A New Chapter
They say that you have 3 loves in your life, the first love that you look back at and have a hard time identifying as love, it was love when you didn’t have any experience. The second, the one that challenges you, the one that hurts, the one you grow from, the one that makes you stronger, the one you make your rules for life around. Then finally, the third one, the one that surprises you, that’s easy, the one that you don’t go looking for but shows up when you’re ready. I have had all of these.
The second one, the one that I grew the most from, the one that has challenged me the most, the one that I learned the most from was actually my business. I helped my cousin plan her wedding back in 2005. During that process, she encouraged me to look into the event industry. Shortly after, Meant2Be Events was born.
I have had the full spectrum of experiences thru my career. Some of them amazing, a few, so crazy, I can only share over cocktails ( it is the wedding industry after all), and some of them life changing. I don’t take the success I have had for granted. I have every magazine I have ever been published in from Washington to California to Arizona & even Internationally (and in 15 years there are a lot of magazines). I have hundreds of love notes from my couples, countless kind reviews & some very special friends I have made thru the years. I have traveled, I have cried, I have laughed until my sides hurt and of course, I have the miles on my feet and knees to prove how hard this job is.
Many many years ago I expanded and added additional planners. Some of those choices were awful, and most of them were great, one was really special.
The third love, the one love that has been easy, right in front of me for so long is my husband Rob. I met him thru my second love as on occasion he would play music at my events. For years we were friends, until one fateful day (March 3) we thought we’d give it a shot. A few months later, we bought a house. And a few months later we were engaged & officially got married the following March 3. Finally, we got the relationship we both deserved.
June 6th was our destination wedding. August 8 was our big reception and it was there that Tasha Miller, really showed up for me as a possible planner for Meant2Be Events.
About six months later, we found out we were expecting our sweet baby Piper. I knew that I wanted to take the time to be pregnant (and my body agreed, as I was put on bed rest) and to enjoy my baby when she arrived. So getting Tasha up to speed on my events and daily business tasks became my focus.
The truth is I went back to work too soon. I only had 6 weeks before my first event. Probably one of my only regrets in life, but I guess you can’t regret something I have learned so much from. Tasha continued to handle so much of the business that I never had to ramp back up that year to my previous capacity.
The following year was hard. Adjusting to the baby, managing the business, managing interns, while having one of the best fiscal years of the business, it was a lot and I could go on. Tasha continued to help me in the most appreciated ways… It was only fitting and deserved that Tasha become my partner! ( already “in crime”, but now in business- since 2018)!
We knew we wanted another baby. We also knew the clock was ticking. After 9 months of trying, we found out we were pregnant in January. I always knew that something was wrong. I was right. At my last wedding of that spring season in 2018, my miscarriage began. I stayed at the wedding, did my job, and cried myself to sleep that night.
Thankfully I had some wonderful distractions in my life while we healed, because I already have the sweetest daughter, and a great step son. I also had a very very important wedding to plan. FINALLY, my brother was getting married. He said I do last October & it was the most beautiful day!
I have been lucky enough to have witnessed some really beautiful moments in my career. I am so incredibly grateful for all the people who trusted me through the years during one of the most important occasions in their lives. Families that I hoped would adopt me, couples that inspired me, and colleagues that supported me. I have smashed plates on a dance floor, been swung around in horas, cried with people, laughed until my sides hurt, and comforted people in difficult times. I have been a crisis manager, a therapist, an artist, a manager and a friend. In reflecting over these years and adjusting my priorities, I was reminded of one of my most important, most memorable, most love affirming weddings I ever had the pleasure of assisting. One that still gives me goosebumps.
I got a call from a friend, previous bride & oh so talented photographer, Christy Arias. She had just met up with a friend of hers who had had some challenging times. Christy met Niki originally shooting her wedding. A marriage that didn’t last thru Niki’s cancer diagnosis. Niki did what she had to do to heal from her divorce and beat her illness. In her self care process she met Sean. Sean adored Niki and they were ready to elope. They didn’t know how much time they would have as Niki’s cancer was back and she needed a very important surgery. Christy, being the angel on earth she is, wouldn’t let her tie the knot without some of the special touches that this beautiful relationship deserved. So she called me…
She let me know the situation, that in just a couple days this was happening and didn’t know if there was anything I could do. I am lucky enough to have a home that backs up to a preserve with large overgrown trees & water. I said, “lets do it here!” I also am lucky enough to have some very talented and generous friends who stepped up to help. Azure did her make up, Katie made her a floral crown & Kevin made her a cake. My husband had the sound system and I had candles and chairs to help give her a beautiful ceremony set up.
She arrived glowing and got ready in my room. The two of them could not make it through the ceremony without giggling and kissing. They could hardly speak they were so overwhelmingly happy. The energy was infectious. I have never seen that kind of joy, even on the 500+ weddings I have done. I think they knew they had a very short time left together to pack a lifetime of happiness into.
It was the smallest wedding I have ever done in every single way. It was also the most life affirming ones I have ever done. Such a reminder to pack as much love and joy into every moment…I can’t even begin to express the gift Niki gave me. The lesson that my second love, M2B Events provided for me…
David (my brother) & Jen’s wedding was officially my last. Lounges, neon and acrylic covered pool.. it was amazing. I started with my cousin’s wedding & have ended my career with my brother’s. The perfect bookends to my career.
I will stay on as the Founder and Tasha will officially the new sole Owner of Meant2Be Events as of Jan 1st, 2020. I couldn’t be more proud of her growth. As a person, as a planner and as a business owner. Many of you have been primarily working with her for years now, so this transition is a natural one.
I have had so many directions I wanted to go with my new found time. Of course mentoring Tasha in her success, I currently help several vendors currently with marketing, have a book in the works, a few other workshops and groups I am assisting, and my new exciting venture as a parent coach.
But most importantly I am getting ready for newest member of the Young Family, our baby boy due in November 2019! I am so excited to be a family of 5!
This life of mine has been an unexpected wild ride and I am oh so grateful!