Laura is a wedding and event planner in New York City. She recently launched her own business Love, Laura. We met with her to learn about her career, what it means for her to be powerful, and how to plan the perfect event. She told us about the challenges of finding community and feeling like the world is against you. Laura has found community and empowers women like her by planning events and connecting women around the world.

Laura where did you grow up?

I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. When I was growing up, I started working at my grandmother’s wedding venue. I started in the kitchen and worked my way up to management.  Over summers in college, I was the day-of coordinator for couples on their wedding day. I learned to manage the details, such as food coming out on time, the DJ playing the right songs, and showing the couple how to cut their cake. That got me into event planning and wedding planning. I loved it so much. I kept doing this in my spare time. I also got a ton of experience in service, such as bartending and restaurant management in college, which has been so important to my career.

“Having options makes me feel powerful.”

What was your first job?

Right out of college, I moved to New York for an internship at a marketing firm focused on sustainable brands. I was babysitting on the side at night on the weekends. I would work at my internship from 9-5, babysit  for a few hours, and then nanny on the weekends. I was basically working 24/7 in order to afford living in New York. It was a crazy time, but I loved it.

Tell us about your first big job with THINK Global.

I started working for a traveling high school called THINK Global School. They brought me on to be the Executive Assistant to Head of Operations, which gave me a lot of business experience. I got a lot of exposure to operations, contracts, finance, and accounting. Eventually my role shifted into events, and I was able to travel to more than 30 countries to plan and execute events. I would plan all aspects of the events: I would have to find connections for everything from venues to florists to catering companies in completely new places. I would be there on the day of to make sure it ran smoothly, which is my favorite part of an event, seeing it come to life!

Where did you go to college and did it impact your career?

I went to Boston University, and I studied Environmental Analysis and Policy.  Growing up in Utah, I had a great passion for the outdoors, and I wanted to study something that would give me a deeper understanding of that. I graduated in 2009 and, due to the economy, no one was spending money on the environment, and it was hard to get a paying job. So I decided to do something else, and I went back into events. I moved to New York City in 2009 after graduation.

When did you start your own event planning business?

I started Love, Laura Events two years ago. I do wedding planning, everything from finding the venue and vendors and designing the look and the feel of a wedding to coming up with creative ways to add those special touches that make a wedding unique to the couple. I also do day-of coordination and make sure everything runs smoothly on the couple’s big day.

What are you doing now?

I do HER USA and I do Love, Laura Events. I work with couples that have unique ideas in mind for their weddings. I want to work with people that want their special day to be something unique, whether that’s a unique destination, format, or design. I want it to be smooth and stress-free for them. My goal is to empower the couples that I work with to enjoy this time.

What does it mean for you to be powerful?

To me, being powerful means feeling empowered to be the decider of your own path and also helping others to do the same.

What is the largest challenge you have faced?

Feeling alone. New York can be very isolating. You can feel like people are against you. But the more people I meet and the more I put myself out there, the more I learn, it’s actually the opposite!  It’s important to find a community that will reach back and catch you when you fall. Those people exist, you just need to find them. We are all in this together.

Learn more about Love, Laura Events and HER USA below:

https://www.lovelaura.co/

@lovelauraevents

@herusa