Welcome to our “Day in the Life” series! We feature wedding and event planners from around the world with many different levels of experience. If you would like to be featured, download our questionnaire here and email your responses and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are excited to feature Texas wedding planner Jennifer Allen today!
Name: Jennifer Allen
Business Name & Location: Just Elope LLC in Dallas, Texas
Years Working in the Event Industry: 2
Years Owning Your Event Planning Business: 2
Facebook Page: Just Elope LLC
What is your typical day like?
My day starts at 4:30am with a 60-minute workout, 3 times a week. On the days that I am not working out, I use that 60 minutes to work on my wedding planning business before I get my family up and help prepare them for the day. I am the mom of two boys (4 & 6). My husband and I tag team getting them ready in the mornings so that we can all be out the door by 7am.
I work a full-time job as an Executive Assistant at an elementary school. I listen to business podcasts during the day so that my mind is constantly being fed new information. I use my two breaks and lunch to respond to all inquiries and send out follow up emails for my wedding planning business.
Sometimes during the week, we have evening weddings so I go straight from my day job to the wedding ceremony site. I am usually the woman at the stoplight touching up her makeup and attempting to change clothes in the car.
If we do not have any weddings during the week, I go home and jump into full mom and wife mode so that I can help get the kids fed, bathed, homework done, loved on, and in bed by 7:30pm. Then I get back into work mode for my planning business and work on content for the next day, respond to emails, brainstorm new ways to improve our business, do website updates, and write blog posts. I try to be in bed by 11pm.
How did you get started in the industry?
My start was actually by chance. In July of 2010, my then boyfriend proposed 5 days prior to leaving for deployment and we decided to get married before he left. I searched the internet for another option other than City Hall on such short notice, I came up with nothing. So we got married at City Hall.
While he was deployed, I started planning our big wedding day. I became overwhelmed and frustrated trying to put together the wedding of my dreams and maintain a realistic wedding budget. I would start and stop and each time the excitement faded because the reality was – we were already married and I could not justify the expense anymore.Finally, in 2015, I decided that I was done planning and wanted to make getting married simple and affordable for other couples so that they did not have to stress. That is when I started my wedding planning business: Just Elope.
It took a few years for the business to fully come together and we hit the ground running in February 2017. In our first year, we married 9 couples. We set a goal of 25 for 2018. As of December 2018, we booked 39 weddings and married 32 couples in 2018. Now we offer pop up weddings as well as elopements.
I often laugh with my husband that if we would’ve had the wedding of our dreams we wouldn’t have started our business and married so many amazing couples. If you look hard enough, you can find the good in any situation!
What inspires you?
I am inspired by love. It is a blessing to meet so many couples who simply want to get married even if it is just a wedding with the two of them. Our business marries couples with 0-30 guests. It is such a sweet experience to see all of the love their guests have for them.
I am also inspired by BIG luxury weddings; I enjoy figuring out how to incorporate high-end elements on a smaller scale for our clients.
What are your favorite online resources for your business?
17hats.com has changed my life! Working full time and running a business full time is tough so being organized is a must. 17hats streamlines my business, provides automatic responses, and is very user-friendly.
I also love Square Space. Their easy to use web site builder has saved me a ton of money by not having to hire a web designer.
In the mornings, I listen to Eric Thomas on YouTube. While I am at work, I love learning from Genesis Dorsey via her YouTube channel as well. I also love the Wedding Planning Podcast by Kara Lamerato.
Aside from wedding and event planning, how do you spend your time?
Any free time that I have, I pour into my husband and kids. We love family movie and game nights. I really enjoy reading. If I REALLY have some extra time on my hands, I honestly try to take a nap.
Jennifer, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story and a day in your life. If you are an event planner and would like to be featured, download our questionnaire today and email it to us along with a photo. If you aren’t sure about being featured, take a few minutes to read how it can help your business.