I recently had a genuine conversation with a new friend and business encourager and she asked me a bit of a terrifying question, “why haven’t you shared the whole story behind Lauren Elisabeth Events and how it all came to life?” That question prompted two things within my heart;
One, fear! I am scared! Intensely scared of sharing my heart in this kind of capacity. For quite some time, well up until this post actually, I have always been afraid of what others might think and the assumptions they may come to. Sharing something so intimate is never an easy thing to do.
And two, my desire to be transparent. I want so badly to be transparent and I can’t do that and genuinely share my heart if I’m allowing fear to cripple my desires.
So, here I am taking one giant leap and sharing my journey with you.
If you know me even a little bit, you know how much I love fashion- and love is probably a bit of an understatement. Growing up, I had always dreamed of moving to L.A. or New York City to work for a designer. During the summer of 2007 (seems like yesterday, weird- right!?) I found myself heading towards that dream as an intern at Burberry in NYC. I worked in the handbag, shoes & accessories showroom (amazing!) and assisted with the planning and execution of fashion shows, helped in the selling of products to buyers all over the country and so much more. Everyday was a new, challenging experience and it only solidified my goals within the fashion world.
Throughout college, I also had the pleasure of working for some amazing women in the bridal industry. I worked as a stylist for a few years and assisted two bridal boutique owners. I planned bridal expos and assisted in the buying of new gowns for the boutiques. My favorite part about the job was working directly with brides and their bridal parties and helping them find their perfect dress.
During my last year of college, I was offered an internship with Versace in NYC upon graduation. I was told the internship could very quickly lead to a full-time position. (insert happy, happy dance!) I eagerly accepted and was counting down the days until I walked across that stage!
Life, as we all know, doesn’t always turn out as we had once hoped and planned. I began my final semester with an eagerness- ready to see where the approaching next chapter would take me. Just a few short weeks later, my life was turned upside down. My college boyfriend was in the Navy Reserves and had completed a tour in Iraq. All of us were unaware of his battle with PTSD and in 2008 he fell victim to suicide. I was lost, shattered, and felt so alone.
I could write a book about my grief and my journey through it all. It wasn’t a pleasant one and the healing process was excruciating. I was surrounded by darkness through the better part of my early twenties and the only light I saw was when I was helping others.
My passion for the fashion world still had a hold on my heart, but I felt God calling me to something greater. I needed to give back and to be a part of the change, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” ya know? And that’s what I was going to do. Seven interviews later, I was now on my way to Jacksonville, Florida to start my new position as an event planning coordinator at Wounded Warrior Project.
For those of you who don’t know, Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization that honors and empowers wounded warriors and their families through a number of programs and services. What they do on a day-to-day basis is just, simply amazing and the lives they touch as a result is incredible!
Even though I didn’t know a soul when I moved to Florida, I felt at home. I spent the next 2 years at Wounded Warrior Project striving to make a difference in the lives of our service men, women and their families. It was such a blessing, and looking back now, it was beautiful how God orchestrated it all.
While in Florida, I met a girl in my bible study who was from Michigan. I was born and raised in Illinois, so we had a few things in common and quickly became friends. She kept mentioning how she wanted me to meet her brother and finally after a couple months we both reluctantly agreed. Now, 4 years later, we are living in Michigan, happily married with our sweet, handsome son!
God is good, friends and even if you can’t see it, He is guiding your steps.
So, back in October of 2015, just before Christian’s first birthday, I was in the middle of planning his party and felt a little nudge within. I quickly realized that I missed it! I missed the planning, I missed my brides, I missed creating beautiful things! I had always wanted to start my own business, but never really knew how it would all unfold. This felt like another little whisper from God and I knew I needed to listen and act.
So, here we are! Lauren Elisabeth Events is here and it’s real and I just adore this little business I created! I have a heart to serve others and I get to do just that day in and day out! I love getting to know my couples on a personal level and being able to take away any stress that they may have leading up to their wedding day. Most importantly, I want my couples to focus on what really matters- each other and their marriage! My overall goal as a wedding planner, and in life, is to celebrate MORE and to make sure my couples and their families do just that! We all know life is short and it goes by faster than we can imagine, so why not celebrate the big and the small and everything in between.