Business Name & Location: Melanie Jane Weddings and Events & MJWED Picnics, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Years/Months Working in the Event Industry: 5-6 months
Years Owning Your Business (if applicable): 5-6 months
What was your previous line of work and why did you decide to pursue a career in the Wedding Industry?
I always dreamed about my own wedding from a very young age, the fairytale and the magic of it all, meeting my prince charming and riding off into the sunset on our snow-white horse haha
My reality was very far from that though, I am from Darwin, N.T. and straight out of high school I worked in government (state and federal). I had the opportunity of traveling to many small remote towns within the territory as part of my job which was truly amazing, however I never ‘loved’ what I did.
Owning my own business has always been a high priority on my bucket list, however I always lacked the confidence and no-how of pursuing and achieving this dream as I didn’t know what it I wanted to actually do. I never thought doing anything in events, or being creative would take me anywhere.
It wasn’t until my partner Tom proposed to me in 2019, that my passion for weddings and events was reignited, I started planning an overseas wedding, which turned into an idea of offering wedding and event planning packages over in Bali, and then right as we were gearing up to go to Bali in 2020 to making our dream a reality, COVID-19 hit, weddings were cancelled or postponed and the industry was doing a deep dive.
So, I did what I do best and made lemonade out of lemons and started offering picnics and smaller events, and from there our little business started grow.
Our plan is still to pursue our dreams of offering events on a larger scale, but for the moment people are really responding to our smaller events so we will continue to offer these.
A huge part of us getting to where we are today, is due to the course I completed through the Wedding Planner Institute, we haven’t done the business course yet but it’s definitely on the cards for us! I really enjoyed this course and have applied what I’ve learnt in my own business, and I feel that we have been able to excel as much as we have due to the course and the content shared.
What is your typical day like?
My partner and I work from home, we are first and foremost mum and dad, our typical day is getting kids to and from school, dance practice etc then we put our work hats on at about 9am in the morning and we plan out our day/week.
The work life balance has been phenomenal for our family, relationship and overall health. It can be stressful knowing that if you aren’t getting booked you aren’t getting an income however, I believe in us and myself now and I have the confidence to know that we are going to do well.
What inspires you?
The outdoors inspires me, I would choose an outdoor venue/event 100 times over an indoor one. I love the beauty that nature brings, the backdrop that it offers and the simplicity of the bright colors, warmth of the sun.
We recently did an Easter photoshoot and had two butterflies fly passed, and I thought to myself, why would I ever want to go back to working inside an office when I could be here in the moment doing what I love.
There are also a number of other women in the event business who inspire me, Klara from Klara’s house, Bali Brides, and Diane Khoury.
I wouldn’t say that I have one particular style, I am happy to try out new things and work with different elements, it’s all a form of art to me and there are so many different things you can do with a blank canvas.
What are your favorite resources for your business?
Include specific business websites or blogs that may help other planners in our community, must have checklists or program you use.
CANVA! Canva is my best friend and will be yours to I promise!
What advise would you give our recently graduated students just starting out in the industry?
I highly recommend doing a ‘lot’ of research when starting out, everyone works differently and you just need to find what fits best with you and your groove!
Suss out the competition and don’t be afraid to make friends with them, you never know when you might need friendly advice or vendor recommendations.
Also, do not undercut yourself or the work that you do! You may think it’s fine, to pay yourself a lower rate but you end up lowering the rate for everyone in your field and it’s a quick way to upset others in your line of work.
Being confident in yourself and your abilities, not everyone is going to love what you put out and that’s ok, you will get a solid following from the people that do.