On Building the MG team

December 12, 2019

 

 

When I was about to start my third year as a planner, I encountered a problem I hadn’t before: we received an inquiry for day of coordination for a wedding date that was already taken.

 

I know that this seems a bit late in the game, and somewhat inevitable, but you have to remember that I started as a baker, and later transitioned into a catering manager position, so if I received multiple inquiries for the same day, the chances were good that we were going to accommodate both.

 

But the first time that an inquiry came in requesting that I be there for day of coordination, I had a choice to make.  Clearly the easier choice would be to turn the second inquiry down. But the alternative option was obviously hiring someone who could accommodate the other wedding.  In comes Savannah.

 

Savannah and I were sorority sisters in college, and although she was younger than me, I knew enough about her to know that she was highly capable and would execute the wedding day with ease.  We met exactly one time before the wedding, at Moe’s, over chips and queso.  

 

At this point I would like to point out that we have since highly refined our hiring process, as well as how well-prepared our team is going into a wedding day.  I think it’s ALSO important to note that Savannah is still with us and is quite literally, one of the strongest members on the team.

 

So anyway, Savannah knocks her wedding weekend out of the park and at that point, I had another choice to make: was this going to be how we market ourselves moving forward, or were we just going to mark that weekend as a win and move on?

 

Spoiler Alert: we chose option one.

 

In the months that followed, we hired another planner, as well as a few bartenders-- and this worked well for a while!  But as our brand grew, so did the need for more staff. And while we seriously lucked out with some amazing people over the years, we have since learned that what works for us is to hire people that we like to hang out with.

 

That is not to say that everyone looks, dresses, or acts the same.  Quite the contrary, in fact. Each member shares a common core of organization, creativity, and love for our clients-- but what we have found is that we are much more successful when we’re allowed to shine in our own unique ways.

 

For example, when Becca joined the team she was our Operations Manager.  She handled all administrative tasks, emails, and Honeybook-- well, okay literally everything on Honeybook was Becca. 

 

But one day, I realized that she was literally memorizing the client paperwork that couples send in before their wedding weekend.  Yeah. Those 20+ pages of questions we ask you? She memorized them.

 

Which meant that when we had a nervous mom who wanted to know if the cake was on time, before I could even find it in the paperwork, Becca could tell me the answer.  WOAH BUDDY. Gold mine. That means that she is perfect on wedding days as a day of planner or planner assistant, because she can ease anxieties in seconds.  

 

Emily was also hired to work in the office, until we saw what she can do with watercolors, chalkboards, hand lettering, and basically anything that involves custom design.  For the first time I was able to say ‘this is the idea we have in mind, but I want to do something we haven’t seen before’-- and then just sit back and let her work her magic.  And it’s always amazing!

 

By learning to trust more, it allowed them to take ownership of the brand more, and also helped them learn and grow in new ways, rather than just becoming cookie cutter versions of what I have asked of them.  And shouldn’t all companies run that way?  If we don’t want all of our weddings to look the same, or all of our couples to be the same, why would our team members all share the same strengths?

 

This group of amazing humans has helped build an award winning brand, that I am absolutely certain I would not have been able to accomplish on my own.  They pour countless hours into making sure that our events run smoothly-- even when I am out of the country.  They love our clients and vendor friends, and bring so much diversity and joy to the team, that it’s actually enjoyable working on the weekends, because we get to do it surrounded by such wonderful friends.  

 

I will forever be grateful to the bride who trusted Savannah with her day, and trusted me to hire someone who could execute it well.  I will forever be grateful to all of the MG team members, past and present, who have stuck it out in good times and bad, and have always had my back. 

 

I don’t take a single member of this now 16 member team for granted, and I pray that I never will. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a tribe to run a business-- and I have to say, that ours is a pretty amazing one

 

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