This post has been a long time coming - and I am so elated that it's finally here.
Background: On April 28th, 2007 my very dear friend & sorority sister from UF, Nikki Morette, was married off to the one and only Rob Bell - which proved to be the most epic weekend of my life (at that point) in the amazing town of Pensacola, FL. I completely fell in love with the panhandle (or Lower Alabama, L.A.) after a series of trips in preparation for this wedding - engagement party, bridesmaid's luncheon, etc. It was an honor to stand up for Nikki and Rob as they committed forever to each other and I was so grateful for all of their hospitality throughout that weekend - an amazing rehearsal dinner and after party, gorgeous monogrammed robes and beach bags, not to mention the mimosas at the beach house - to name a few. But, it wasn't until the afternoon of that wedding that it hit me - how epic this weekend really would be.
When we arrived at the reception at Plaza de Luna by the Palafox Pier, I knew that this night would be awesome. As the wedding party was introduced, turquoise signature cocktails were passed, hand-rolled sushi was devoured, and a live Jazz band direct from the Bayou played old rock n'roll as we danced and celebrated. I couldn't help but wonder how in the world this event went off without a hitch!?
And that is when I met Danielle of Bliss - and my whole world changed. Danielle explained to me that she was a wedding planner and that her and her team coordinated everything from the menu to the flowers, the music to the chairs and everything in between!
Desiree: So, people hire you to do this?
Desiree: (taking a sip from my bright blue martini) Really? They pay you to plan weddings and parties?
Desiree: (taking a deep breath) I have to do this, too.
And that was that. I went back home to South Florida and began looking up wedding planners that were taking on apprentices. I met up with Jennifer Silliman and she hired me as a day-of wedding assistant where I worked with many other talented ladies on several weddings throughout South Florida. Another one of her assistants was Marissa who's lovely style and keen marketing sense instantly made me a fan (so much so, that I later asked her to help with my own wedding day!). I spent two years learning with Jennifer and I value that time to this day; but I wanted more!
I put a lot of thought and consideration into starting my own wedding planning business - what values were important to me, how and where I would market. I began to research the wedding community; blogs, magazines, vendors. It helped a lot when I got engaged and was able to experience, first hand, how all of these mediums really help brides get inspired! Let's not mention how in that same year, FOUR of my closest girlfriends were getting married, too. Throughout this process, I kept going back to Bliss Event Group and wishing that there was something like that in South Florida - southern and sweet. Well, right about that time one of the founders of Bliss, Lara Casey, had decided to take her blog Southern Weddings to print. I picked up my first volume of the magazine and my jaw dropped. It truly is a beautiful magazine spread. At that point, I was hooked on Southern Weddings and Lara - she's brilliant, y'all!!!
Once the decision to launch Desiree Dawn Events was made - the next in line was a marketing strategy. I contacted lots of planners, photographers, and floral designers for their input. One of the editors at SW suggested I talk to Katherine Miller of Charleston, SC - she was a great help! And one day, while I was gettin' my hair 'did, my stylist suggested I talk to her sister who was a wedding photographer...few weeks later, I met with Chelsey and that "vendship" has blossomed tremendously! (later I found out while flipping through V3, that her wedding was featured on pg.121-124!)
And now here we are: I am the owner and operator of Desiree Dawn Events - green wedding design. I get to combine two of my passions; beautiful weddings and loving on our environment. And after one year of business, I saw my name in lights!
Today, I was given some Sponsor Love on my favorite wedding blog.
I know this may seem silly and over the top to some, but this really is an achievement for me. I am proud of where I started, where I came from and more so, I am so excited about what's to come. Just like Lara tweeted and my only tattoo says, Believe.
I did. I do. I will.
Future Goals: I believe that God's desire is to bless this business - I feel His presence each time I see a couple commit and I know that it's the talents He bestowed upon me that will continue my successes. I hope to have a collaborative shoot featured in the next volume of Southern Weddings print edition and for Desiree Dawn Events to emerge at the forefront of wedding planning in South Florida.
don't stop, Believin'!