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Posted by on Jun 10, 2013 in Elevate, Empower, Family, Woman on the RISE | 0 comments

Woman on the RISE – Jenifer Hammond

Woman on the RISE – Jenifer Hammond


I Do | Founder’s Name & Title: Jen Hammond, Director of Happiness | & | | @idoweddingvail

Your 140-Character Pitch: I Do Weddings offers creative & gracious wedding planning in Vail, Aspen & Santa Barbara. I Do offers all-inclusive wedding styling with a broad range of services.

Your Elevateher Pitch: I Do Weddings offers creative & gracious wedding planning in Vail, Aspen & Santa Barbara. I Do offers all-inclusive wedding styling with services ranging from vendor recommendations to graphic design & letterpress printing, event décor design, & personal wedding stylists to comprehensive budgets & wedding-week timelines. Please call for a complimentary consultation.

Your immediate region: Colorado Mountains {Vail | Aspen}

Featured products & services: Wedding Planning, Event Design

What do people think you do for a living? Drink champagne, attend loads of weddings, enjoy being wined and dined by prospective venues, hang out at the spa.

What do you actually do for a living? I’m an event designer, I create the concept, find the venue, imagine possibilities, hold sacred space for something significant to happen. I act as the hostess to the guests visiting my town. There is a lot of logistical planning, finding and arranging for transportation, lodging and entertainment for hundreds of people. I find vendors that not only fit the style and sensibility of the client, but also their budget. There is a lot of dialogue to finalize all the pieces, tons of revisions to timelines, song lists, menus, invitations. I build and manage a dozen websites at a time, my own business sites and blog, and all my client wedding websites. The week of a wedding I’m a glorified go-fer, I grocery shop, run errands, source, assemble and delivery dozens of welcome packages, delivery, set up and strike the day of each event. Vail is a destination for most brides so there are multiple events for each wedding, welcome parties, rehearsal dinners, bridal luncheons, golf games, group rafting, the wedding ceremony and reception and farewell brunches and I do them all! The wedding day is typically a 16 hour work day for me, from start to finish. I manage other people’s stress, and pressure, very well.

Tell us about your passions! I create and build. I’m lucky to have an art studio in a tiny, remote mountain town where I can go to learn, and explore and make new and beautiful things. I rarely look at anything without thinking about ways that I can muck with it, improve it, adding beauty and interest. I am a proponent for crafting a life that pleases oneself, and the same goes for weddings; if tradition is important to you, then dive on in, but if it’s not, let’s create something new that is authentically you.

Who/What inspires what you do? Creative powerhouses, adventurous artists, soulful seekers and this big, bright, vivid world that I live in. My own self, it’s fun to spend my time seeking only that which sets my spirit afire.

Was there a turning point in your life that led to your current career? I’d always wanted to be a wedding planner, and wasn’t sure how to get started. My husband is a small business owner in the wedding industry and I modeled some of my business practices after watching how he grew his business. When I was pregnant with my son I was faced with the very necessary time off for my post-partum recovery and baby time, and it was the perfect opportunity to develop my business plan and to jump into what I’d always desired. There’s a bit of a lag when you are in wedding planning, you plan 12 months ahead and the events are realized later… it’s much different than opening a storefront where you can expect clients and revenue the first day open. The at home time with my little one and associated break in my usual working schedule was the ideal starting point.

If money weren’t a factor, what would you be doing? I’d still be doing event design and wedding planning, but only with clients that I connected with. I’d be more invested in fine arts and spend more time writing. I’d love to travel more, enjoy more days with unstructured time, waking when my body woke, eating when hungry, swimming, hiking, yogafying, learning new things/music/languages.

What’s in your Bucket List? Living abroad, learning to play the guitar and maybe someday a violin, writing a book, or collection of short stories, rock climbing, learn more about photography, learn how to weld, sculpt, carve. Have a daily yoga practice. Become a contemporary dancer. :)

Actually my bucket list feels like the video “A Journey” by Taylor Steele with the song for “Miles Away” by Years Around The Sun… That’s my muse.

Knowing all you know now, what would you tell your 20-year-old self? When I was 20 I felt like I came from such a vanilla background that I had nothing to say. I thought upheaval and angst were required and as a result made choices based on boredom. 20- year-old self, you are perfect just as you are. Relax. Go to school. Study what makes your heart race with anticipation. Travel. You create your own value. Find your joy. Love madly and freely. Be loud. Take up space. Make mistakes.

What’s your go-to stress reliever? A hot bath and a book of short stories. My art studio. An aspen grove in summer. Loud music and dancing with abandon.

How do you perceive retirement? I’m ready to take the bull by the horns. I’m beginning to aggressively save for retirement. I come from a family that doesn’t retire. They work until they drop. I’m not going to do that. I hope to downsize, think micro living spaces, live naturally and close to off the grid, spending lots of time outside.

Do you have a personal philosophy you’d like to share?

No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. – Nietzsche

What would you like your legacy to be? I don’t need to leave a legacy. Too much pressure. Just be. Life is beautiful.