My First Years as a Wedding Planner
QC tutor Regina Osgood is the owner and creative director of Meant2Be events, a top Arizona wedding planning firm that manages over 250 weddings a year.
There is a saying, it’s about the journey, not the destination. It couldn’t be more true than in building a business. There are peaks and valleys, inspiring horizons and less then hopeful views. Each experience comes with a lesson, some that are harder than others.
This is my company’s 10 year anniversary. It’s been quite a ride. To say there haven’t been some failures along the way would be dishonest.
Getting things off the ground
I give a lot of credit to my parents. I had the perfect balance of knowledge from my parents. My mother is an artist. She really encouraged our creativity and pushed us to explore our own ways of expression. My outlet became writing and conceptual design. My father was an entrepreneur for a business we ran out of our home most of the time. So I was surrounded by self-starters and self-motivators.
Getting off the ground I had a big advantage. I ran a very popular event entertainment company for three years. I knew everyone and was well respected. That helped tremendously in building the relationships I needed.
I went to a personal development course and out of that I made a very dear friend. A decade later she is still one of my closes allies. She referred my first client to me, one of her attorney friends.
A rough start
When I tell people about how my first few weddings went out the gate, I am even surprised myself that I am still in this industry. At my first wedding, a guest caught her dress sleeve on fire, my bridal party was so drunk they almost fell off the side of a mountain and a server dropped an entire tray of champagne flutes on my maid of honor seconds before her toast. At my second wedding, my groom insisted on his outdoor ceremony regardless of the advice of myself and the facility coordinator. All of our guests got stuck in the rain and didn’t want to stay for the reception. Looking back at it now it’s all pretty funny—but at the time it couldn’t have been more challenging.
What would I change?
There are certainly some things I wish I had done differently. I look back at my first websites and first marketing efforts. I’m baffled that anyone paid me for services and incredibly grateful that they did.
A decade later, the triumphs we have had are something I am incredibly proud of. We are now operating in 3 states, with full time and part time employees, interns and mentorships. Seasonally we are featured 10-15 times in prestigious magazines and blogs. It’s been a wild ride, to say the least.
My biggest advice: start out strong, find a mentor who can help you create a business plan, budget and strategize, and don’t give up on your passions—even if someone catches on fire at your event.