We were so thrilled to find that one of our very own attendees, Jenn Blake of Bow Tie & Bustle Event Design featured Coordinator Confab in her blog! Jenn shared her thoughts and experience after attending Confab and we just wanted to share her post with all of you as well. Check out Jenn’s Bow Tie & Bustle blog here and read Jenn’s feature below! Thanks again Jenn!
This road has been far different than any I’ve ever traveled before. There is no instruction pamphlet. No schooling. No classmates. No grades. Or even a diploma. There are no hard and fast rules, or perfect formulas. There are no colleagues to your immediate left or right to engage in water cooler conversations with, and your office is whatever you make of it. Formal training is practically non existent, and high marks and rewards of achievement are far from the traditional form.
Wedding coordination is something you just do and hope you are doing well. The only true marker of success and a job well done is a happy bride and groom up to 12+ months down the line. Wow. 12 months before you know if you’ve done it all right? Ummmm, just a wee bit of pressure, no?
So where does 0ne turn for support and guidance?
Jeannie of Details Details is one of the kindest women I have ever met. From the moment I arrived at Coordinator Confab this past week, Jeannie was warm, inviting and eager to share her wisdom. She was immensely generous in sharing every last detail of all that she’s learned over her years of coordination, and her fabulous team (Alicia, Carrie, Nicole & Chelsea) made the 2 day conference more than I could have ever hoped for. I learned crazy amounts of tips and tricks and am so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend. I left CA wishing there had been a day 3, 4 and 5…I had such a blast!
It didn’t hurt that the conference was held at the immaculate SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills and everything from the food, to the room decor, to the perfect sunny weather made the entire experience totally mind boggling. I literally had to pinch myself a few times over, as the entire trip felt too good to be true! I was also fortunate enough to find a roommate for the conference (hi Stacie!) and we stayed at the Thompson on Wilshire, just a few blocks down from the conference. The rooftop views from the Thompson were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and our stroll down Rodeo Drive the afternoon of our arrival was just what this Vitamin D deficient girl was in need of!
I found myself daydreaming of life in the 90210 zip code, soaking in every last drop of the glitz and glam. The only hiccup of the entire experience was a bathtub drainage problem that resulted in Stacie and I being forced to take our morning showers in a room other than our own (WEIRD, RIGHT?!). We decided at the end of the trip that the entire bathroom experience was a direct result of us staying somewhere other than the SLS and we vowed never to make that mistake again : )
Upon arrival for the first day of the conference, Stacie and I were greeted by smiling faces and one of the most scrumptious breakfasts I’ve EVER had. NO JOKE. You’ve got to know that when you have 12 women swooning over the taste of the greek yogurt you must be in the presence of one mighty fine breakfast. After chowing down, we were escorted to the Cornelius Room for the day where I learned everything from legal strategies, to social media tips to linen & table sizes. By the end of day 1 my brain felt immensely heavy but in that “oh boy did I learn a lot of rad stuff!” kind of way.
Oh, and feel free to call me a total dweeb, but I practically did a happy dance when I realized I had a desk of my own – name tag, clipboard and all! Jeannie and her team clearly put tons of effort into making each one of us feel super welcome and I totally felt the love. We even got to take home the adorable arrangements placed on each of our desks – how freaking awesome is that?!
One thing I absolutely could not go without mentioning was the flowers….OH. MY. WORD. There were gobs of gorgeous arrangements and thoughtful floral touches over the span of the 2 day conference and when I finally met the mastermind behind these gorgeous spectacles I about fell over. Sunny of White Lilac has to be one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. She is this far from ordinary, totally adorable woman who has clearly followed her passions with incredible intention and drive. The way she spoke about event design totally blew my mind and left me pondering what my own future might evolve into. I felt so incredibly fortunate to meet her, and it was a total honor to hear her story.
What I found most beneficial about the entire experience was being surrounded by others who are in the same life transition as my own. Amazing women and men (hi Sam!) who are striving just like me, to have successful and thriving businesses of their own. The process of starting your own venture is a winding one, and at times a touch lonely, so being being able to share my own experience and hear the experiences of others was SOOOO rewarding. Just as I have, many of the attendees have left behind degrees and years of experience in other industries to follow their dreams and passions – this realization was exactly what I needed…uber inspiring stuff! I felt super fortunate to meet so many amazingly talented new friends and I can’t wait to see how everyone evolves over time!
Overall, I was probably most impressed by was the multitude of fabulous speakers Jeannie lined up. There’s nothing better than sitting in a room with some of the biggest, most respected industry leaders…people you’ve only dreamed of meeting in person. Michelle Rahn was kind enough to share some tips with us around tying bow ties, fixing broken zippers and sewing up holes in veils…ALL info that coordinators clearly need in their bag of tricks, right?! Also,Becker was hands down one of my most favorite speakers of the event. He was incredibly generous in sharing his personal story and even sat with me for a few minutes while I bombarded him with endless questions…the guy just rocks!
And to Jeannie, Troy, Libby, Peter, Katy, Kelly, Jamie, Christopher,Elaine, Michelle, Summer, Becker, Sunny, Jeff and Jessica thank you so much for sharing your amazing talents! It was such a pleasure to meet you all!
On the last day of the conference we were lucky enough to see a full fledged styled shoot take place and boy was I BLOWN A WAY. Sunny and Alicia did an amazing job with the concept/design and everything from the antler chandliers to the custom designed table, to the vintage touches and jewelry pieces were spot on…gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! It was also incredibly insightful to get first hand tips from Jessica Claire as we watched her (pregant belly and all!) work her photography magic at the shoot. I’m so excited to see the pictures AND video from Elysium Productions…by the way Libby from Elysium was a total rockstar and one of the nicest most genuine people I’ve met in the industry thus far.
Some of my most favorite parts of the trip? Breakfast potatoes. The SLS. Jeannie. The super kind people. The attention to detail by the Details Details team. The weather. My roommate. Yummy cocktails on the Thompson rooftop. Palm trees. Meeting people in the same boat as me. Dessert yogurt. Meeting Sunny. Watching Jessica Claire in action. Our hotel room shower issues (i can laugh about them now!). The flowers. A full belly 3+ times/day. Finally learning how to tie a bow tie. The advice. Dinner at Villa Blanca with Katy Carrier. Strolling Rodeo Drive with Stacie. Early morning workouts. Watching Christopher Aldama fan out table linens. And coming home with more information than I ever dreamed of receiving.
Long story short: the experience was incredibly eye opening. I learned some of the most amazing tips from Jeannie and I am incredibly grateful for everything I learned. I’m so excited to see where this new knowledge leads me and if there is ever Coordinator Confab round 2…sign me up!