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  • Writer's pictureKatelyn Madden

The Beginning of a Journey

With this being my first official blog post I wanted to dive back into how I became a wedding planner!


My name is Katelyn and I love my job. I fell in love with the wedding industry at the age of 13 when I discovered the TV show Say Yes to the Dress (you might have heard of it haha). I loved the excitement, the sentimentality, and the importance of detail as I watched this show. I saw people truly cherishing a special day with their fiancé, family, and friends. I knew that I wanted to be apart of this and not just watch it from a TV screen.


An important thing to know about me is that I am not a person who can sit at a desk all day. I have to be working with my hands and work with people who are energetic and passionate. I knew at a young age that I wanted to incorporate this into my career; passionate, energizing, and sentimental work. I remember being in high school and talking with a friend whose Mom was a wedding planner. She told me about her Mom’s job and the gears in my head began to turn as I could see myself doing that job and loving it. I went home and began to pray and think about how God could use this career in my life.


About a year later I was a Senior in high school and my brother got engaged to his high school sweetheart (that is a great story for another time). I was so incredibly excited as I was finally going to be able to go to a wedding! Soon after, my brother asked me to plan his wedding planner. I was on cloud nine as I said yes to being his wedding planner and could see my dreams coming to a reality. Soon I learned that his wedding would be on May 23rd of that year, one week before I graduated high school. At that moment my life became very stressful. It was the beginning of March meaning that I only had 3 months to plan their wedding and their budget was $1000 (for you who are planning your wedding right now you know how stressful this was for me).


Thankfully this wedding was a family affair where we all came together and helped plan this wonderful day. We found a small inexpensive venue, my Mom made the bouquets, I managed the event and décor, and they had the reception at their home after the ceremony. I loved every minute of planning their wedding from finding yellow high heels during math class to helping my soon-to-be sister-in-law find her wedding dress. We even made a belt for my sister-in-law’s wedding dress from ribbon and fabric flowers by hand. I also made a memory board of their journey from high school to their wedding day as a surprise for them.


My brother and sister-in-law after their wedding ceremony!

The attention to detail and how their wedding brought our families together was such a special journey. Looking back through the pictures, that day is still so special as I got to see my brother become a husband and love his wife so much. Their wedding day was special because of the journey we all got to experience with them. This is one of the huge reasons why I fell in love with being a wedding planner.


After I graduated, I went off to college. Once my freshman year finished, I worked for a wedding venue called the Bingham House in McKinney, Texas as an intern. I was able to work eight weddings with them that summer and I learned so much about how to manage a wedding. In the two days that I got to be around each couple, we built a good connection as I was a small part in helping their big day come to life. I was able to connect with vendors, learn a lot about florals, and even how to cut a wedding cake (update: I am still learning how to do that well). I was blessed to work with a small but incredible team and that summer launched my dream into an aspiration as I went back to college to continue my degree.


My sophomore year I transferred to the University of Texas at Austin (aka my dream school) and was overjoyed to finally be a Longhorn. I chose to be a Human Relations major and worked at a corporate event planning company in Austin. It is safe to say that I did not enjoy my time there as it became evident that corporate event planning was not my passion. I stayed until my internship was finished and then God allowed me to meet another wedding planner in Austin who had just started her own company. I worked with a woman named Kennan who owned the company Weddings by Robbins (now known as Foxglove and Grace). I helped her with design exploration, wedding management, bridal expos, and making décor pieces among many other things. She also taught me a lot about florals as that was her main passion in the wedding industry. She became a wonderful friend of mine and I felt very blessed to work and learn alongside of her.


During my Junior year of college I decided that I wanted to begin the process of starting my own company but I didn’t really have one wedding that showcased my work. I began research on starting a company and saw that you could plan a mock wedding photo shoot and my mind was blown. I began praying that God would allow this to work, for me to able to plan a mock wedding photo shoot even though I did not know anyone who was getting engaged nor did I have a venue or a wedding dress to use or a photographer. I had my hands full to say the least!


God did provide. I began talking with my friend Nathan who was a photographer and he offered to take the pictures. My friend Hannah was a fashion major and just finished a wedding dress for one of her classes that is featured in the photo shoot. She knew two models that would be our bride and groom for the shoot and they modeled for free which was amazing to this broke college student! My friend Kennan did the florals for me at cost which was such a blessing. I found a beautiful field in Austin on the side of a road which was covered in trees and grassy hills. It was the perfect location for a spring photo shoot and the pictures turned out magical. I was able to bring in a lot of design element and now that photo shoot is featured on my website and I could not have been happier with how they turned out.


Photo shoot pictures!

I went overseas to Germany for the summer but when I cam home I began designing my website, making my business cards, and writing my contracts. I also set up social media so that I could begin advertising. On September 7th, 2018 I launched Peonies & Pearls Weddings and officially became a wedding planner! Three years of working and eight years of dreaming finally became a reality and I was beyond excited! I chose that name for a specific reason which you can read in the About section of my website. I was very overjoyed and felt very blessed that God had brought me this far.


Table decor from the photo shoot!

Two weeks after launching my company I signed my first clients and planned a winter wonderland wedding. It was such an amazing feeling being in college and still living out my dream. Being able to bless this wonderful couple, grow a friendship with them, and see God bring them together in marriage was a wonderful gift. So far I have helped plan another wedding that happened this past spring and I am working on another wedding for a new client and I am overwhelmed in the ways that God provides. I graduated from UT this past May with having a company, being a wedding planner, and having been a part of two wonderful weddings.


I can’t wait to see where the rest of this journey that God has me on will take me. I can’t wait to see the ways He will grow me and how I will be impacted by many more couples to come!


Thank you for all who have read this whole post, y’all are the true troopers and I appreciate that you took time out of your day to read a small part of my story!


Until next time!


Love,

Katelyn

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