Last month, I was very excited to get together with my fellow Wedding Pro Educators for a fun, relaxing, and educational time in Charleston, SC at the Hotel Emeline. The tables were turned where the educators became the students, and we learned how to create and perfect amazing sessions for you to bring you our very best. True to form, the Wedding Pro team brought us all together safely and treated us to every experience that we usually do not get to enjoy being on the production side. After hectic months of speaking, traveling, working, and “pandemicing”, it was really great to get together with some of my favorite people.
At a gorgeously designed dinner that looked and felt like something out of a lush, enchanted garden, we got to catch up, dine and toast each other to celebrate our accomplishments, but most importantly togetherness.
If you ever wanted to see a group of people passionate about their crafts, their industry and most importantly, you, you’re looking at them.
After a relaxing reunion, it was time to get to work with our own sessions. In addition to educating the educators, we also spent the day creating phenomenal content (can’t wait for you to see!)
This also means we were unleashed onto the streets of Charleston for shenanigans and more photo ops. Charleston is a beautiful, sleepy city and it was amazing to listen to Brian Green share with us its connections to his beloved Barbados. It was my first time meeting Manolo Doreste in person, but let me tell you now– I’m obsessed. It was also my first time getting to spend time with Desirée Dent (who we’ve affectionately nicknamed FLOTUS because her biceps are like that) in person. She reps her hometown as hard as I do, which I love!
Nadia Anderson is one of the most brilliant minds I’ve come across– if you are looking for someone to get your business books together, be in the front row of every room where this woman speaks. Likewise with Sara Dunn of Sarah Does SEO, who is making it her goal to get you and your site the best results with the search engines. If you’ve never laughed with Kirsten Ott Palladino of Equally Wed, you are truly missing out. It’s as warm as her passion to bring equality and inclusivity into the industry. We were later joined by Bethel Nathan, who a.) has the most beautiful eyes and unique jewelry, and b.) the most captivating stories about her time in Japan other Asian companies. You can build a literal travel itinerary from her experiences alone. The party man himself, Troy Adams , who is the most phenomenal dinner partner and gummy bear supplier, also arrived to bring even more life to our experience.
That’s where the nice stuff I have to say about these people ends because we were all teamed together and pitted against each other in a fierce, blood bath, to the death scavenger hunt around the city of Charleston and most of them cheat and lie.
Ok, so that’s excessive.
But boy, was it fun.
From posing at landmarks, trying new stunts, and dragging unbeknownst strangers into our antics, the scavenger hunt helped us work together and get to know each other better, while striving for the common goal of destroying the other teams.
Later that evening, we were treated to a beautiful, palate-pleasing dinner at Cannon Green. Of course, my alibi and accomplice for life, Jason Rhee (see our prom picture below), were up to our usual naughtiness– slinging drinks and commandeering the hors d’oeuvres, but whatever.
We ended our retreat with more conversation, camaraderie, and education. It was so good (and quite honestly imperative) to hear the perspective of other pros, our clients, and the people we seek to reach. Having that feedback on where things are strong, where they are challenged and what we can all do to improve is so crucial to the growth and health of our industry.
I have to give a huge shout-out to the phenomenal Theo Milo who documented the entire experience for all of us. He was so much fun to work with– he’s an amazing photographer with such a natural eye for beauty and real moments. Thank you, Theo!
Ok. Now, to do this without crying. And, goooooo.
These ladies right here are some of the most compassionate, brilliant, and driven women I’ve ever met. Their commitment to not only the wedding industry and brand is not just fantastic, but motivating and inspiring. Cara, Susie, Maddie, and Emilie– thank you for everything you do to pour into every aspect of this industry. Even if people do not know your names or faces, they certainly are touched by everything you create and do to make us all great. I am beyond grateful to each of you Maddie with the phenom BTS photo skills, Cara, who is the best dinner buddy, Susie, who has my Disney heart and is also my 1% link to the ancestors and Emilie who laughs and encourages me when i need it most. Not sure what I did to deserve you, but I’m so grateful (and you are also stuck).
Learn more about the Wedding Pro Educators here. Catch us on the blog and Wedding Pro Instagram for more content to help enhance and grow your business. Also, stay tuned for more in-person educational and social experiences!