Student Spotlight Sara Flaxman - Certified Wedding & Event Planner


Students Spotlight

Student Spotlight Sara Flaxman - Certified Wedding & Event Planner

Student Spotlight Sara Flaxman – Certified Wedding & Event Planner

by Lovegevity | Jan 5 | Blog, Careers/Job, Student Spotlight | 0 comments

We had a chance to catch up with Certified Wedding and Event Planner ( CWEP graduate), Sara Flaxman, after her internship with Kevin Lee where she helped with Quentin Tarantino’s recent wedding in Los Angeles.

Sara – “My name is Sara Flaxton I am from Whittier California I used to be in the service industry prior to weddings so I did you know I started out as a hostess then I did serving then I did bartending and then I worked myself into fine dining and I would do catering events for certain restaurants I worked for and we would do really high budget catering events weddings, celebrity events not all the time but once and a while and that was my first taste into events just on a different scale, on a different view perspective.”

Cho – “Mhhmm”

Sara – “I then became engaged and started planning my own wedding and then that was the fire that was ignited you know that is what set it so what I didn’t realize what I was doing until I took the class of course that I was designing and planning my own wedding I did that over a year we got engaged on new years eve and we got married on new years eve.”

Cho – “Oh wow”

Sara – “My one year is coming up on this new years eve it’s like all these little new years eve milestones.”

Cho – “Look what you have accomplished in one year …that is fantastic!!”

Sara – “Nine months to be exact, so my husband was like babe I have never seen you so passionate about something why don’t you look into doing event planning and then it just, it never dawned on me and then I was like I should like I need to definitely look into this you know and then what really capped it for me was the feedback I got from everyone from my wedding everyone was like wow you should do this you should do this for a living this is amazing you are talented so it’s something that I never saw in myself right, so that led me to do a little search and I came across Lovegevity and it looked it was right up my alley I was instantly attracted to it… I loved the courses that you offer …so that was it that’s all it took …and it was right in the moment of the perfect start date so it was just like boom, boom, boom everything just lined up.”

Cho – “Destiny!”

Sara – “Yeah it was just one of those things in life but yeah so I took the course at the University of La Verne one of their extended courses and my instructor was Michele Garabay who was amazing I feel like she also kind of really molded me into what my idea of an event planner or wedding planner should be so that was definitely a plus having her as my instructor.”

Cho – “That’s great!”

Sara – “Yeah so I took the course and again it just really cemented that I was in the right place you know I was always the kind of person where everyone is like okay Sara those ideas are too big calm yourself and then all of a sudden I found myself in an environment that Lovegevity created by this classroom was the encouragement and inspiration and motivation to think big and to do big things and you know ..I love that the educational tools that were supplied and then having the instructor who has tons of experience …huge experience to kind of put it into real life like well this is how I did it, this is what you can do here is my advice do what you will with it but it kind of guided me into like well I want to keep pushing I want to keep doing more I want to get to where Michele Garabay is at right… that was my like my idea thought process behind my classes …so from there once I got certified I didn’t want to stop because that was like my number, I was like what am I going to do now that I don’t have a class to go to right?”

Cho – “Yeah”

Sara – “We had one wedding with Michele she had offered the class in the beginning she had a huge wedding it was like 500 person 700,000 budget I was like holy wow I am in so I got to do that one wedding with her and that when I was like Okay I need to do more weddings like this so I applied myself I put myself out there I built a resume and I ended up landing an internship with a company out in L.A. called Rocking Events they took me in for a three month internship and the owner Jenny Chang they don’t typically take weddings under 100,000 so all their weddings that I worked on over the summer were big weddings a lot of experience in that field or that category if you will..”

Cho – “Right!”

Sara – “Of the money aside and I loved it of course naturally so I did that for three months and during that I met other wedding planner friends that I would occasionally like kind of freelance my time out basically and then once the internship came to an end I went back to Lovegevity I signed up for WEDTECH to stay in the know of all the internship programs and stuff and I saw one for Kevin Lee and I said what the heck let me try… I really didn’t think I was going to get it because I knew that the interviews were from all over the country and from all the students so yeah

Cho – “Many students …not all because not everybody takes a chance or takes action you know we all have self-doubt right …so there is probably a lot of people think… “oh I won’t get that” or “that’s not gonna be me.”

Sara – “Which I was a typical person of that mindset I was like I am not going to get this but you know I am just going to apply myself.”

Cho – “Yeah”

Sara – “So that’s what started it the decision to take action.”

Cho – “Take that step right, showing up is the first step!!”

Sara – “Exactly!”

Cho – “Right”

Sara – “So yeah I applied and I got an interview call back and I ended up getting the internship and so I went there and I had no idea what I was getting myself into I didn’t know what to expect because now I felt like this was really next level you know I was like really excited!!”

