If you haven’t already noticed, the Internet is all a buzz about wedding planning with ads, and sites guiding you to review the info they want you to read, take action on, and open your wallet. How does one become a Wedding Planner? Where do you start? For me, my beginning started at age six.
My earliest memory of baking was using my older sister’s Easy Bake Oven in the basement of my family home. While my mother was washing clothes, I found a few empty brown wax paper candy wrappers – the ones wrapped in Fanny Farmer candies – and began to flatten each circular wrapper and stacked them together and place the ‘hamburger’ inside the oven. Luckily, my mother was standing nearby and stopped my first baking encounter.
From that time forward, I was always in the kitchen ‘underfoot’ as my father would say as I tried to help set the dinner table while he was cooking. Washing dishes, clearing the table and putting leftovers in the refrigerator became a routine that I gladly volunteered for.
A trip to the local grocery store became a weekly routine. My mother would take me along as she shopped for dinners, birthday parties, Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, and our annual Grandma O’Keefe’s sugar cookie bake with homemade strawberry jam. She made the process seem so effortless but as I began to plan my own dinner parties and invite family and friends, I learned quickly and sometimes not so easily how hard it is to have all the food ready at the same time. Somewhere along the journey I realized that I would rather bake than cook.
For me, the kitchen was the hub of our home where the sounds and aroma guided me into the area for conversation, a bite to eat and great memories. It’s the place where I could find Mom and Dad. And, it’s the place where my event planning career started.
Gathering people together over food and drink is an event and a logistical production. Family members and friends have expectations with an invitation – to be entertained, eat great food and make memories. Getting guests to my location and having enough chairs, tables, silverware, plates and creating an atmosphere that focuses on the reason for the event is also part of the planning. Understanding the fundamentals of why we gather together in groups for specific personal reasons strengthened my decision to become a wedding planner.
Living in South Carolina has opened many opportunities that I thought weren’t possible. Being miles away from my Michigan family has given me time to reflect on past experiences and strengths and seek out what truly motivates me. I was offered a career position within a private, gated community to be the Clubhouse Coordinator for non-member events and that experience renewed my focus and allowed me to expand my knowledge, experience and dedication. In December, 2010, I launched Lisa Kenward Events with a focus on wedding celebrations.
The Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) guided me thru their program so I could achieve the designation of Accredited Wedding Planner (AWP). The process for the AWP title took eight years. Every event, publication, award, CPR and AED training, completing the ABC online classes and attending two ABC Annual Conferences has led me to my goal.
My event planning experience has grown over the years but my focus remains. And, I have learned that I cannot do it all myself. My patient and supportive husband keeps me sane through the process of developing sophisticated, creative and memorable events. Knowing that every event is a group effort, I work with local professionals and business owners who bring their knowledge and services to the event making each celebration unique and fun.
As of January 2018, I booked my 100th wedding with a wonderful destination couple who selected Hilton Head Island as their wedding location and Lisa Kenward Events as their wedding planner. I am overjoyed and humbled to have reached this milestone in my career. And, proud to have met and served so many great couples. It’s been a great journey; a path that I chose knowing the road wasn’t straight or easy but would allow me to do what I love. I am very fortunate to have found a profession that bring me great joy and fuels my passion for events.
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