I sometimes get asked why I became a planner, not having come from an events or wedding background…
Once upon a time I was a senior marketing manager, for a company I loved, with amazing colleagues and fabulous bank clients (most of the time).
This was truly work I had grown up with and got a lot out of delivering.
However, in 2000, when I married for the second time, I started to take stock. My daughter was 3 and, having been the breadwinner for a long time, I had barely spent much time with her. Finding oneself in San Francisco late on a Friday might sound fantastic, but not when your tiny child is in West Oxfordshire – a good 12 hours away.
I had always hankered after working for myself and not having to bang on that silly old glass ceiling which certainly existed in Finance back then (seriously hope less so now ladies).
Did I know what I would do? Nope – no idea.
So, I did one of those online questionnaires which asks you all sorts, and for the first time ever I did it just for me – not thinking a boss might be evaluating my responses.
The answer? Party planning!
Well I just laughed. I worked for a large American organisation and we had ‘people who did that’.
Weirdly, the idea wouldn’t leave me, so when I attended a friend’s wedding soon after and found myself furious with the venue/ caterer (in fact most suppliers involved) as everything was messy and ‘un-thought-out’ I realised perhaps ‘the computer was right’ after all.
Having straightened some linen, fiddled with some favours and given the bride a big hug, I decided that, actually, delivering a great event, whatever it may be, is enormously important to the hosts.
At the end of the day, organising a wedding, party or event is a project: often a pretty one and almost always a fun one, but a project, and that’s what I’d done in marketing roles for years.
Events of all types are ultimately about people and people make me tick, be it someone’s smile when their launch party goes well, satisfied conference delegates or a beautiful bride seeing her day come together perfectly.
I think I rest my case with regard to why I became a planner.
My kids saw a lot more of me than they would have done growing up and, clearly, I have never looked back.
Oh and that little 3 year old even helped out sometimes before she left for Uni!
Happy planning all!