Cho – “That wedding you did with Kevin with a lot of the other students that was a 2 million dollar wedding.”

Sara – “Was it a 2 million dollar wedding?”

Cho – “Yes”

Sara – “Holy Whoa, I was like okay it is probably 1 million”

Cho – “They had a lot of different moving parts.”

Sara – “Okay that’s really interesting to know fun fact wow that’s crazy that was a gorgeous wedding I was so thankful to be a part of that one oh man that had, I was on cloud nine I am always on cloud nine after a year internships so much fun and you get to meet a bunch of interesting people not the celebrity or whoever you know.”

Cho – “Right”

Sara – “I get to meet these really cool people in the industry that I get to connect with and you never know what’s going to happen down the line or whatever you know but back to the internship you know yeah just again I hit it off with Britney her and I became like besties for that week again.”

Cho – “You know Kevin probably gave some of the best compliments …the highest compliments from that teams of interns for that group he said it was perfect and I was like are you sure it’s perfect because you know nothing is perfect and he said no it was perfect.”

Sara – “Oh wow what a compliment that is amazing yeah it.”

Cho – “Obviously, you made a great impression.”

Sara – “Well yeah Kevin… I didn’t get to work too directly with Kevin that first one because again it was a huge wedding so I mainly worked with Sergio who really placed a lot of the responsibility on myself and Britney and I think we just rose to the occasion which was really cool it wasn’t just like here fix the chairs or here light some candles it was really hands-on hey I need you to basically manage and take care of all the bride and grooms family you are like okay sure you know so it was a big compliment and it was a huge step for me confidence-wise as an event planner or as an assistant coordinator or whatever you want to label it it was a huge confidence booster especially succeeding or rising to their standard which I did and yeah so from it was like another one another fire another spark was lit so I was like oh wow this is really cool and I remember being determined that I wanted to make an impression I want to be remembered I want to be invited back.”

Cho – “Right, Right”

Sara – “So I did whatever I did I just I think the serving industry really has a foundation of…

Cho – “Customer Service”

Sara – “Customer service, people skills, how to deal with different personalities whether they are good or bad that coupled into learning what I have learned with event planning is just you know it works at least in my case yeah so then again I applied for the Vanderpump Gala and I got that and that was really cool very different from the weddings you know obviously charity even versus wedding same high profile high budget different experience there I got to work with Lisa Vanderpump’s team which were really cool really nice that was fun because they had me basically hey you can talk to people lets go mingle with everyone inside and lets get them to participate in the auctions the silent auctions so there was that kind of interaction and experience hands on with that and that was really fun because I got to see a few of my favorite Vanderpump stars what do they call them Bravo celebrities …that was really cool that was really fun and like I said I hung on to a few people there I have met just to follow each other’s journey and to see how we all end up.”

Cho – “Well they have events all the time so…”

Sara – “Yeah yeah so that’s why I was like we will definitely keep in contact there and then the last internship was of course with Kevin Lee again with the Quentin Tarantino Wedding.”

Cho – “Yes! Congratulations for that… you know you were hand selected for that?”

Sara – “Thank you yeah I was very flattered to say the least I think my smile says it all it was just like you are choosing me to go of course I am in that was really cool very surreal it was such a surreal experience I got to work next to you know Kevin Lee I kind of played the point of contact role between like the bride or Quentin and Daniella I was the one talking and dealing with them talking to Kevin relaying messages smoothing out the fires just doing whatever I had to do and so it was every task that Kevin dealt me I would deliver So it was really cool that one because it was such an intimate wedding there was only like 20 people there very small knit close friends so there was a few moments where Kevin and I were just downtime and we shared a little about his life and he asked my about my life so it wasn’t just like hi I am the intern for Kevin Lee it was like no it was a great opportunity because I got to like really build a relationship with Kevin Lee now.”

Cho – “Yes”

Sara – “If it wasn’t for the internship program there was no way that would have happened you know so that was really cool so that actually led me and Kevin exchanging numbers and stuff so I am actually going in on Monday to meet with Kevin to talk about some more work with him assistant position work.”

Cho – “That’s what he told me he told me he was going to hire you.”

Sara – “Really!! Oh my gosh… this is so great… yeah he hasn’t really said like yes or no he’s kind of like I have a feeling you know.”

Cho – “Well still act surprised because when I spoke to him he said I am going to hire that girl, really … he said you were fantastic!”

