by Mark Kingsdorf, MBC

This year’s Thanksgiving is extremely challenging for me, I’ve become a little over analytical in light of the over commercialization of Black Friday morphing into Thanksgiving Day and maybe a little cynical.

The original meaning of Thanksgiving, as an American holiday, was to celebrate the harvest and working together as community to prosper after a busy growing season…

It became the day of coming together with family, over eating, watching football and in some cases even pausing to thank God, G*d or whatever higher power you may believe in-  for something, usually the good meal, but often not more than that.

Tomorrow marks the 25th  anniversary of my mother’s passing, so I guess I’ve done more than my share of reflecting – and while I’m truly grateful for what my parents taught and gave me, for the love and friendship of my siblings, my partner and my extended family – this isn’t about that.

This is my reflection and being thankful for the blessings that are related to The Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants and our extended family; as sometimes after 12 years working with amazing people, the depth of being thankful never gets clearly expressed.

I am Thankful …

  • To the friends who stood behind me when being a wedding planner and starting my own business was only a dream
  • To Gayle Bailey Scott and the team from Anne Bailey’s Bridal Salon who when I can to her as a new wedding planner (and a guy) to learn about gowns gave me a shot and taught me so much.
  • To the late, great Donna Bartoletti, who took me in during the roughest part of growing my business and taught me tons about flowers and floral design.
  • To Siobhan (Nicolas) Welsh and her family for giving a new planner a chance, for trusting me with her wedding and for being such an AMAZING first client.
  • To Marty Grims and the team of the Moshulu who trusted me to bring ‘Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?’  on to the ship, even when I may not have earned that trust.
  • To my friend and colleague from Chicago Frank Andonoplas, MBC – who has been a great friend, mentor and role model.
  • To my friends at the Association of Bridal Consultants and other wedding planners who have taught me, shared stories with me, listened to the craziness of a growing business and helped me grow
  • To the HUNDREDS of couples who, over the past 12 years have trusted me (and our team) with the biggest day of their lived – who have referred their friends and family knowing that we will treat them all like family.
  • To the families who have embraced us enough to trust us with weddings of multiple children.
  • To my INSANELY AMAZING and supportive team! Each one of them was picked, much as we do every wedding professional, for their own specific talents and personality – having each of you allowed me to grow The Queen of Hearts as if I personally were on site with every wedding; knowing that the same love and attention to detail, caring and passion would be there – even if I wasn’t.
  • To the 3,000+ Wedding Professionals we have had the honor of meeting and working with, I trusted you with the weddings of our couples and you rarely let us down. A wedding planner cannot do this alone, it takes a talented, supportive team to make beautiful weddings and I’m thrilled that many of our relationships have grown into something where I consider many of you to be great friends.
  • To my friends and colleagues at City of Hope,  Let Them Eat Cake as well as  Wish Upon A Wedding for allowing my fellow wedding professionalsand I an opportunity to give back.

While I am grateful that I’ll be having dinner with my partner and family, that we have plenty…. The reflection on the bounty that I have from becoming part of your lives because of The Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants is truly overwhelming…

And I thank you!