How the heck I got from a rockstar to a wedding planner...
People ask me on a daily basis how went from a musician to owning my own business and being a wedding planner.
Well, it's kind of a long story - so good thing I have a blog with no limits to write about it! ;) So...here we go.
Music has always been my passion. I started playing the piano when I was 3 and after a few years of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" - I started learning Mozart. I was classically trained and I still remember my Grandma taking me to my piano showcases and treated me to McDonald's afterward. She also never understood why I didn't have stage fright - I guess I was always meant for the stage.
Yep, this is me. Wasn't I cute!? ;)
To be honest, I was the textbook description of the jack of all trades. I had an alias named "Skye McKenzie" in an all-girl rock band when I was 15, was a dance choreographer for my church plays and wrote poetry on the side. I led worship at a church where I was the only white girl and played my piano and sang my little heart out. I started recording with an artist named Melvin Riley from the group, Ready for the World, created a soccer camp for inner-city kids and helped run our Italian Restaurant. Did I mention, I was also a pageant girl too? I hated it. Girls are SO mean. I was also in Missionettes at church. They made me wear crowns and gave me sashes. My hair was on point though! 😹
Music has always been in my blood. I honestly wasn't sure where it was going to take me but I always knew I wanted a piece of it. After helping my family out in our restaurant, I knew I had a passion to run my own company and started school in Michigan for business. Then, I wanted to be an artist and development rep so I started scouting the best schools to transfer.
At one of the events I was performing at, I met a really cool girl named Shanna. Her dance team was performing and she killed it. I got to meet her afterward and then we pretty much became instant friends.
Shortly after that moment, she had talked about moving to Orlando to go to this school called Full Sail. Sounded cool to me. Shoot, get me away from that godforsaken cold and start over? I'm in. Two of her other friends decided to go, too. In 2008, we packed up our little cars and the four of us headed to Orlando.
A few months after moving to Orlando I met my future drummer, Felix, who told me we needed to start a band. Well, so...we did. It started off as a solo project called Rebekkah Joy, and then shortly moved into a group effort we called ONE31.
P.S. Do you ever look back at your life and ask "why did I think this was cool?" I was scrolling through some pictures today and definitely questioned my fashion choices. LOL!
We came out with two albums - an EP called "The Day We Were Born" and a Self Titled LP. Both I am still incredibly proud of.
Me, being the overachiever that I am - took over the branding, website creation, booking, designing merch, etc. and I absolutely loved it. I loved that we weren't like any of the other local bands who didn't have their shit together.
We got to travel all over - rock stages and meet all kinds of amazing people. Two of my favorite memories was when we got to open for Flyleaf and play at House of Blues.
Anyway, after four years of rocking stages - we decided to part ways. Honestly, there was so much chaos going on in each of our lives it started driving us apart. They are still family to me, though.
When we broke up, I tried to go back to my 9-5 job and I was starting to lose my mind. I joined my church worship team, started my own solo project...you know, anything to keep me busy.
Then, I started working behind the scenes with bands, creating timelines and coordinating the behind the scenes. I loved it - but I knew I needed more.
At the time, one of my friends was getting married and she asked me to help plan her wedding. I thought, "why the heck not", and said yes. I can't lie - I love controlling situations and making them better...so it was a win/win for me. ;)
Well, I fell in love. I loved everything about events. I had seen things on a similar scale in production but it was so much more meaningful - more personal. It was in that moment - I knew what kind of business I wanted to run. I wanted to plan weddings.
Six months later, I launched my business - Runway Events. It was 2014 and I was still working full time but had gone full throttle pushing Runway. I did tons of research, created a logo and website and started showing up at everything I could - networking meetings, luncheons, parties. I offered my planning services for no charge or a discounted rate because I wanted people to see what I could do. I totally understood that I couldn't just appear and have people to trust me. I had to SHOW them I was a badass.
I LOVED creating. I loved being a boss. I loved working my ass off and producing results. MY results.
I'm a strong believer in when you believe in yourself, set goals and work hard you WILL achieve them. Everyone has doubts - but they will seriously keep you from your end goal and hinder your dreams during the process.
So, there it is people. How the heck I got from a rock star to a wedding planner. I believe rocking stages and being the manager/ designer/booking agent for my band set me up to create this incredible business that I love. It taught me to be creative and kind, yet stand my ground. It taught me that every day you step into your office you are on stage.
Sometimes I need to look in the mirror and give myself a pep talk - and that's totally okay. Before a meeting, I sometimes prep myself by talking through some of my points instead of doing vocal runs.
Going from being a musician to being a planner has told me that life is a stage. Every event is your stage - and you can either rock it or bomb it. The choice is yours.
So, put on your game face, give yourself a pep talk - whatever you gota do and chase that dream of yours. You got this.