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 Manitoba, Canada wedding planner Jen Elson today!
Name: Jen Elson
Business Name & Location: Prairie Love Events in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Years Working in the Event Industry: 2
Years Owning Your Event Planning Business: 2
Business Facebook Page: PrairieLoveEvents
What is your typical day like?
My day typically starts at 6am (whether my alarm goes off or not). I’m fortunate that my ‘day job’ is flexible and allows me to work from home three days out of the week. That allows me to enjoy the little things in life, like taking my son to school or not getting out of my pajamas until noon.
I like to wake up early because it gives me an opportunity to tend to wedding-related business. During the ‘off-season’ (does that really exist?), I work on internal projects such as: website updates, social media planning, process and automation research (to streamline my workflow) and collaborating with local event vendors on creative projects. During the summer months, I tend to emails first thing in the morning to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. Then, at 8am I turn my attention to helping other small businesses succeed as I put on my Digital Media Strategist hat with my work at a lovely marketing agency.
Staying active is very important to me. I do my best to get to the gym or take my boxer, Gracie, for a walk during lunchtime. You can read about Gracie, our Chief Happiness Officer, here.
Evening time is spent with my family such as getting us prepared for the day ahead, homework, cooking, reading, and watch a show or two. After I’ve shipped the animal (I mean child) off to bed, it’s back to work on wedding-related projects or client work.
How did you get started in the industry?
About five years ago, I was really involved in charity events, mainly charity hockey events where I got to rub shoulders with NHL alumni. Because of my involvement there, a friend asked if I would be interested in helping his (then) fiancée plan their wedding. That was three years ago and it catapulted me into starting my own wedding planning business. In 2017, I got certified as a wedding planner and subsequently as an event stylist.
I’m lucky to have the background and resources I have. My education is in business marketing and I have worked in the advertising field for over 10 years. Because I’ve been involved in so many other businesses’ success, I had a very clear vision of what my wedding planning business brand was going to be.
What inspires you?
Inspiration for me comes in many forms. Sometimes in an ‘AHA!’ moment while flipping through Pinterest. Other times, I challenge myself to draw upon my consumer behavior knowledge and (in my head) plan what a wedding would look like for a _______________ (insert very obscure couple). For example: What would a wedding look like for a lumberjack marrying a princess? I know it’s super silly, but some of my favorite ideas have come from this exercise.
What are your favorite online resources for your business?
I love Trello. It keeps me well organized and over time I have created templates and processes with it that have helped me to cut down on admin time. Additionally, because there is a phone app, it allows me to keep track of those ‘I really should post _________ on Instagram’ moments.
Secondly, Squarespace. I have a fairly solid knowledge of web design, but Squarespace allows me to have a beautiful website without spending time coding. This enables me to spend my time on more useful things, like developing mini planning websites for each of my couples along with resources and real-time wedding planning timeline updates.
Aside from wedding and event planning, how do you spend your time?
I try to get in as much softball as my time will allow in the summer months, but that time is shared with heading up to the lake. Fishing, boating, and spending time with family is a huge priority. I spend a good chunk of time in the car, so I’ve taken to listening to books on Audible. This gives me time to still work on personal development and stay on top of all things digital while living that oh-so-familiar time-starved life of a wedding planner.
Jen, 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.