I am SO excited to be sharing with you a new series while I'm out on maternity leave! I've asked some friends in the wedding and creative industry to write about a topic they're passionate about- whether that be tips helping brides while planning a wedding, what they've learned in their business, balancing life and owning a small business, plus so much more! Let me tell you- there's some amazing stuff coming up and I can't wait to share!
Today, Danielle Wallace with The Crimson Magpie Rentals & Design is going personal today, and talking to us about how she survives as an Introvert, in an extremely extroverted field- the wedding industry! As an extrovert, when she told me what she was thinking about talking about, I was super excited! I love hearing and learning how I can love on others well- and knowing not to take things personally when my introverted friends just need to have a night off, or some alone time!
Surviving being an Introvert in an Extrovert Centered Career
Reading an entire book in a day. Gardening in warm morning sunshine. Journaling in the stillness of night. Those moments are my idea of a good time. More often than not, though my reality is quite different. Imagine the hubbub of Grand Central Station combined with the blistering pace of the Indie 500 and the drama of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” Picture that and you have an idea of what it’s like to build a business in the wedding industry.
The wedding industry is bright and full of joy, creativity, passion and collaboration. It’s full of opportunities to solve problems both big and small. But as an introvert the continual need to be “on” socially exhausts me to the deepest part of my being. Add a very busy one-year old to the mix and some days I want to crawl into a closet with the aforementioned book and stay there forever. For the introverts reading this, you know what I mean. If you’re an introvert, well hopefully this helps you understand why your introverted friend canceled plans to go out Friday night. Here are a few of the things that help balance my introvert neurosis with my love for this crazy awesome wedding gig.
Behind the scenes. The song is coming to a close. The DJ is about to direct guests’ attention towards four tiers of buttercream perfection. Aunt June leans over and whispers she forgot to bring the heirloom cake knife. I make a dash to my kit and grab my spare cake server, and dash back to lay it calmly (don’t let me kid you, my heart is pounding out of my chest) on the table seconds before the bride and groom arrive to cut the cake. Okay, maybe not a super hero move in the same category as Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne, but I love filling in the numerous gapes so the wedding dreams of very special people go off without a hitch.
Organizational routines. The fuel of a successful event is organization, and lucky for me I love spreadsheets, timelines, calendars, bullet points, anything that smacks of a plan or a to do list. Que the entrance of my daughter (pride goes before a fall, anyone?) last year making it almost impossible to be as organized as I would like to be. My latest comprise: I let her unwind an entire roll of toilet paper so that I can update my spreadsheet while doing calf raises because that counts as a workout, right? All you mamas who run a business while raising kids, you are my heroes.
Intentional recharging. For me that means being completely alone. Alone isn’t really a thing when you have a child, so I’ve had to get creative. To be perfectly honest I have a way to go with this part of my life. There are days when I feel like I’m scrapping the bottom of the barrel. Sometimes my car is my sanctuary for half an hour while I write or read, which is not as depressing as it sounds! A big one is turning off my phone. A reprieve from digital human is a must, so instead (if I’m not working at night) I journal, or bake a treat to share with my husband while we binge on Stranger Things or The Office after our baby girl is in bed.
Really cool people. This one seems to contradict everything I’ve said previously, but I’ve met some amazing people in this industry. Many of my brides and grooms, their family members, and fellow vendors have impacted my life the past three years. My bride that hand-painted wall hangings for the nursery when my baby was born. My bride that checks up on me regularly to see how I’m doing and ask about my life. Fellow stay-at-home vendor moms who reached out to me the first difficult months after my daughter was born. The former bride and groom turned friends who used their trailer to help me pick up rental stock and then wouldn’t let me pay them. My coworkers who have become best friends and yell at me when I’m not taking care of myself…I could go on.
And I do go on! Let me have my quiet place to recharge, and I’m ready to hit the road again. The joy, the romance, the beauty, and the opportunities of the wedding world adds a depth and breadth to my world that I didn’t know was possible. I can’t wait to see what new adventures the 2018 season has in store.
Ashley Eiban is a Wedding & Portrait Photographer based in Central Virginia. Serving the Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, and surrounding areas. Available for travel world-wide. Ashley is passionate about cultivating genuine relationships built on mutual understanding, trust and lasting friendship.
Currently booking a limited number of wedding and portrait sessions for 2018 and 2019. Contact Ashley today for additional information!