, here are the changes I’m currently working on:

  • Reviewing all of Mango Muse Event’s processes and operations internally and making modifications to be sustainable, inclusive and intentional with the goal of having as small a climate impact as possible while not losing our high level of service
  • Rethinking destination weddings and the best ways to plan, design and execute to reduce emissions, while balancing client needs and goals, budget, feasibility and guest experience
  • Purposely working with clients who care about people and about the climate and are striving to make their wedding sustainable
  • Encouraging intentional decisions at every step of the planning process (even more so than before)
  • Connecting with both like minded wedding pros and those outside the industry who are working to create change
  • Learning more about the climate landscape and what I can do to help the collective effort
  • Sharing knowledge, information and tips to help others make more intentional and sustainable choices

I’m sure more will get added to the list as I adjust, adapt and learn, but I wanted to share what I’m doing right now.

Because while tackling this problem feels daunting, I’m excited for the change and what can come of it.

And I’m hopeful for the future, but there’s some work that has to be done first.

If you’re excited and hopeful too, please reach out!

Whether you’re a couple looking for a different kind of planner, a like-minded pro who wants to see change too or an industry leader who has a platform and wants to use it for good, I hope we will connect.

Till then, you can follow along with my journey here on the blog and on Instagram.

Cheers to an awesome 15 years and even more awesomeness to come!

(Below is a rare photo of me on the job with my long time assistant/husband. We’re laughing and having a good time, because well, weddings are happy and we like being a part of it.)

Mango Muse Events laughing on the job at a destination wedding at Timber Cove Resort
(Photo credit: Chrisman Studios)
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