A while back, I was talking with Luke about getting a job. Luke said that I should take a day or two and think about the things that I really love doing and then try to earn money doing that because a job that you don’t enjoy doing, just isn’t worth having. At first I thought about doing something in photography or maybe real estate, but both of those things are really down right now due to the economy and a lack of discretionary spending. About a year ago, I remember telling someone that I would really enjoy doing wedding planning and after working with a planner that Luke works with in Savannah, I realized that theres really nothing to it and it might very well be my calling. A few weeks ago, Luke and I were talking and he agreed that there really is a demand for small weddings.
My thinking is this, there are so many divorces now-a-days, that probably half of the weddings happening, are 2nd weddings and sometimes 3rd. No one wants to go to a courthouse and just sign the paperwork and proclaim themselves married. They still want to have a ceremony. So I determined that people could benefit from me offering inexpensive options for wedding ceremonies, including religious ministers. An initial package of $500, basically to cover the minister, the filing of the marriage license, and the coordination, would be attractive to those that want to get married and don’t really know where to start. If it cost $500 to get a divorce, it shouldn’t cost more than that to get married.
The trend in weddings today seems to be going towards more informal beach setting type weddings. I live on an island steeped in history and just covered in centuries old oak trees. Most of the economy here is geared towards tourism. I thought it would be a natural fit to have an elopement and honeymoon destination all in one. Our neighboring island, Jekyll Island, was recently named 1 of the 10 most romantic places to get married by some magazine. So that makes, by doing this, sort of like a destination wedding package. I know that most of the people that use my service are not going to be people on the island, but instead vacationers that are romantically involved. I love St. Simons and Jekyll Islands so much that I invited all of my Myspace friends here last year. I fully expect that 90% of my clientele are going to be people from more than 100 miles away.
About a week and a half ago, I began putting together my website, gathering information on wedding venues, found 3 ministers willing to perform ceremonies without wedding counseling sessions and had Luke take pictures of venues. So I now have my packages assembled, $500 to $2500, lists of add-ons with costs, venues, and am beginning my marketing. Some time in the next week, JeniLu is going to have my professional marketing materials and my website should be complete. I can’t tell you how excited I am about doing this. Having done two weddings, I know it’s stressful for those involved, but I can’t tell you how excited I am to have the opportunity to help people get married.
I began marketing about a week ago via Craigslist. I know that most of my business is going to come from word of mouth, though. I don’t think that I’m going to become Myspace’s wedding planner or anything of the sort, but if you know of someone interested in an island honeymoon, that might want to get married while there, I would feel honored if you would send them my way. For google search purposes, I started a blog on WordPress and I also have a website hosted by Smugmug – St. Simons Elopements. Do me a favor and check out my website and let me know what you think. I know that some of you also know Luke and he will be helping me with the photography when I need him.
So from 0-50 guests, a wedding on the beach or surrounded by oak trees on Jekyll Island or St. Simons Island, I can arrange for everything needed for an elopement or a wedding ceremony. I especially want to thank Rose, Maria, and Pla_ime for invaluable input on my website. I know that this is something that I am very excited about . . . but what do YOU think about the demand for this type of service?