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Saturday, April 5, 2008

"So how did you get into Wedding Coordination?" I am often asked; sharing the rather convoluted answer well help you learn a bit more about Jean Marks.

I have always been a visionary; I love to help launch a new and worthwhile project, then work with a team to carry it out to completion. In college I was part of Student Government, organizing many projects which seemed quite radical in Alabama!

Much of my passion for non-profit work developed after my 2 years of teaching in a ghetto elementary school, just after graduation. Over the years since that time I have founded and/or directed non-profits in Alabama, Georgia, and California.

When I moved to California, and took over directorship of a Bay Area non- profit, I discovered the wonders of gardening, which opened up a new creative outlet for me. After I married one of my staff (that really isn't why I hired him, but I am glad I did!), I left the role of Administrator there to begin our family, and to focus more on my garden, and on helping as a volunteer in community organizations.

As my 2 children were growing up, my love of flowers and arranging them, lead me to become a floral design assistant for Susan Groves, of In Full Bloom Florals, based in Menlo Park. Susan introduced me to the joy of weddings, as I helped her set up weddings in the finest Bay Area venues, working beside top professionals, for wonderful clients!

It was while working with Susan, decorating for a huge wedding reception at Kohl Mansion that I realized I wanted to be a wedding coordinator.

As I was trying to place an arrangement, containing at least 3 dozen long stemmed roses, atop a 3 foot base, in the center of a 72" round table, a harried groom asked me where he was supposed to be for photos.
At that moment, all of my Administrator instincts came to the surface, and I wanted more than anything to be able to help him; needless to say, my hands were full, and besides, I didn't know the answer!

From that day, I began moving towards being the person to not only answer the groom's question, but to provide enough planning support and information so my clients would never have to ask that question!

The rest, as they say, is history; I am grateful to have coordinated over 70 weddings since that day at Kohl, and I am sure each groom knew where he was to be for photos!

In introducing myself, I should also say that I have a huge silly streak, and laugh easily; I have been married for 27 years, and thank God for the man He has given me, and for my adult children, Justin and Kimberly.

I treasure close friendships, savor quiet moments with a cup of tea, long walks near the ocean, and giving neighbors and friends bouquets from my garden.

I welcome you you my life, my chosen career, and my garden!

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