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Wedding Visionary: Janice Carnevale

This year here on the blog I’m focusing on a few things, one of which being encouraging others in the wedding industry who are using their talents and knowledge to be innovative. I’m working my butt off to create a successful online shop full of modern, creative, unconventional event decor. Much like that, the companies that I’m going to feature are using their brains to fill holes in their market, make money during the off-season, or simply work less weddings while continuing to serve their couples. I hope you enjoy learning about their drive and get inspired to start a little visionary project of your own!

bellwether-cmyk janicebellwether Say hello to my gal Janice Carnevale. How hip is she in her star sweater? Hey Janice, I need that sweater. She owns a wedding planning company based in DC called Bellwether Events. We haven’t worked together yet (Hi Janice, let’s change that, K?) but we often advise each other on cool vendors we like and she sent me the most delicious cupcakes once. I’m still dreaming about those cupcakes.

She produces beautiful, stress-free, weddings for families that are lucky enough to have the acreage to sustain a 200 person wedding. She knows where to put the tent, when to put up the tent, how many bathrooms you need, and where the heck everyone is going to park. Because a wedding at home sounds quaint and memorable, very Father of the Bride, until you realize everyone will have to pee and put their car somewhere. Let’s not make those two things in the same place. Bellwether Events can help you with that.

But what if you don’t live in the DC area? And might not have the budget for a full planner?

Janice is here to help you…

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images by Katie Stoops

She wrote a free ebook called Your Elegant Wedding At Home.

FREE. EBOOK. Here’s Janice to tell you all about it:

What is your main wedding industry business? Why did you start it? How do you use it to better serve couples getting married? I am a wedding and event planner. I worked in restaurants and catering from 2002-2006, and I enjoyed working on the weddings the most, so I decided to focus solely on that and founded Bellwether Events in late 2006. I love helping people and I love weddings, so it was a natural fit. Since then we have expanded to other social and nonprofit events, but wedding planning is by far my main business.

I’ve called you a Wedding Visionary because you used your brains to start an amazing new revenue stream for your business that piggy backs off of your main money maker. What is your visionary business? I have self-published a free e-book called The Elegant At-Home Wedding and with it an accompanying blog. You can find them both at www.yourweddingathome.com. They are both full of helpful advice for those planning backyard weddings of all shapes and sizes.

Why did you start this visionary business? What hole in the industry or in your community are you seeking to fill? After working on a number of very interesting backyard weddings in a short period of time, I realized that the learning curve within this style of wedding was huge, and most couples and their families went into the process completely unprepared to open up their home to hundreds of guests. Being that their home didn’t come with a “venue manager” to guide them (as a regular wedding venue would) they were really in the dark about so many things. I can’t plan every at-home wedding – but I do want to help everyone. So I decided to put my knowledge and experience out there in the hopes that it would first and foremost, help others. And if I made a little extra revenue from either clients, consulting, or speaking engagements, that was cool too.

What have your challenges been in your new venture? For starters, converting e-book readers into paying clients has been difficult. While most readers don’t live near me, I would be happy to consult with them on an hourly basis by phone or Skype. Secondly, trying to create new content on the blog is a huge challenge – I could use some partners/contributors there. Third, finding the time needed to truly promote the book to various media outlets has been challenging.

In three years, where do you see your visionary business being? What are your goals? I’d love to publish a second volume with more tips and advice (maybe even make it a real book!) within the next 3 years. My goals include improving the look of blog and get more new content on there. I’d also love to speak to new wedding planners about how to execute successful at-home weddings.

How has your visionary venture served you personally? Some people seem to be impressed when they find out that I’ve written a book, and it has led to some press opportunities. But mostly it gives me self-confidence knowing that I undertook something that was at times a very overwhelming idea and brought it to life.

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