Intern Design Challenge: Part 1

It’s 7 o’clock on a Tuesday. All of the summer interns have gathered waiting to hear what “big surprise” brought us there that evening. We’re sitting around Abby’s cozy living room snacking on sweet cookies, drinking spiced Chai tea, and discussing our latest bride’s gorgeous beaded dress. Then the moment we were waiting for arrived and the secret was revealed… We were told about the big finale to our internship….the design challenge.

Part of the Abby Mitchell Events experience is the Intern Design Challenge. This assignment is where you put your knowledge and experience to the test. Given a set of guidelines, you are to design, create, plan, and budget a wedding. The requirements include a full design and layouts, timeline, budget, and vendors. For this project, interns pair off or are assigned to one another. Each acts as both a planner and a bride; you plan your partner’s wedding and they plan yours. As daunting as it may sound (and it can be), I’ve gotten so much out of this experience. It’s given me practice with talking to vendors, knowing what questions to ask a bride, coordinating a timeline, and sticking to a budget. All of this invaluable information will help me as I plant my roots in the event planning industry.

I’ve done this assignment twice now. The first was for my summer session with AME. My partner was Olivia and after I’d read her detailed Bridal Questionnaire, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for her design. She explained her love for the movie “You’ve Got Mail” and that was my inspiration throughout the whole process. Below are a few of the pages from this particular wedding design and a link to the website I created just for her:

Inspa Page
Inspiration Board

“Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?” -Kathleen Kelly

For full design, timeline, and budget details: You’ve Got Me

In the weeks leading up to the presentation of the design each of us were working hard and Pinteresting like crazy. The process of designing and planning a wedding (even a fake one) is quite a task. Allocating money, getting quotes from vendors, and making sure you’re delivering your bride’s vision are only a part of it.

A few weeks later, we were together again at Abby’s house. Each of us took a turn presenting our designs, timelines, and budgets to our “bride” and fellow interns. At the end of the night, after more cookies and tea, inspiration boards were posted on social media and judges scores were tallied. Between the judges scores, your bride’s satisfaction, and the help of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook followers…a winner was chosen.

Every season, the winner of this design challenge gets a prize. But I’m keeping that a secret for now. Follow me and stay tuned for more!

 

Wedding Planners: What Do We Do?

Often the topic of conversation among us interns was how people perceive our job. In honor of that, I’ve put together a visual image to help out a bit.

Wedding Planner

These additional pictures were contenders for “What I Actually Do”

Now, don’t get me wrong… I love what I do. It is one of the most satisfying endeavors I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to have such a fun and creative job and could not be more grateful.

What we do is make the bride’s vision a reality. To make sure that her big day is just what she spent hours daydreaming about when she was a little girl. We’re there to help others make memories and keep sanity in check. We are there to support the bride, calm the groom, control the uncle that has had a little too much to drink, and make sure the DJ doesn’t play “Uptown Funk” too many times. We live in the background. We are prepared for any undertaking, unforeseen happenings, and those picture perfect moments. We are there to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that dreams come to life. We’re the visionaries, the go-to people, and the counselors; getting to share in every moment of a very special day in two people’s lives. It can get crazy and a bit hectic, no doubt.. but who said that chaos is always a bad thing?

Beginnings & True Love

“We all have a story to tell.”

As curious beings, we want to know the story. And with most couples, we inquire about theirs. We want to know where and how they met and how they created a love to last a lifetime. We want to find out how two individuals learned about their likes and dislikes, their habits and mistakes, their love for a certain color, and passion for a hobby. We want to see the ring and ask how he popped the question and if she cried when she said yes. How the two ultimately became a pair. We love stories; we love to jump into narratives and immerse ourselves in the happenings of another person’s life. Whether we do this to escape our own or to share in a loved one’s joy, we yearn for the story and eventually, the happy ending.

This is my story. The story of how I happened upon an internship and ended up finding my passion. How circumstances led me to this point in my life. How the past year has taught me how to cherish moments and given me experiences that I never would have imagined.

A student at Missouri State University, I wasn’t looking for an internship. I already had a hectic schedule with juggling a full time job and school. One day, out of curiosity I reached out to Abby Mitchell Event Planning & Design after having looked into a position with her the year before. The timing was perfect as she was accepting applicants for summer interns. I secured an interview with Abby and a few days later a position with her summer team.

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Going into the first wedding of the season I didn’t know what to expect, but I went home that night having enjoyed myself more than at any other job I’d had. I knew that the word ‘flawless’ was created for a day like that one. Throughout the summer the AME team faced unbelievable humidity, countless vendors, two-page timelines, and bridal parties beyond compare. But regardless of the number of tables moved, chairs stacked, glasses refilled, or pools that we guarded…it was all so worth it.

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AME Family – Summer 2015

When people think of wedding planners they inevitably imagine Jennifer Lopez’s portrayal in the 2001 movie. However, in my experience, it has been very different. Weddings are a blissful time, a celebration of two people committing to one another in the presence of family and friends. But behind the scenes, there are vendors and timelines and coordinators working together to make the day perfect. As many brides come to realize, weddings involve a lot more than saying yes to the dress and choosing flowers. They include number crunching, stationary, hashtags, and color scheme.

I’ve always been a behind-the-scenes type, preferring to organize the details and watch it all come together. In the past months I have come to realize that event planning is the perfect place for this skill and desire. I have the job of placing signs and cutting cake all the way to picking up the bridal gown and leading the groom to the first look. Every moment, every task that has been assigned to me has led me to fall even more in love with my job. My job that started as an internship. An internship that allowed me to realize that it’s not always about the money. I’ve been rewarded through my time with Abby Mitchell Events more splendidly than any paycheck. This season of my life has made me rich beyond measure. I’m so blessed to be a part of each event and every couple’s special day. It is such an honor to have a place in their lives, if even for a short time.

Fifteen weddings, numerous intern meetings, and a few bridal expos later I have gained experience and insight I could not have gotten elsewhere. What started as a coincidence led to opportunity and that opportunity has opened doors and forged relationships that will aide me in the coming years. Much like two people making eye contact across the room, going out on a few dates, and falling in love.. a single moment in my life led to me finding a passion. Never underestimate those moments.

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AME Family – Fall 2015

So tell me, what’s your story?