For Auld Lang Syne, Redux

On hour number four in Logan airport, some time between praising the cafe with outlets, free wi fi and Dunkin Donuts coffee, I decided it was time to write a little end of the year ditty, which may serve no greater purpose than simply reflecting back on the year and announcing any fun years for the year to come.

To better prepare myself, I decided to hop on over to last year’s post.  After all, how do you know where you are going if you don’t reflect on where you’ve been?

The goal of 2010 was balance and boy did I… kind of find it. Like other wedding pros and small business owners, there simply isn’t enough time in the day. But I will tell you this- life got inherently better once I started delegating to trusted members of the OFD team- from fabulous interns to my beloved accountant (I can still remember the first time I handed off the box of receipts and felt the tremendous weight of my crappy math skills being lifted).  I’ve even recently discovered a hair dresser that will come to your house, and if you’re in Richmond or Charlottesville and haven’t embraced Relay Foods yet, you’re missing out folks.

There’s potential to add to the OFD team shortly but I don’t dare make any announcements until everything is signed on the dotted line. I can tell you, however, that my final proposal to my new potential partner in crime included no work before 10:30am and unlimited hugs so I’m hoping it’s a done deal.

Ultimately, I think the goal of balance will be a perennial wish as I continue on so let’s not quite erase it from my white board just yet.

The idea of 2011 makes me smile. After all, this had been the official year OFD was to begin. But after a rather unhappy career move, and the encouragement of my future (and endlessly supportive husband), I took the big leap two years ago instead. Since then, it’s been a roller coaster, which I’m happy to continue to ride.

I’ve picked up some great lessons in 2010- first and foremost, to take such a bold leap. I also practice what I preach- staying local. I may have picked up some amazing clients  from various states and countries, but it’s still important to me to remain involved in the Richmond wedding community, which is why this year, I happily accepted the position of Director of Marketing for the newly formed Richmond Chapter of NACE.

The highlights of this year are as long as my to do list, but I don’t mind sharing some of the favorites. After all, if you had told me on January 1, that I would have been honored with Style Weekly’s coveted Top 40 under 40, find myself published (and featured!) in WedLock magazine,  served as keynote for the inaugural Business of Weddings Ireland and met some pretty darn fabulous people (shout out to B List Blogging Event in DC, meeting the very smart and super nice Sage Wedding Pros and dinner with Andy Ebon), well I would have thought you were crazy pants. Plain and simple.

So what’s next for OFD in the coming year? I’m glad you asked!

1. Wedology 101 is back people! Jennifer and I enjoyed our event last August and following many hours of discussion and a few gallons of java, we decided to take our show on the road. That’s right- Wedology 101: the Realities of Being a Bride is coming your way. Up first- we’ll be presenting at the Elegance in Bridal Shows on January 23 in Charlottesville. Stay tuned for some good lookin’ updates to our Blog shortly.

2. Speaking! In addition to my national debut with Jennifer McBride at The Special Event in January,  I did a little happy dance when Jessica and Claire from the Get Engaged Workshop asked me to present for their inaugural event on February 22 in Charlottesville. In the same month, I’ll be traveling to speak to a PCMA group at JMU and hope to return in April for a similar conference held on campus.  I’ll be in North Carolina come March to speak on Wedding PR to the Association of Bridal Consultants and am thrilled to be a part of the illustrious line up for P.S.D. Experience in April. More to come on this front but for now, I’m very pleased with these great opportunities out the starting gate in 2011.

3. Illuminate: the Workshop! Mark your calendar for March 30, 2011, as I wrap up the finishing touches on the next installment of my wedding marketing workshop, which sold out for the first two installments. This time, I’m bringing it to Downtown Richmond and I’ve got two speakers that will knock your socks off. I’ll be rounding out the group with a talk on Pricing and How to Deal with Budget Brides.

4. Wedding of the Century! That’s right- I’m rolling out the red carpet and a batch of scones for the early bird viewing of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding on April 29. Mark your calendars- it’s going to be a good one.

As for goals in the coming year, I look forward to continuing to expand OFD beyond Virginia (thank you Skype!), finding new and fantastic press opportunities to my amazing photography clients and empowering my marketing clients to dare to think beyond the norm to connect with their brides. Plus I’d never turn down a trip or two overseas. 🙂

And if you’re keeping track of all of my 2010 goals, I did indeed watch the finale of Lost, I thought it was terrible. Sorry.

Want to keep up with the latest as we head into the new year? Don’t be shy- go ahead and subscribe to the Illuminate Blog and enjoy the ride with me.

Until next time,

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. She is the exclusive wedding pr columnist to wedding marketing journal WedLock magazine and is a highly sought after speaker in the wedding industry. She loves ruffle table runners and Royal Wedding Tchotchkes. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you with your wedding marketing and wedding pr, please contact us today.