June 14, 2023

Connection, gathering, and how we make meaning

As a teacher I try to do my best to re-center my classroom pedagogy every year by re-reading bell hooks' "Teaching to Transgress" ~ and ode to love, joy, and passion-filled teaching, while centering the student. 

As a wedding & event planner, I have found similar inspiration and solace in Priya Parker's various books, talks, and workshops around the "The Art of Gathering". Parker focuses her work on guiding people to remember the intention, emotion, and meaning behind gathering together ~ particularly for momentous occasions, such as a wedding. 

In my business, I hope to create spaces with the kind of intention and meaning of noted in Parker's work ~ which is only possible when my clients agree to this too. That, however, is my job; to help my clients find what it is that inspires them, that makes them want to bring their closest family and friends together to celebrate, and to bask in that beautiful thing that is community. 

My favorite part of working with a client, is when we can start at the very beginning of the process, and really delve in to how to make their event feel like them, yes, but also how to make sure that every detail sets the tone of their intention with the event; how do our invitations set the tone? How are we greeting and welcoming guests to make sure they feel as welcomed as they've made us feel over the years? How are we creating space for sharing stories, and communal wisdom?

I ask my clients to tell me about their ideas for their wedding or event, and then often ask them to put those to the side for now, and really just tell me about why they want to celebrate. Why are you throwing an event for all of your loved ones?

Once we can answer that question, and turn it in to actionable tasks or details? Then there is no way to fail.

When we make spaces of intention and meaning, and help those we are inviting in to share in that vulnerability and delight ~ that is how we create beautiful moments and memories to cherish a lifetime.