I cannot exactly pin point what sets us apart from other planners, I can only speculate. I do know the experiences we have had and continue to have with our clients, and they are as personal as many relationships ever get. Now all clients (and people) are very different, so each relationship is very different. However, all in all, I can say I come to know my clients very well and I am 99% positive there is a client speculating/laughing/wondering/gossiping/talking about me right now over the dinner table and that is okay ;). Whether it is my personality, approach, chemistry or luck, I am not sure, but the people that gravitate towards us, invite us into their families a lot more than I ever thought would be the case. From the mother of the Groom, whose son's fabulous rehearsal dinner I fully planned two years ago and that called me the week her mother died last spring to help her put together a beautiful and respectful celebration at that same home. To the former birthday lady that referred me to her sister's daughter for wedding planning, helping her niece along the way while her parents, her sister, braved divorce after however many years of marriage. To the family that called me last week, to help them throw together a retirement party for their father - a sweet dinner of about 24 this Saturday. The person I was able to accommodate because of a hardship that lead another client to have to cancel their own celebration. To laughing and crying together, sending holiday cards and the occasional check-in to see how we are doing because it is just WEIRD that we spend all this time together then suddenly we part, with ADE no longer being on speed dial! I confess - I experience separation anxiety. :(
Some of the reasons event and wedding planning is amazing!
1. Standing near bye the bride, whether she stands alone or arm in arm with her father, mouthing or softly saying to her something like, "You can walk now, whenever you are ready". Clearly the winner. I am tearing up as I type.
2. The moment when clients who actually say they are "uncreative" or "not very visual people" get excited and start spewing feedback to what I am suggesting.
3. When the lady in HR said to me last summer, "This is so much fun. This is the best thing I have ever had to do at my job, ever".
4. When the mother of the bride expresses that she is so happy and thankful that I am helping her get major kudos with her daughter who doesn't have enough time to plan her own wedding.
5. To the Groom who thanks me for keeping his bride sane during this process. To the father of the bride, who has said something similar to me about helping his wife brave wedding planning in their private home.
6. The cool friends I have acquired along the way. The ones I know for sure, know how crazy my line of work is and understand what motives me at 3 am!
7. I know for sure that I am not crazy, none of us are crazy and crazy is the definition of family! XO XO XO
8. I gain so much from being up close to people when they are at their most vulnerable, even if it be happy times. I still cannot quite articulate what it is I take away because it has much more substance than just to say joy. But yes, there is plenty of JOY!
9. Past client become friends, people I otherwise never would have come in contact with.
10. Life is always going to be imperfect, but we can make its celebration perfect.
To all the people that are helping me and us, become what we want to be tomorrow, today.
Ashley Douglass Events has huge stuff on the horizon for 2015 and beyond! Here and there, you may think we are sleeping, but one day soon, we will roar, I mean soar, I mean...I don't know exactly how to end this thought, but....