The day after I moved to Kelowna Royce and I got on a 6am flight to Santa Barbara, California for me to take a two day 1 on 1 workshop with Jill LaFleur, one California’s top wedding planners. (If you haven’t seen her work, just google her and countless magazine spreads and features will come up.) Besides learning that I love California even more than I thought possible, my iPad is my new best friend, and Jose Villa is prounced VIA… I learnt the following:
1. I love Wedding Planning
Shocking, right? But seriously. When you invest in workshops and have that deep desire to travel wherever you need to to learn from people that truly inspire you, you know you love your job. After returning from the workshop I knew more than ever that this is the career that I want to push for.
2. Stop Comparing
One of my most memorable conversations with Jill went like this.
Me: “I saw your feature on Style Me Pretty yesterday! That was such a stunning wedding.”
Jill: “Oh really? Which wedding was that? I didn’t know it was up.”
In complete astonishment that she must be published so much Style Me Pretty wasn’t of significance I was thinking, must be nice to be so talented you don’t even notice how often you’re featured. Boy was I wrong.
Me: “Oh. It was that outdoor one with the incredible ruffled chair covers. Anyhow, I’ve been meaning to ask you where your inspiration for your wedding designs come from?”
Jill: “To be honest, one night I was lying in bed crying going through everyone else’s features comparing myself to everyone that was so talented thinking I’d never be as good or creative as them. I started thinking of other careers I could have. And then I put it away and stopped looking on blogs and buying magazines and just started to design weddings with what I think looks good.”
Me: “So you don’t even look at your own features?”
Jill: “Sometimes, but no not really.”
I’m sure I was staring at her in complete disbelief, because that’s how I truly felt. Honestly, that might have been the best advice I’ve ever heard. Looking at other people’s work kills me. I cannot tell you have often I’ve stressed and doubted what I do based on seeing other wedding planner’s work and how much trends effect the way I plan. Now, I’m not about to stop buying magazines and looking at blogs because I truly love reading them but I really stopped designing for other people after that day. Keeley & Jordan’s Gatske wedding was just 2 weeks later and I changed quite a bit of the design around right before the wedding date based on what I trusted would look best. I’ve continued to do that with every wedding since and am planning a styled shoot next week that might be the most “me” I’ve styled in a while.
3. Get Out of your Comfort Zone
After a day of chatting at Jill’s house, we were off to the wedding rehearsal at the stunning Catholic church in the pictures below. Jill introduced herself to the couple and then hands me her iPad and tells me to go line everyone up to run the rehearsal. It’s so funny because I’ve done more than enough rehearsals to run one, but I looked at her in shock and was like, “Me?! Don’t you want to do it?” She looked at me like I was a weirdo for panicking and was like “No, I won’t be at the ceremony tomorrow so you need to do it.” Cool. Thanks for casually letting me know. I’m just running a ceremony of Jill LaFleur’s (yes, say her name slowly for full impact)… by myself… having never shadowed her… no pressure. Of course it all went smoothly, like I mentioned I’ve done this before and getting a bride down an aisle isn’t exactly rocket science but still. I was definitely out of what I felt my “realm” or “level” of planning was. And that’s why workshops are so great. They push you so far out of your comfort zone that when you get home you don’t want to go back to what you were doing, you want to do more.
So when I see or hear of wedding vendors going to workshops I really acknowledge the significance of what it takes for them not only financially but mentally to make a leap to go do them and to push their business and to make them better at what they do. And I hope now you do too!