Today I bring you event planner Joan with Five Grain Events to continue on our Profile series.This blog series highlighting different business owners and entrepreneurs. Plus I think all my brides should get to know Joan a bit!! She is the founder of Five Grain Events and leads the way for fabulous Chicago events. She is way fun, laughs alot, does wonderful work and makes organization look easy. We met because of her pursuit of networking and connecting wedding vendors to one another. She found me! You can find more information on her website and blog as well as follow her on Facebook and Twitter as well! Her blog is packed with wedding vendor info! Meet Joan.

Who are you? What do you do?

Oooh, deep question!  Well, I'm Joan.  I personally believe that any event that's well-organized will be less stressful, more fun, and MUCH more fun!  That's why I do what I do--I help event hosts (whether it's a wedding, or other type of event) by taking on all the details and various responsibilities so that all they have to do on event day is enjoy themselves!

Describe your work.

Well, I work on all kinds of events:  corporate conferences, non-profit galas, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, anniversary parties and more!  I do mostly weddings, though, so I'll elaborate on those here.

In full plans I'm there from the very beginning.  After meeting with the couple I give advice to the bride and groom about the vendors who match their personalities and style the best.  I attend all the vendor meetings, negotiate contracts,  and help them stay on budget.  At the end of the process I run the rehearsal, create timelines for all the vendors and the bridal party, and basically just make sure the wedding day runs smoothly and ON TIME (which is a huge deal for me!).

For day-of coordination I come in a couple months in advance and get as much information as I can from the bride and groom--their event style, who their vendors are, timing of everything, etc.  I introduce myself to all their vendors ahead of time so that as the wedding day approaches they start contacting me instead of bothering the bride and groom.  Day of I do all the same things that I do for a full plan.

On non-event days I spend a lot of time meeting with new vendors:  I'm always expanding my network.  I also sit at the computer a lot blogging, emailing, twittering, and educating myself about the industry as much as possible.

Phew, and that's a very condensed version of my work :)

Was there a particular moment in time which you realized you could do this for a living?
I did some assistant wedding coordination and got very positive feedback, but when I completed my first wedding solo and it went so well, that's when I felt like I could do it as a living.  It took me about a year after that to actually give up my full-time job though.  It was really scary but SO rewarding!
Stay tuned for more Joan tomorrow!
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