I went back to college for attempt number three when I was 27. Not shockingly, the third time was a charm and I graduated 3 days before my 31st birthday with two bachelor’s degrees in hand (Marketing and Women and Gender Studies) and a job offer to work at my favorite nonprofit!
Perfect! Or so I thought…
Turns out, my life doesn’t work out so well for traditional office life. My tweenage son has a rare neurological sleep condition, which means he can’t always attend school and means he needs a grownup around the house more often than not.
Rather than trying to find a work environment that could fit that kind of schedule, I decided to create one!
I’ve long had a passion for event planning. It started with the activist work that I did while giving it the ol’ college try the third time. It grew while I worked that nonprofit dream job. A large portion of my job there was event planning, particularly planning fundraising events.
Fundraising events, unlike weddings, are meant to maximize the budget in every way possible. We utilize donations and sponsorship in a way that isn’t realistic for weddings, but I learned so much about making that budget stretch as far as possible and what folks really look for in a celebration, that I decided to give it a go with Different Path Events.
My Pop Up Weddings were born out of the idea that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to throw an amazing party. I also wanted to do something affordable – almost everyone I know that is getting married these days is paying for the majority of it without parental assistance and has a bunch of student loan debt!
This perfect storm of factors – sick kid, right skills, and fun, affordable idea – came together at exactly the right time for me to give this a shot!
Tomorrow evening, I’ll be attending the Portland Pheonix’s Best of… Awards, where I’m a FINALIST for Best of… Wedding Services. Regardless of if I win or not, I’m so thankful that I’m supported by a great community in Southern Maine! It’s meant the world, exactly at a moment when I’ve been questioning this idea.