Sara – “There was that one point after the ceremony the way they have the timeline was like hour of mingling and cocktails for like an hour for the guests to arrive and then the ceremony for about 45 minutes and then another hour of mingling cocktails while they get ready and changed and head to the second location then right after the ceremony Kevin is like okay you got this and I am like what you are leaving what do you mean you are leaving he gave me his direction what I needed to do he’s like you have my number call me if you need anything.”

Cho – “Right”

Sara – “So I’m going to go finish setting up reception making sure that’s all good for them to arrive and he’s like you can close it down and I was like okay I am like come on Lilly we got this so I did again it’s just one of those things I just stepped up to the occasion so to speak and it was awesome it was the best experience I could have asked for given the wedding and the high profile of the wedding and who I am working with is also high profile so it was just very exciting overall.”

Cho – “Congratulations you come such a long way in such a short period of time but it’s very exciting right and you know sky’s the limit sky’s not the limit right you can go above and beyond but yeah I am really glad to have had a chance to talk with you I was curious to meet the girl that Kevin told me he was very excited about …”

Sara – “Oh wow I am like sweating right now because I am like so excited that he actually called you and had a conversation about me.”

Cho – “Yeah …we talked… well he has some more internships for the Quentin Tarantino one I happened to be down in L.A. he and I had lunch and he sort of we were leaving and I am always bugging him for new opportunities for our students so we were leaving and I was like …come on Kevin I know you got stuff going on …what’ve you got going on and he was like well… I do have this one thing so that was exciting when he told me what it was I was like oh my but then he was like you can’t tell anyone… what I am like okay it’s a secret.”

Sara – “That’s the worst when you want to share something but you can’t tell anyone yet.”

Cho – “Well, you can share it now.”

Sara – “Yeah”

Cho – “Congratulations to you I am very excited for you obviously the number one lesson is showing up and taking action”

Sara – “Absolutely!”

Cho – “A lot of people need to know that no one is going to stop you but yourself.”

Sara – “Absolutely and that is another thing that I have learned on my personal journey is and it’s kind of in relation to what we were just talking about right now but it’s like you especially with the program you get exactly what you put into it Lovegevity provides the tools the hands-on experience and it’s just whether you are applying yourself to it and keeping whatever goal you have for yourself in mind and just keep pushing towards that.”

Cho – “Right go get yours no one is going to take it from me there is a lot of students where there are some students where you don’t hear a whole lot about them I think they are just sort of unsure and then you go to our just all the way up at the top and that sort of same mindset is I can do this I can go after whatever I want I can make it happen no one is going to stop me get out of the way.”

Sara – “I was just having this conversation with my husband when I had just got the interview I mean the internship and then Mary had messaged me saying that Richard Hallmark and herself were going to do a little interview about my internships and I was like oh my God that is so cool you know I am like I was having this moment where I was like I can’t explain it other than it was surreal because when I initially signed up and I saw all the spotlights on other people and I saw the internships that people were doing and I was one of those people where I was like that’s not going to happen to me like I am not going to get that now it’s like I am on the other side of the coin and it’s like wow.”

Cho – “Imagine if you listened to that negative voice and you sort of didn’t even enroll and just keep thinking about it right where would you be I mean you are a great person you would probably be somewhere else great but you’re not doing something that you love.”

Sara – “Exactly and that’s the main point is like I could be doing something great but will I love it This I love I know I love it like its just like as cliche as it sounds but like the fire was ignited when I started weddings and it was just like …wow!”

Cho – “I know but you told me that it was your husband who said listen you are good at this you should do this you know what I mean a lot of us do what we love anyway because we love it and it’s other people that point it out to us that you know this is probably your calling this is probably what you should be doing.”

Sara – “And that’s exactly it kind of started off as I love doing I love being creative I love making things doing things like Mary we were talking earlier she had mentioned if I don’t have something I create it and we have the same thing I am really good at it I have always been that way since I was a child but it was that little flip of well maybe have you thought about doing it for event planning or design oh my gosh how did I never think about that but you know I am glad that I did and I am excited for whatever path I am on right now.”

Cho – “So we are all standing by to hear how your appointment on Monday goes.”

Sara – “Definitely!!”

Cho – “And I know that we have another internship with him so if you are working for him you will probably be there any way you know we will be announcing that I think it is coming up in January.”

Sara – “Awesome amazing!!”

Cho – “Well Sara, thank you so much for taking the time today I am glad we got a chance to connect… yeah …and just keep doing what you are doing.”

Sara – “Thank you.”

Cho – “We are so excited to cheer you on and if anything obviously comes down the pike in your area we will certainly be reaching out again to let you know.”

Sara – “I will be here… yes, please do.”

Cho – “Well thanks again… it was good to see you.”

Sara – “Thank you it was so nice to meet you, bye.”

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Student Spotlight Sara Flaxman - Certified Wedding & Event Planner