About a year ago I decided to purchase a ticket to LVL Academy and travel out to Southern California for this wonderful wedding planner workshop. Although I already had a handful of experience under my belt running Wild One Events, I have always been a big believer in continued education and maintaining a mindset that I am never done learning. So with an excited attitude and eager mind I headed out for three days of full immersion in all things wedding planning!
The first day covered the basics of wedding planning and managing the logistics behind an event. Everything from developing your packages, managing clients’ budgets and expectations, streamlining your workflow, all the way to running a rehearsal and properly cutting a wedding cake were covered!
We also sat in on various panels and discussions led by industry professionals. To me, the ability to listen and ask questions during these discussions was an invaluable asset. It was a whirlwind of a day but a whirlwind that made my organization-loving heart happy.
Day two continued on covering more logistics behind wedding planning. Things like what to have stocked in your emergency kit (which, by the way, is my saving grace on wedding day!), menswear and boutinerres, expectations when working at luxury hotels, and the ins and outs of catering and service-related details were all discussed.
Day two also started transitioning into the design side of wedding planning which is a huge aspect of our jobs as planners, and my personal favorite part. We heard from industry professionals like Jessi Haack (someone who I’ve been inspired by even before I started my own business), and sat in on Janelle Wylie of Lavenders Flowers and Tono and Co. as she walked us through her design process.
The day closed out with an intimate dinner where I was lucky enough to sit next to Nancy Teasley of Oak & the Owl and Ella Rose Farm and discuss all things floral design and flower farming with her. Needless to say my night was made right then and there, and the gorgeous centerpieces she provided for the dinner literally had my senses in awe the entire evening.
The beautiful design of the tables and delicious food from 24 Carrots Catering that we enjoyed were every bit of proof that your guest experience at a wedding (or any special event) is so, so important!
While the main focus of our last day was mainly design-related, we did take some time to discuss how to properly confirm services with vendors and craft a wedding day timeline. These two aspects of planning are crucial to having wedding day run as smoothly as possible and were great topics of conversation.
Other key points from our last day were social media, website design, styling detail shots, conducting a floral mock-up, and what was probably the most exciting - getting hands-on drawing experience sketching a dessert table with The Sketchbook Series! This part was a serious treat (no pun intended) and showed me just how easy it can be to convey your design concepts to clients through the use of sketches. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried verbally explaining my ideas to clients through descriptions and a modge-podge of Pinterest photos, but now I feel confident in sketching them out instead in a beautiful and tangible way!
After everything was said and done the workshop closed out with a farewell party and goodbyes. Although I wasn’t looking forward to the drive back to Arizona, there were so many ideas running through my mind that I was looking forward to was getting home and starting to implement them ASAP.
I left LVL Academy with a large amount of confidence in myself as a wedding planner and even more validation in the systems and processes I had already created for myself over the last couple of years. As someone who entered this industry based solely on passion and with no prior experience in the event world, that validation was extremely gratifying.