I am starting a new series over here as a commitment to blogging more regularly. I was inspired by listening to Jennifer Dulski on the Switch, Pivot or Quit podcast. She said “Every experience is a lesson and every person is a teacher” and got her start writing more by making lists of those lessons. I am never to big to take the advice of a very successful women, so here we go with #5thingsiIearnedfrom
5 things I learned from being a wedding coordinator.
The experience: For one year, I worked at one of the most popular wedding venues in Columbus and I continue to tell people it was the best thing I have ever done for my personal and professional development. It was a swift toss into he deep end and a very high learning curve. I worked the craziest hours (hello 4am!), dealt with all kinds of people and situations. I have no doubt it prepared me for many challenges down the road. I made tons of mistakes and each of those mistakes helped me grow.
Don’t assume you are on the same page with everyone.
You know the saying about people who assume things? I can vouch for that one. This applies so widely across all types of situations, but when you are dealing with a big moment in peoples lives, it is a must. A lot of times we operate out of our own experience and values and can assume those we’re working with are going to react or engage the same way we would. Dealing with thousands of different guests over time, taught me how different people really can be in a given situation. With big life events, like weddings, there is a huge range of the way people respond and react to situations. They might be more nervous, more excited, more frustrated, more distracted and less engaged. Double checking, reminding and making sure things are what you think isn’t ever wrong. Yeah, some people might find it annoying and It might seem silly at first, but it’s about making sure you’re keeping things in check and making things run smoothly.
Even if you’re not prepared, it’s okay. It’s about what comes next.
My motto used to be the same as the boy scouts, “always be prepared”. And while this is good in theory, I used to panic when I felt like I was caught off guard and didn’t prepare for a situation. I used to beat myself up for basically not being psychic and predicting a situation. I realized, you can only prepare up to a point. You can collect information, predict what’s going to happen, check and double check things. But the reality is, life and people can be unpredictable and it’s okay if something catches you off guard. Don’t panic! It’s about how you’re going to move forward. Collect yourself, know it happens to everyone and figure out what comes next. I’ve seen everything from a wedding caterer showing up with no food to groom getting stuck in hours of traffic. Now, I think being prepared to pivot is the best thing you can do!
Being clear is kind!
There were a lot of times that I felt uncomfortable about telling someone the absolute truth or knew they would be disappointed with the answer. And those were the people who came back to bite me in the end. I learned that even if people aren’t going to * love * the answer, you’ve got to give it them straight, that way you can help them prepare for the actual situation, not your sugar coated one.
Know what makes you confident and stick to it.
For me it’s a clipboard. I just like having something in my hands. It made me feel prepared. Over time, I realized I was able to speak to people with more confidence and be more decisive. Even though it is only necessary about 50% of the time, I try to show up with one no matter what. When someone is putting their trust in you, it’s unsettling if you seem unsure. That doesn’t mean you have to have all the answers from the outset or be the most experienced person in the room, but you should be confident that you can get it done. Know what helps you communicate that confidence!
Put down your pride and ask for help when you need it.
I learned this one the hard way. Afraid to ask and sure I could just figure it out myself. You know what happened when everything started falling apart around me? I still had to ask for help, but it was much more embarrassing! We got it done to the best of our ability, but it would have been 100x better for everyone if I would have just put down my pride and just asked.
Planning an event and need some advice? feel free to hit me up in my inbox
Want to get more like this delivered straight to? Join our e-mail list party!