If you’ve peeped our blog in the last several weeks, you’ve only seen a little of what Morgan Jefferies can do. Not only is she well-written (she wrote an article about destination weddings and utilizing Pinterest on our blog), she is well-travelled and well-versed in all things weddings and events. We’re so happy to have her join our team and now, you can learn more about her below!
Tell us about your background in wedding planning.
After transitioning out of the Fashion Apparel Industry and into the Wedding Planning business, I tried my hand for a short while at charity events in Los Angeles for a PR company called Elevate My Brand. Finding that I enjoyed the work and found a natural knack for it, I wanted to put myself in the most advantageous position to pursue my new career. I was able to secure a job at a wedding and event planning company called Boutique Souk located in Marrakech, Morocco producing celebrity and high-end events. That role led me to London, working with start-ups on their launch parties, and eventually back to the states where I settled in as the Catering Sales Manager at a boutique hotel in Seattle called The Hotel Sorrento. After putting in some time at the hotel and realizing independent planning was where my best skill set shone, I returned to L. A., where it all began, where I have continuously and without pause, been seamlessly coordinating and executing weddings and events ever since!
What did you do before planning weddings and why did you choose to become a planner?
My career didn’t begin in wedding planning; it started in the fashion industry. I come from a family who had risen the ranks in the apparel business for years so naturally, I headed down that route when choosing a career path. I am a born artist and creative to my core, leading me to find a keen interest in design. I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles and immersed myself in material development working for companies such as Nasty Gal, REI, and Nike. However, I found being a cog in the wheel of the corporate fashion industry wasn’t for me. I made a decision to direct my creativity into other outlets. As a natural leader, organizer, artistic visionary, and hopeless romantic, I decided to pursue a career in event and wedding planning and the rest is history. The “why” of it all comes down to the simple fact that I love to create beautiful things. Creating relationships with the brides, grooms, and family and building on the emotional connection to weddings makes each and every job very personal to me.
You’ve traveled quite a bit—where are you originally from? What other places in the country have you lived?
I was born in Seattle, Washington, where I had an ideal Northwest childhood–sailing, camping, and skiing in the bountiful great outdoors. When I was 11, my mom’s job moved us to Portland for a brief time, and again when I was 13. This time her new position took us to New York City where I entered into young adulthood on the Upper East Side. Even now, when it’s been almost a decade since I lived on the East Coast, I will always consider myself a New Yorker; most who know my hard working attitude and low tolerance for the ridiculous would say the same. Upon graduating high school, I “gave it the old college try” at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, in a last ditch effort to get the experience lacking in my Upper East Side private school. In no surprise to anyone, the stint was brief. I then turned my attention to L. A. where I completed my degree at FIDM. From there it was back up to Washington to work for REI and down to Portland shortly after for Nike. I wish I could say it was over from there but alas, the moves continued. I returned to L. A. for the aforementioned charity planning and then shipped myself abroad where I travelled to Israel and Hungary, then worked in Italy, Morocco, Greece, and the United Kingdom for the remainder of the year. Eventually, all good things come to an end and I returned to Seattle and now Los Angeles. I suppose my life has been somewhat of an arcade pinball, bouncing here and there and eventually, hopefully, finding its way home.
What is the most valuable thing you learned as a planner overseas?
The most valuable thing I learned as a planner overseas was patience and adaptability. In the states we can get stuck on a pretty rigorous schedule and have higher expectations of service, for example. Overseas, it’s important to have the ability to adjust and go with the flow as needed. Kindness, respect, and gratitude are also key skills to tap into when working abroad. I’ve found that the kinder and more respectful you are to those you are working with, the more willing they will be to work with you and adhere to your needs as a planner.
What is your favorite memory from Morocco? Can you give us any recommendations, in case we visit one day?
It’s hard to pick! There are so many. My favorite memory from Morocco was actually a disastrous moment. I remember we were doing a welcome party out in the Desert d’Agafay outside Marrakech for some clients from San Francisco. As the entire wedding party and their guests were mounting camels to ride to the main event, a sand storm picked up and the entire team, which included English, French, Arabic, and Spanish speaking workers were all hands on deck to save the day. Eventually the sand storm calmed but seeing how the whole team came together to work with each other even if we couldn’t understand one another and laugh at the end of it all was truly an amazing moment. My main recommendations would be to really soak in the culture. Morocco, specifically Marrakech, is a magical place, as if you’re stepping back into another time. Leave behind all pre-conceived notions and especially your comforts of home and immerse yourself in all that beautiful country has to offer. I would say a camel ride into the Sahara desert cannot and should not be missed.
Where do you currently reside? What are your hobbies?
I live in the Pacific Palisades on the West side of Los Angeles. My hobbies are vast and ever changing but the main ones that stick out are traveling, fishing, skiing, hiking, and cooking.
What are you looking forward to most as a planner with Amber Events?
As someone who has worked in other agencies and with different teams, I am so excited to be a part of a team that upholds the highest standard of planning while still having fun doing it. Amber Events celebrates the skill sets and advantages their planners bring to each project and I feel lucky to be a part of a company that celebrates each individual’s talents and supports each other as a team.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope to be working on exclusively destination weddings for Amber Events in five years! Bringing my knowledge and talents as a diverse planner to areas that may not have that luxury readily available would be a dream.
Photos by Katie Jackson Photography