Angela Proffitt, owner of Elegant Weddings & Events by AP, is unparalleled in the wedding industry. With astounding creativity, flawless organization, and a true passion for education, Angela has played several roles during my time as an intern. While many may refer to her as a boss, I see her as a life coach, cherished friend, and successful business woman. After several years working in healthcare, Angela quit her job to pursue a dream she didn’t even realize she had, weddings. What started out as something fun for her, has now turned into 11 years as one of the top event planners in Nashville. As each day passes, and I learn more about her daily routine and the people she impacts, I am drawn to her work ethic and enthusiasm, something that I hope to exude one day.
Beginning my internship on May 8th, I met with a woman who was Angela’s assistant at the time. Due to pressing family matters, her assistant had to move back to her home state and is no longer working for the company. Leaving a great deal of responsibility to the hands of the summer interns, Angela felt terrible for the rocky start and has since strived to give us the greatest learning experience possible. While the first part of May was spent running simple errands, collaborating with other interns, and doing the best that I could for Angela’s social media, the end of May and the beginning of June have brought something entirely different. Rather unprepared, I have seen the wedding industry through every lens, and I can say with confidence, it is nothing like the glamorous “gown fluffing” you see on TV.
Angela’s love for teaching became apparent to me at my first wedding that was put on for a couple at the end of May. One of the first things that Angela ever explained to me was the difference between an event coordinator, event designer, and an event planner. She is adamant on educating people on the difference between the three terms because it highlights why event planners are so important. Event planners can be defined as both an event coordinator and an event designer. In short, they do it all. People don’t realize, and before this internship I didn’t either, how much must be considered when planning any function. A lot of people believe that they can take on the design of a space, booking of vendors, and execution when the day comes with just an event coordinator and that is not the case. A event coordinator’s job is to oversee the venue only, absent of any design work, and an event designer is only design work with no help picking a venue. Needless to say, the job of an event planner is hard. I spent that entire first wedding on my feet hanging decor, steaming linens, and placing chairs. According to Angela, a large contributor to why she is so successful, everything had to be perfect, and it was. In Nashville, she is known to completely transform a space, and that is exactly what she did for this particular couple, I couldn’t believe my own eyes.
Since my first wedding, things have slowed down as Angela’s busiest wedding months this year are April and September. Although I would love to see more of her at work, a slow month in her schedule is exactly what I needed as her intern (and by slow I mean not having to attend events, Angela is never NOT busy). Taking three full days where she wasn’t booked with meetings, Angela sat down with her three interns and pulled out a large easel. On the easel she wrote out, start to finish, all the things that she must consider when she is first booking a client. Some of those things include: venue, ceremony music, reception music, food, alcohol, flowers, color scheme, guest list, etc. For as much as I love weddings, I would have never guessed she would be responsible for half of those things as a planner. In those three days, I saw the back end of the system by answering emails, making phone calls, and reaching out to everyone on social media. Technically my official title as an Angela’s intern is the “social media” intern, so I have spent a great deal of time writing blog posts, following others in the industry on Facebook and Twitter, and speaking on Angela’s technology session classes about the need for a smart phone for productivity purposes and to stay connected. When it comes to productivity, Angela is brilliant. She is currently pushing the idea to “go paperless” to increase productivity both in and out of the office. Confident that people will see immense growth in their businesses, she has done several education segments on what apps to get on the smart phone and how to use things like google docs and dropbox. Thinking that I had all the latest technology advances, I couldn’t have been more wrong, and Angela has changed my world. She has been the perfect person to intern with due to her emphasis on clear communication which mirrors my studies at Auburn.
Coming into my last month of the internship, I look forward to what Angela has planned next. With the love and respect that Angela has for her interns, it makes it very easy to work for someone like her who is on her hands and knees with you. My dad said before I left for the summer: “Internships are just as much about learning what you don’t want to do as what you want to do.” Thrilled to report, I have fallen in love with the event/wedding industry.