- Event planning is demanding but rewarding for those who love it.
- No two days are the same as an event planner. So it’s important to understand your personal work preferences and exploring opportunities accordingly.
- Essential skills include understanding client needs, vendor matchmaking, and seamless process management.
- Bringing clients’ visions to life, both in events and interior design makes the role joyful and rewarding.
- Long hours, managing expectations, and juggling multiple tasks can be the most challenging aspects of the role.
- Jove’s top tip for aspiring event planners is to trust one’s instincts and forge a unique path as a designer!
Getting started as an Event Planner & Designer
What was your path to becoming an Event Planner?
“There is no typical path into event planning and design, I think each person forges their own. My first job in high school was in my local balloon shop, where I made arches for openings and races. While in college I worked at restaurants first as a server, then as a training manager.”
“I moved to New York City to leave my conservative upbringing behind and to start living an authentic life and attend college. My initial ambition was to go to law school, however my first summer in the city my best friend asked me to plan her wedding and that was the unofficial start of Jove Meyer.”
“That summer I planned friends’ weddings and learned a lot, I then made my logo and website, put an ad on craigslist and the rest is history! After a decade of event planning and design, I began doing interior design, infusing the bold and colorful style of my events into homes.”
‘From a young age, I made holiday decorations and organized events at home and for friends. I never thought it would be my career, but I couldn’t be happier to have built a business doing what I love!”
What have been some of the key milestones in your career?
“I have been fortunate to have been named a top wedding planner in the USA by The Knot, Brides and Martha Stewart Weddings, and a Top Wedding Planner in the World by Harper’s Bazaar and Wed Vibes.”
“US Weekly named me a wedding Guru after I planned and designed the first-ever Knot Dream wedding for two brides. My work has been featured in every major publication from The New York Times to Vogue to People Magazine and everything in between.”
“For many years I worked as a day-of-coordinator, doing as many weddings as I could to learn the business and establish myself in Brooklyn. One couple took a chance on me to be their full-service planner, and another couple asked my opinion on design and that was a game changer. Having the freedom to design and being celebrated for it helped me realize it was possible to both plan and design weddings.”
“Over the years I pushed the boundaries of designs and encouraged couples to bend, if not break all of the rules to have authentic weddings that celebrate their love story, styles, and personalities. If there was a ceiling I wanted to create something to hang from it, if everyone did a wedding in the space one way, I wanted to do it in a new way. In many ways, my career has been like a salmon swimming upstream, my way, figuring it out as I went along.”
What inspired you to use your platform as a way to promote important causes about equality and inclusion?
“When I first began wedding planning I was not able to legally get married, and it hit me like a truck during one couple’s first dance. They were so in love, so happy and everyone around them was joyful and celebratory, why was this only for them, and not for me?”
“Eventually, marriage equality passed in some states, and then federally in 2015. The Knot conducted the first survey of LGBTQ+ couples and asked me if I wanted to share the results with other vendors on a webinar. From there we created a presentation about being an inclusive vendor and I shared it on stages around the world in 16 states and 4 countries in front of thousands of wedding vendors.”
“In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, I realized my advocacy needed to cast a wider net to include all marginalized people, not just LGBTQ+ people, and my ally pledge was created to ensure every vendor we partner with stands for love, above hate.”
What’s life as an Event Planner?
“There is no typical work day, currently, I am in Spain in my hotel room catching up on emails after a day of site visits and vendor meetings for a wedding here. Tomorrow my office will be on the plane ride home finalizing a design deck. Some days I taste cakes, some days I design table tops, some days I am with clients at site visits and most days I am on my computer living in email and spreadsheet land.”
“Instagram makes the job look glamorous, and it has its moments, but many hours are spent working at a desk planning. There are also industry events and conferences, some I attend, some I plan, and some I speak at.”
“It’s nice to be in the same room with your peers connecting about this world we live and work in, especially when most days I am alone in the office, having a creative community is key.”
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work?
“Many things excite me, the fact that couples choose me to bring their love story to life is quite amazing. The moment couples share their vows or their first dance makes my heart smile in a way words cannot explain.”
“When a client opens the door to their new home and melts into the spaces we have designed for them it is a feeling that makes all of the hard work and stress disappear. There are many challenging aspects of my work from long hours to managing expectations and multiple vendors and clients at the same time.”
“As an event planner and designer, you are spinning many plates, at the same time, and it is never the same, as no two people are the same, for some people that is a challenge, for me, it is very exciting and keeps the job interesting.”
How do you approach designing unique and personalized experiences?
“We plan and design events of all shapes and sizes from birthday parties to conferences to galas. Our approach to design is always client-focused because it is their story that makes the event unique.”
“Infusing client’s styles, personalities, and favorite things is the secret sauce to making the event shine! I do not believe in meetings, at Jove Meyer we go on platonic dates with our clients, over coffee or cocktails, to get to know them in a place they love, in an informal setting that allows for us to get to know each other better. The more we know about our clients the more personal an event we can create for them.”
Advice for Aspiring Event Planners and Designers
Reader Q & A with Jove Meyer
What advice would you give to aspiring event planners?
“You know yourself best, trust your instincts and create your own path. For some people that means interning or apprenticing with a seasoned professional, for others that means starting their own company.”
“There is no one path to becoming an event planner, it is different for each person. When I was in college I applied to be an intern at some of the top firms in the City, but none brought me on so I started my own company from a friend’s wedding.”
“Some people work well in a team and should partner with another or others, whereas some people work better solo. The first step is to know what kind of events you want to do, identify planners who do those events that you admire and reach out and see if they have any opportunities.”
What type of person or personality traits make a great event planner?
“Patience, organization, people skills, and a genuine heart to bring joy to others! We are in the business of joy and love, so that has to be at the core of everything.”
“Being a planner is to be of service, we are in the hospitality industry, here to serve and ensure our clients have the best experience from start to finish, and that commitment to joy and service is key.”
“When working as an event planner it is key to leave your ego at the door, at an event we are collaborating and need to step in and help other vendors to make it a success, it’s not their job, it’s our job and their success is our success and vice versa. We are in the business of people, so you have to be a people person.”
How do you adapt and stay updated with industry trends?
“Trends come and go, but you have to be true to your style and aesthetic and that will attract people who like and want that. If you are always following trends you will always be behind, instead be true to yourself, your style and those who love it will find you!”
What have been some of the biggest influences in your career growth?
“To be candid I did not have a mentor or role model, it is something I would have loved but it was not a reality for me, I forged my way and made it up as I went along.”
“Experiences were my teachers and clients trusting me and taking a chance on me were what allowed me to learn, grow, and develop a point of view and style in this industry.”
“The Knot does offer a Mentorship program and I was a mentor for their first class and it was so great to be able to help the next generation of wedding vendors find their way”
How hard is it being an event planner?
“It has hard moments, long days, and a lot of stress so you have to love it!”
What is the first step in Event Planning?
“Getting to know the client, their likes, wants, and needs, and then playing a matchmaker to connect them with vendors who match their style, vibe, and budget. Create a seamless process for the client to bring their event to life.”
How long before an event should you start planning?
“Depending on the event, each one is different, sometimes I have 2 months other times I have 2 years, it depends on the scope of the event and the availability of the venues, they tend to book up early.”