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.

Earthy Styled Shoot at Chumash Indian Musem

This post is LONG OVERDUE.  I guess that’s what I get for not blogging frequently.  Anyway…better late than never!

Throughout the year, one of the best ways for me to build relationships with the best vendors in the area is to collaborate on a styled shoot.  It allows each of us to have our own interpretation of the vision that has been suggested.

For this one, we coordinated and created the vision based on inspiration of a feather from Moonlight Feather.  It is one of my favorite shoots and was lucky to have it published on Southern California Bride.

Chumash Couple 1

Chumash Couple 2

Chumas Details 1

Chumas Details 2

Vendors: Photographer: Brooke Borough Photography | Venue: Chumash Indian Museum, Thousand Oaks | Designer/Coordinator + Escort Cards + Hair & Make-up: An Enlightened Event | Florals: Unique Floral Designs | Cake & Macarons: Frost It Cupcakery | Rentals & Lighting: Party Pleasers | Wedding Gown & Veil: Elizabeth Mackenzie Bridal | Suit: Friar Tux | Feathers: Moonlight Feathers | Jewelry: Jewelry Couture by Sehati | Invitations: Minted

Rosa + Rick – Intimate Celebration of Love

When I first spoke to Rosa on the phone, she was shy and excited about her upcoming wedding with her long time fiancé.  He was a pilot, she was a flight attendant.  They met when they worked for the same airline.  They both had a passion for life and they quickly hit it off.  They dated for 10+ years before Rick proposed to her.

To celebrate their love and their life, they invited their closest friends and family for an intimate gathering at their favorite restaurant, The Sage Room, in Agoura Hills.  They encouraged everyone to wear casual clothing so their guests would be comfortable.  Their ceremony involved everyone surrounding them, their guests holding and connecting every single person together with a hand on each shoulder.  They all said a prayer and helped two people become one.

It was such an amazing and loving wedding.  The wedding was captured by Scarlet and Grace Weddings.

Rick and Rosa Ceremony

Rick and Rosa Details