If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you may have seen a link I posted the other day which took you to a website holding page. My website holding page, in fact, for the business I’ve been working on for well over a year and the whole reason I started blogging in the first place: Utterly Wow Wedding Planning & Design.
I’ve flirted with the idea of becoming a wedding planner for many, many years if I’m being completely honest. I’ve always been a planner- throwing regular house parties through my teens and becoming Events Rep for the Drama department at University. Organising open mic nights, charity balls and mini theatre festivals whilst surrounded by my best friends was the Most Fun Ever, but torn between making a living out of event planning and chasing the dream of being an actress, my ego won and off to drama school I went.
Fast forward four or five years and the novelty of being a struggling actress had worn off somewhat. When I was working, acting was the best thing in the world, but when I wasn’t… well, it was pretty s**t. Somewhere in this five year period I had fallen truly, madly, deeply in love with a boy (that would be Paul) and started to think about weddings. A lot. An awful lot. Despite being years away from getting engaged I bought the magazines, devoured wedding blogs and made mood boards. Yes, I wanted to get engaged myself, but this was research. My ‘wedding obsession’ became a bit of a joke amongst my friends but I was deadly serious; I wanted to work in weddings and becoming a planner was the obvious calling.
The first thing I did to make s**t happen was to attend a two-day course with the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP). I won’t go in to too much detail about this course as it deserves a blog post of it’s own; but suffice to say it was more inspiring, encouraging and informative than I ever thought it would be, and I’m still friends with a group of girls/planners from that weekend. That was in September 2011. I told myself I’d have a year of focussed research and preparation and launch with a bang in September 2012.
But then, of course, Paul proposed. And whilst I’ve had the Best Year Ever planning my own nuptials, that big launch I had planned for a couple of months ago… well, it hasn’t happened. Utterly Wow has been quietly developing in the background though, and I’m very proud of the fact that ten months on this little ole’ blog I started to ‘make contacts and find my voice’ is still going strong… but I have to admit that excuses have always found me. Lack of time, for instance. My job in the bridal boutique is full-time, and my evenings are already spent blogging/ doing wedmin/ house-keeping/ watching crap on the telly. Lack of finances has also been an issue. You don’t need an awful lot of funding to set up as a wedding planner, but it does take time if the necessary outlays such as business cards, web design etc have to be done in dribs and drabs.
But probably the biggest excuse of them all has been fear; fear of failure, fear of the unknown. It’s nothing to be ashamed of- I’m sure everyone about to take a leap of some kind is riddled with it- but it’s when the fear is stronger than the impetus that you can find yourself stalling. Even if all you want to do is jump.
A recent post by Annabel from Love My Dress really resonated with me. Part of her ‘Being Self-Employed’ series, this one was called ‘Trusting Yourself and Making Things Happen’ and couldn’t have been more timelier. In it she doesn’t say anything new; her sentiments are echoed all over the blogosphere and in books by successful people who have ‘made it happen’, but it doesn’t make them any less meaningful or valid:
“* Ignore anyone and everyone who makes you feel you’re aiming too high. You can never aim too high
* Be brave, jump into the unknown and take an adventure!
* Surround yourself with positive people who love and care for you and get what you’re all about
* Just do it! If you want something so much, make it happen – research, network, connect, position yourself amongst people who will help you achieve your dreams – just don’t sit around thinking about it – amazing opportunities do happen to normal people like you and me, don’t let them pass you by!
* Most importantly of all, never stop believing in you. You are capable of much more than you might have ever believed.”
Quoted from Love My Dress
So I am Just Doing It. I’ve given myself until Christmas to complete the website and will officially ‘open for business’ in the New Year. I’ve gone public with this news so that I can’t delay it any longer. I’ve put the link on my personal Facebook page which was the most scary of all but has actually received a really positive response. I’m meeting up with the ladies who have already contacted me via the blog to ask if I will coordinate their weddings next summer. I’m making s**t happen, god dammit!
It’s always been important to me to get Utterly Wow up and running before my own wedding. The wheels of this career bus were well in motion before I got engaged, not as a result of. Having said that, there is no doubt that having a wedding to plan in full has been more helpful and educational than any course could be, and I can hand on heart say that I have loved and am continuing to love every second.
Will I mourn my own wedding when it’s over? Probably. This day is something that I’ve been looking forward to for a very, very long time. Will I mourn for long? Not at all. As I mentioned above, I already have a couple of weddings lined up for the summer which I’m more than excited about, and I know that this desire I have to create weddings that are packed full of personality, style and love is a passion, not a whim.
The future is bright. The future is Utterly Wow :)
So who else is about to take a leap? Or who has already leaped and lived to tell the tale?! Would love to hear from you if you feel like sharing…
(I make no apologies for the cheesy ending line. I was in the zone.)