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Award-winning wedding planner Whitney Bailey poses next to a flower-filled table

Grad is an Award-Winning Wedding Planner

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, where she attended Bishop Lynch Catholic School, Whitney Bailey always knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur. She studied Merchandising & Marketing at FIDM and received her A.A. in 2008. After graduating, Whitney went to work in the industry at Anthropologie, where she was the assistant visual manager. By 2014, she was ready to strike out on her own and combine her passion for creativity and business. As the owner and lead coordinator of Engaged Events, Whitney has become one of Dallas’ premier wedding planners and her work is featured in People, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Style Me Pretty, among other publications. We recently caught up with the busy graduate to learn more about her journey from FIDM to successful entrepreneur.  

What was your path to FIDM like? I discovered FIDM while in high school at a "Career Night". I loved the idea of going to a school that focused solely on my interests and my major, which would later become Merchandising & Marketing. While touring the Downtown Los Angeles campus with my dad, I instantly fell in love with the campus and staff. They were encouraging and welcoming from the moment I walked in the door. 

What led you to study Merchandising & Marketing? I liked the idea of a degree that was creative and business focused. I always knew I wanted to start my own business, so I gained a ton of knowledge throughout my studies at FIDM which would help me later to become a successful business owner. 

Tell us about working in visuals prior to striking out on your own: I worked as the assistant visual manager for Anthropologie and led a team of talented artists at a high traffic store in Dallas, Texas. This was an incredible experience and I left the company with so much knowledge of customer service, merchandising, and overall running a successful business. 

What led you to found Engaged Events? After years of helping friends plan events, I decided to branch out on my own and make this hobby of mine an actual business. I loved the idea of having a business that was extremely creative, but also had a “numbers focus” side to it. As someone that is extremely Type A, this was the perfect combination. 

Why do you think you've found success in the industry? I receive a majority of my business from referrals so building relationships with vendors and clients are so important. I think keeping myself active in the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners (AACWP) community has also helped with my success. I know I have a group of local successful planners I can turn to if I need additional support or have any questions. 

What do you love most about entrepreneurship and working in the wedding space? Being my own boss has its challenges, but I love that I am able to make my own decisions based on what’s best for the business. The Dallas wedding industry is huge and it’s taken time and dedication to get where I am today. I would not be here without my team and without the support of all our vendors. 

How did it feel to win an award from AAWCP? I was completely shocked (and still am)! It’s such an honor to receive this award, and this one was even more special because other wedding planners voted on this decision. 

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? I believe FIDM prepared me for my career by setting me up for success and showing me how to be successful no matter what direction I went. I truly believe what I learned from FIDM has helped me in my day to day tasks and I often think back to specific classes I took. 

Anything else you'd like to share? I am so thankful for everything the FIDM community has given me to help prepare me for my future. 

Learn more about Whitney at engagedevents.com and on Instagram @engagedeventsdallas.

Categories:  Merchandising & Marketing Alumni