Team Interview – Cynthia Alexander

Over the next several months, we’ll be interviewing our team members!  We want you to get to know who these inspiring women are.  Today we’re interviewing the Owner and Creative Director of An Enlightened Event, Cynthia Alexander.

MePhotos: Brooke Borough Photography

How did you get into wedding planning?
I was working in corporate world, perfectly content with my job – I had a great boss, people I loved being around for 40 hours a week, and the commute wasn’t so bad.  But like most companies during the recession, I was one of the individuals who was laid off.  My supportive husband turned to me one day and said “Now’s your chance to do what you want to do.”  I started the business with another individual who gave me the idea to start wedding planning.  I approached it differently though – planning your own wedding is NOTHING like overseeing someone else’s big day. So what did I do?  I took classes and earned a certificate in wedding planning!

What was your first year like?
It was hard.  I had never owned my own business so I was getting to know Google really well that first year.  I met some clients who took a chance on me and allowed me to coordinate their wedding.  What a huge learning experience!  Good thing I’m a quick learner!

What has been your biggest challenge?
Helping couples understand how important it is to have a really strong and experienced coordinator and to actually pay them for that expertise.  I understand that I didn’t have the experience my first year but I had a plan and shared that with the couple.  Planning a wedding can be a lot like Program Management or Project Management in the corporate world.  Identify things that need to happen, find out the risks, create mitigating controls and communicate!  Couples should find someone they feel they can trust completely throughout their planning process, not 4-6 weeks before the big day.  Don’t just base the hiring process solely on salary.

What has been your biggest success up until now?
In my life: raising a beautiful, loving and healthy family with my husband.
In business: helping to make memories for couples.  It’s been so wonderful building relationships with our clients and then keeping in touch after the wedding.

How would your friends describe you?
Ha!  They would probably say I’m busy.  They are constantly asking me how I do it.  To be honest, I am able to do what I enjoy doing, be a mom, be a military wife, be a friend, and play other roles because I have an amazing support system.  I couldn’t be any luckier to have my husband and supportive and inspiring women around me.