Another year has come and gone. As we celebrate the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, I wanted to pause and reflect on our Top 10 Highlights of 2016. This little business had a landmark year and I am overfilled with gratitude! Whether we had a chance to work with you, or you’ve followed along on our journey, thank you for your friendship, support, and encouragement. If next year is anything like the past 365 days, I can’t wait!
Top 10 Highlights of 2016:
1. Helping our Clients Celebrate Their Love Stories
When I think back on this past season each wedding that we were a part of stands out – each couple, their family members, and the vendors we had the opportunity to work with. There are also little moments like the gold confetti canon send-off at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. Or perhaps when our couples pup stole the show at cocktail hour, or standing at the front of the alter next to my sister as she married the love of her life and our Dad performed the ceremony. How about the mosquitoes at one of our July weddings, the hottest ceremony on record in August (and I don’t mean sexy!), or when an entire bridal party arrived by private yacht at our Orcas Island wedding. There was also the fastest room flip at MOHAI with the beautiful transformation, the custom twinkle light backdrop we designed, and the joyful tears from one of our full service brides as she saw her reception room for the first time (I’ll never forget that!). I know I say this a lot, but we truly have the best clients!
2. Offering Floral Design as a New Service and Value Add
I’m so proud of this new offering we launched in 2016. Following my passion and pushing myself to take on something new was the best decision for not only me personally, but for the business as well. We can now offer our clients even more than before and we feel that this rounds out the design process we walk our couples through. We’ve received an amazing response to our lush styled arrangements, in fact more than half of our weddings for next year include floral design and we couldn’t be more thrilled to design each one!
3. Launched a New Brand and Website
Another proud achievement was the launch of our new brand and website that debut the beginning of September. This was a project we had been working on for months and it was so exciting to share never before seen images, updated service offerings and of course this cute little blog! Our refreshed brand and logo was a breath of fresh air and we couldn’t be prouder of the final product. As we continually update images and content, I’m looking forward to using what we have now in the year to come. If you have any suggestions on how we could improve this site and your experience, please let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
4. My Sister’s Wedding
I touched on this above, but my sister’s May wedding was a huge highlight not only for our family, but for the business as well. I worked with my sister, and her now husband, for 6 months planning and designing their wedding (in addition to my matron of honor responsibilities!). We had an aggressive timeline and my sister can have a hard time making decisions, but getting to walk along side them throughout the planning process was such a treat for me. Their trust in my design skills and abilities was so appreciated, and it was a wonderful feeling to be able to pass the day over to my assistant and enjoy the festivities. I wish we could live that day all over again!
5. Attending the Sinclair & Moore Workshop
On a professional development level, attending the Sinclair and Moore Workshop in May was an incredible experience. Not only did I get the chance to meet some talented women from around the country, but Steve Moore’s generosity of his time, information, and talents was very beneficial to me and this business. I had the opportunity to practice his floral style and observe how he designs a styled shoot (and each of his weddings), from the ground up. It was a valuable three days and I look forward to more continued learning in 2017!
6. Corporate Clients – Roadshow + Holiday Party
We had the privileged of working with two different corporate companies this year. One of them took me to 13 different cities around the US in six short weeks. It was one of the hardest event series I’ve ever done, but so rewarding. Traveling for work is no joke, but getting an opportunity to work with people from all over, thinking on your feet with sometimes limited time or resources, and logistical planning for lost luggage, shipping supplies, etc. was a great way for me to flex my planning skills. We also got to work with a local tech company to plan and design their holiday party at Palace Ballroom. The guests had a great night at the masquerade themed event with cocktails from an ice luge, a swing dance lesson, photo booth and more! We look forward to continuing to work with some of our corporate clients in the months and year ahead.
7. Styled Shoot – Open Field Elopement
Each year we like to work with a new photographer and design a unique styled shoot. When Kelly, from Kelly Lemon Photography, called us with an idea for an outdoor elopement with bright colors, we jumped at the opportunity. As an ode to summer I designed this rustic styled shoot with a color palette of yellow, peach and cream with wood accents. It was important to Kelly and I that the elopement scene be something that could be replicated in the San Juan Islands, in a park in Seattle, or an open field in Eastern Washington. I’m so pleased with how this turned out and the bridal bouquet is my favorite one to date. Thanks again Kelly! Click here to see more images.
8. Our 1st Fall Intern/Assistant!
We had our first Fall intern…more like a rock-star assistant…this past year and couldn’t have been happier with the experience. Jess came on board in September to assist with a small handful of weddings and provide office coverage for me while I was on vacation in New Zealand. She did a great job learning about the JLE brand, communicating with vendors and gaining valuable day-of experience. With the growth of the business and seeing the value of having another person to assist with tasks, I’m looking forward to hiring a part-time coordinator in early 2017.
9. Berry 30th Birthday
In 2016 I turned 30! To celebrate I planned and designed an intimate dinner on top of my parents boathouse. Unfortunately the weather had different plans and caused us to resort to Plan B and move the meal inside, but it was an incredible evening surrounded by everyone I love. I would encourage everyone to celebrate their milestone birthdays BIG. Click here to view more images!
10. Spent 2016 100% Self-Employed and Loved Every Minute of it!
While we’ve been in business for almost three years, 2016 was the first year that I was 100% self-employed. Quitting my “day job” was a leap of faith I took this time last year and I’m so proud that it has paid off. Without the love and support from my husband Brett, as well as family and friends, chasing this dream wouldn’t have been possible. I work very hard and am intentional about all that we do here at Jen Leslie Events. It is such an honor to walk couples through the process of preparing for their wedding day and seeing them start their marriages. Thank you for a phenomenal year and a career that I adore!