I Quit

It started with guilt.

My husband and I were wrapping up our meeting with a young couple, all beaming smiles and big wedding expectations. We’d charmed them with the Steph and Jeff Show, as usual. They’d entered our home as nervous soon-to-be-weds, and were leaving as friends.

“It’s so cool that you get to do what you love,” the bride-to-be sighed. “And you get to do it together.”

I nodded my head with vigor and forced a smile as we walked them to the door. Something inside me felt flattened. Like dead squirrel on the side of the road flattened.

I do love what I do. Don’t I?

Something inside me wasn’t convinced.

We’d go to these industry conventions where DJs were just on fire with passion for what they do. Wedding industry conferences where planners were just over the moon to live, breathe and sleep weddings.

I felt guilty.

Here I was making a damn good living as a wedding professional. But I was a fake.

Sure, I loved our couples. I spent hours prepping for the wedding day, going over song lists, scheming creative ways to fit in their favorite songs, planning ways to delight them with the unexpected, just like any good wedding pro.

But the things I loved most about what I did had nothing to do with weddings.

Or even with being a DJ. I just couldn’t find my passion in those things.

I loved the process of sitting down with a couple and learning about their dreams. I lived for the moments when I could facilitate moments of connection between the couple and their guests, like I was a living conduit of their love, when I was reading the love letters they’d written to each other or orchestrating a well-planned montage or performance.

But I just couldn’t get excited about designer gowns or perfectly matched table linens or the details on the wedding invitations. And I couldn’t muster up enthusiasm over beat mixing or uplighting or the latest gobos.

Our couples deserved to work with someone who was as in love with weddings as they were with their own.

I was an imposter.

I’ve wanted to share this for a long time, but I was afraid you would think less of me, and maybe you will. I’ve heard the accusations before, “If you were so successful in the wedding business, why aren’t you still doing it? Huh?”

There was something inside me still yearning to be expressed.

Being a wedding DJ didn’t let me use some of my greatest talents to their fullest: teaching, writing, coaching. I love nothing more than learning something new and teaching it to someone else.

There wasn’t much call for that at a wedding, other than the Cupid Shuffle.

When something doesn’t feel right, sometimes it’s okay to quit; letting go of one thing makes room for something else.

So I did it. I QUIT.

I let the things I love pull me into a whole new direction, which turned into Book More Brides. I get to learn and teach and grow with people like you. And I get to explore current and future passions that will pull me in entirely new directions.

Don’t just do something because you’re supposed to. Do it because you want to.

And if you don’t want to do that–do something else.

The world wants you to blossom into the fullness of your joy and unbridled enthusiasm. “Unbridled,” as in a wild horse running free and unrestrained. Passionate. Creative. Abundant.

I deserve that, and so do you.

It’s okay to let go of what’s not working for you. In fact, you must, if you want to make room for the glorious potential of you.

Have you ever quit something? Tell me about it.

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Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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4 thoughts on “Why I Quit the Wedding Business”

  1. Leann says:

    I’m passionate about flowers and people but sometimes I do feel a little dead inside. I get excited about the flowers side but not so much the rest. I know it well though. But yeah, sometimes my eyes glaze over when they talk about linens and tables.

    I don’t see it as quitting, I see it as evolving. Growing and changing. I crave change and enjoy leaving my mark. I have no idea where I will be in 10 years. I hate when people ask that question. I don’t know! I don’t have to know. I’ll tell you when I get there, but whatever it is, it will fulfill my needs at the time.

  2. Lilieth says:

    First I never like sewing, but for some reasons, I learn to sew. then I had a passion for it.
    I sew clothing for people, I’ll do anything to learn everything I could about sewing.
    the passion is gone, so I quit that to follow my passion in the wedding business.
    now it’s another going to great lengths tho live my dream. so you’re not alone

  3. I have almost quit a couple times for the same reason… I love to teach. I actually DO teach high school photography and love it, and I want to do more. I have a Masters Degree in Education (Christina Truelove, M.Ed.). Some industry pros who find out about my teaching look down on me because wedding photography looks like my “weekend job”. But I put So. Much. Effort. into my business that I have most of my industry friends fooled. I stay in for a couple reasons, though. I love it, not necessarily as much as teaching, though. The time I gave it up there was an enormous hole left by the awesome relationships and creative output. The second reason I stay is to keep my skills fresh for my teaching job. So, I guess for now, I’m doing both.

    Thank you so much for this post. It gives me a lot to think about.

    1. It takes so much courage to even face this question! It’s like we’re not “supposed to” quit something we’ve started, even if it’s not right for us, because it means we’re quitters, failures, slackers, or whatever.

      Maybe the question for you isn’t should I teach or do photography. Maybe the better question is:

      How can I do the work I love, develop awesome relationships AND teach? What does that perfect combination for me look like, if I could have it any way I want?

      These questions can lead you to a life and business that lets you do everything you love, and that provides for you at the same time.

      I’m asking myself these same questions right now. If I could order up exactly the life and business I most want, one that would make my heart sing, what would it look like?

      I can’t wait to see what comes of it!

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