Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Eighteen weddings in one day? Internship helps student experience wedding planning industry

A few weeks ago, Ashley Fratus ’14  threw 18 weddings in one day.

Fratus is interning at the Mandalay Bay Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada, which hosts more than 1,700 weddings each year. The fast-paced environment is giving her a crash course in the skills that she hoped to build this summer. “I was trying to find a place that would open a lot of doors for me in the future,” Fratus said. “It’s giving me hands-on experience in the exact field that I want to go into eventually.”

Fratus, a business major and psychology minor, hopes to become an event planner specializing in wedding events. “I’ve always been a really organized person, and I just loved to plan everything,” she said. “I also really like to interact with people. Event planning combines both of those things that I love to do. It plays right into the skills that I already have.”

This spring, she was looking for a summer opportunities in Las Vegas, her home city. She contacted Mandalay Bay’s chapel director, who offered her a 10-week position as an assistant to the chapel’s six coordinators.

The experience has allowed Fratus to learn about various wedding traditions, as well as detailed parts of making a wedding go smoothly, such as sending wedding party members down the aisle at exactly the right times. She also has seen the importance of good business management. “Since they have such a high volume, there is a lot of organization and planning that goes into it,” she said. “I’m learning how everything flows together.”