Our family is currently in the midst of planning for a daughter’s wedding. Conversations become about weddings both those in the future and ones that happened long ago. Talk becomes about traditions, dresses, ceremonies, choices, size and more. Comparisons are naturally made with love and often laughter. We understand that although the wedding is a very significant day, it is important to remember it is just one day in a life.
Way back when my husband and I were married, my parents were the decision makers. The guests were mainly family and parents’ long-time friends (many involved in my dad’s business). I wore my mother’s wedding gown and the reception was at my parents home overlooking Canandaigua Lake. It was clear that is what they wanted and I agreed. And it was a lovely day.
This is when I met Miss Gorgeous (yes, that is her actual name)! She was one of a kind. From my 24-year-old perspective, she was old. And she was tiny in stature. But she had a big reputation in Rochester, New York. My mom was ecstatic that Miss Gorgeous was available to cater our wedding. Our consultation was at her home. Her home was just like her. It was formal and feminine. Miss Gorgeous never married. There were no male influences. And it was very different than the homes I visited growing up. The furniture fit her small frame. Small rooms and small furniture that was perfect for her. We were offered tea in formal teacups. She was different than anyone else that I had met at that point in life. She had devoted her life to her very successful business. She was an independent, strong businesswoman who owned her own business long before her peers. She was her business.
In terms of the menu, I remember her advice to keep it simple. Make it beautiful, delicious and don’t complicate it. More isn’t better. And our menu was simple. The core was chicken salad. But it was the best chicken salad ever. The day of the wedding, she and her staff took over our kitchen cooking chickens with vegetables and seasoning for hours. She was a leader in the kitchen in a very relaxed manner. And the salad was filled with ingredients that were unexpected in that day.
And she was kind. I remember her coming up to me as I left the house to go into town to the church, telling me I was beautiful. I was happy on my wedding day. But it was a simpler time. No manicure, little makeup, no special hairstyle…I don’t have any memories of being concerned about any of those things. But I do have special memories of this woman with the unusual name.
Miss Gorgeous business was based on word of mouth referrals. This was before the time we are able to peer into other people’s weddings online that is the case today. It makes me wonder if Miss Gorgeous was in business today, what differences would there be in how she would manage her business.
I now have a business of my own. I enjoy creating websites that please my clients. That is where my enjoyment comes from. I have financial goals set for 2018. But my “why” comes from creating a site that is unique to my client. It is important to me that their website fits their personality and is what they want it to be. I am often thinking about what kind of business owner I want to be. The phrase I am hearing repeated in my mind is, “I want to be Miss Gorgeous!” I want to be one of a kind. It’s scary to be creative and to be different. But that is what I want. Take the risk and the necessary steps to be different.
My websites are to be simple and well thought out like Miss Gorgeous’ menu. And with a focus on details. Something that stands out for each client. I feel a need to remind myself at this point to not complicate them. Just because I can add something doesn’t mean it should be added.
A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Today, as the mom of the bride, my focus is on how the future bride and groom want to celebrate this important day in their lives. This is their day. My husband and I have had plenty of “our” events in life. And thinking back to my parents, many more events than my mom and dad ever experienced in their lives.
Alison and Steve have had options. Should the wedding be here in Brighton where Alison grew up? Or should it be in Chicago where Alison and Steve have both lived for years? And then Alison’s big sister, Kerry, brought up a new option. Something my husband and I have never experienced. Choose a destination wedding. It was an option that Kerry could help make happen! She first introduced the idea of a destination wedding followed by the suggestion of Paradise Point in San Diego.
Alison and Steve spent time thinking about what they would want. And their answer, “yes, let’s do the destination wedding.” Having large families and many friends, how to do that? And so the decision was made to make it very small and very intimate with a group of 50 people. Something different in a world of choices!
And so the journey has begun for them!
I want to be different than many who create websites. I want to carve out my own path that suits me and allows me to be creative. I want to be a business owner like Miss Gorgeous. She sent me a note after the wedding. Hoping I can find it one day as I look through boxes of memories!