Industry Friends

When I was in college, I finally realized I wanted to help people put out fires, while bringing vision to life effortlessly. I took writing and PR classes, business classes, crisis management classes, marketing and event planning classes, got involved, volunteered, got out and spoke with different cities, I mean I put my heart into this goal. In 2013, I planned my first solo event as a major surprise party and got the best reactions and feedback I could hope for; cloud nine was nothing compared to what I felt. Then, I graduated shortly after, moved to a new city where I got involved in the technology world and slowly felt my passion fading. I wasn’t motivated, I wasn’t connecting with the story of love and concept of people’s event ideas, and there was no real communication! I had to make a change. I quit my job, moved back to my hometown, wrote a business plan, met with lawyers and accountants, and just started putting myself out there. I offered my services for with birthday parties, smaller events, fundraisers, luncheons, showers, and then it happened…I got my first wedding. It was surreal and flawless and to this day I keep in contact with brides who let me into their hearts and invested in me.

Then my boyfriend at the time (now husband) flew me to Paris, got down on one knee, and I recognized I had my own wedding to plan for. When I was getting married and looking for some help and reaching out to vendors in this city, I quickly took notes as a bride and vendor for what I would and wouldn’t stand for. Some were amazing (who I ended up working with) and often told me to reach out for new tips and tricks. Some I didn’t mesh with, but you could clearly tell they were talented, passionate, and driven in their field so I just thanked them, and then there was one who instantly snapped on the phone, acting better than me, and I quickly learned that certain sublime attitudes were not for me, but they were “successful” so maybe that’s what brides wanted??? I couldn’t imagine that to be true, but I was new and open to the benefit of the doubt, even though  I thankfully went in a different direction. That loftiness isn’t me and I wouldn’t let this vendor ruin the kindness and togetherness I felt Pittsburgh vendors have.

Starting in the wedding industry is almost like starting as a new kid in school half way through the year. People have their contacts, their go-to duties, and their clientele. You try to connect with a few other vendors with your title and they hate the competition; I had an experience where I used a famous movie quote and had another “professional” try to threaten me over, writing some of us were “the worst”and that it was hers. After I sat in my car cracking up at ignorance, I was fixated on how I knew that name since I never met her before….then it hit me. Remember that vendor who wouldn’t help me/ was above me prior? I get it. Some planners or vendors for example can’t handle the pressure of being all hands on deck for a wedding, including kind, but that’s where confidence in your passion comes in.

I wasn’t discouraged, but I was guarded and that certainly was not how I was trying to act in an industry that celebrates and promotes the happiest of day! So I started to reach out to other industry goers; DJs, limo drivers, bakers, lighting professionals, day of coordinators, event planners, caterers, bloggers, photographers, and made some life long friends and great teammates; guiding me and promoting me while I can share their expertise with my brides. I mean, these vendors are amazing! Going above and beyond for the people who trust them and invest in them. The men and women I have met who have offered me advice or feedback will never go unnoticed, even if we are “competition”.

With DSE, there is nothing I won’t do to ensure your day is as smooth as possible, ( within reason, I mean I cannot go against a venue or the law, but i’ll do my best to make your vision a reality with all obstacles) that’s my promise to you. I promise to put you at ease with my input and give you the best advice I can and without looking down on your ideas. With 6 plus years experience in this industry, I know a thing and two and will share it with you! Need vendor help, let me introduce you to my friends! Ain’t no body got time for bad vibes.

I have a passion for planning, I have multiple degrees and a portfolio to back me up, I believe in open and honest communication, and I believe in crisis management to its finest. It’s true that planning a wedding or large event is stressful and that’s why brides have me because I have personal experience on both ends and know what’s acceptable for YOUR big day and what’s not.

visit to learn more.

Image may contain: 4 people, including Jessica A Mc Kelvey, people smiling, people standing and indoor

DSE team and DJ Jess ( )

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