I was given the opportunity this month to talk twice at Stafford High School to their students in the culinary arts program. For three classes, the students ranged from sophomores to seniors. Of course, the older students seemed more interested and had more questions, which made the presentation easier for me. I was able to share my event planning experience and advice but also tried to make the class fun and interactive.
I invited past and current brides to the school, and we hosted a mock tasting. The Chef at the school prepared a few items for the students to serve to the brides. I had asked my brides in advance to “complain or have a concern” about something. I had previously talked during my presentation about customizing menus at Stevenson Ridge and problem-solving, so we put them to the test. They were minor complaints or concerns such as “I have a gluten allergy,” “I don’t think most people really like hummus, what else can we serve,” or “I’m nervous the chicken will dry out on a buffet.”
Afterwards, we did a mini panel where the students could ask the brides questions about planning such a large-scale event. The number-one question was “What do/did you find most difficult planning your wedding?” We had a range of answers, which was great! Some answers were guest list, budget, pleasing everyone but staying true to yourself.
The second time I was able to speak to the students, Chef Brad was able to attend. He was able to share his job experiences and working in the kitchen.
Overall, it was a great experience for myself, my brides, and hopefully the students. It was actually during my senior year in high school at Stafford that I decided that events was the career path I wanted to take. I hope my presentation helped at least one student prepare for a career in the events field whether it’s planning, catering, baking, etc.