I was 22 and lost. I had just graduated from an Advertising and Marketing program and didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do with my life. I just knew it wasn’t what I had been studying for the last 3 years.
Instead of moving to Toronto to land a job in the Advertising field, like the majority of my graduating class, I stayed back and worked for yet another restaurant until I could figure out what my next move was. Honestly, I felt a little defeated. It seemed like everyone else was moving forward in their career and I was moving backwards. But I couldn’t complain, I knew that wasn’t where I was meant to be.
I applied and became the hostess to a new up and coming restaurant on Locke Street in Hamilton called Brux House. Craft beer, fine food, great staff and even better owners. I truly respected this place and everything it stood for.
I loved being a hostess, I really did! I oversaw everything, kept us organized; problem solved, made sure things ran as smoothly as possible and ultimately did my best to ensure everyone was happy. I was chosen to represent this company and that was a big deal to me. I was the first and last impression of every customer. What I didn't realize at the time was that all of these skills were perfect for being a wedding planner.
The best part about Brux House was meeting Jacklyn James. I am forever grateful to have met this beautiful soul. She really did change my life. Jacklyn was my manager and had always admired how organized and positive I was. She joked on multiple occasions that I would make an amazing wedding planner (or at least I thought she was joking!) A month after she hired me, we sat upstairs in the corner booth of Brux and she asked to hire me as her wedding planner. No experience at all. She trusted me that much. Just a few short months after starting at the restaurant I would plan her BIG day, which ultimately inspired me to pursue a career in wedding planning.
Truth is, I never thought about being a wedding planner in my entire life. Not once. That was a dream job, made up, only in movies. I had a few event jobs over the years, but there always seemed to be something missing and I never knew what that was until I planned my first wedding.
Almost 2 years later I have now been a part of over 50 wedding and 8 months ago started my very own wedding coordination and design company, INLY Events. Never in a million years did I think I would end up here, though I couldn’t be more ecstatic that I did!
What continues to motivate me as a wedding planner is the phenomenal relationships I am privileged to build with every bride and groom. Each experience has proven to be uniquely beautiful. Ensuring each couple’s vision of their wedding day becomes their reality genuinely matters to me; and when I am able to exceed their expectations, provide them with peace of mind and add to their wedding memories, I am reminded all over again why I love what I do.
So friends, if you’re feeling lost or stuck where you are in life right now, that’s okay. We have all been there at one point or another. Maybe life has a bigger plan for you, something even better than you could have imagined. So go out, explore new places, try new things, meet new people and learn to step outside of your comfort zone. Life is full of unexpected surprises. You never know who you will meet or where it will lead you. As for Jacklyn, her and her husband Rick started John Street Tattoo just over a year ago. I believe if you work hard in everything you do, stay positive and are kind to those around you, you will accomplish wonderful things. And if you fall down or take a wrong turn, that’s okay too! It is all a part of your journey. Enjoy it. You are exactly where you are meant to be.