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August 8, 2020

7/22/2020 12:58:00 PM
Local woman finds career path in an unexpected conversation
Kylan Higgs
Reporter

Imagine, one minute you are standing before a crowd, delivering a speech, and the next, you are being asked to plan someone's wedding-oh, and that someone who's getting married lives in Seattle!

Well, that is exactly what happened to Ellen Graham, who was, at the time, still pursuing her degree in Communication at IUPUC. She was at the Harrison Lake Country Club, thanking donors for the college scholarship she had been awarded, just before she had the conversation that changed her path in life.

"In my speech, I told the audience I had planned on using my degree to become an event planner," Ellen explained. "Estelle Events is a beautiful creation that started as an opportunity."

That opportunity-planning a wedding where the bride was not local-was unexpectedly the beginning of Ellen's event coordinating business.

The wedding actually took place in Columbus, where the reception was at the Pump House, but it gave Ellen an opportunity to work under unique circumstances. She coordinated with the bride's mother, who, for the majority of time, was her main contact. Ellen says the experience was a lot of fun and that it really helped her know she was making the right career choice.

Originally of Scipio, Ellen is the daughter of Dwight and Marissa Patterson. She is a 2014 graduate of Jennings County High School and has a bachelor's degree in Communication with a minor in Psychology and concentration in Business. She resides in Columbus with her husband, Jacob, and five-year-old son, Brently.

Currently, Ellen works part-time for IUPUC Center for Business and Economic Development conducting corporate education and training events for local companies. However, her passion is to make Estelle Events a full time career.

That passion first began when Ellen was a teenager. She had done plenty of event planning in high school and college. A part of a group in Jennings County called SADD or Students Against Destructive Decisions, Ellen was involved in creating, what ended up being the group's most popular event, the SADD dance. It was a semi-formal with catering, activities and fundraising to help the cause.

"I found a real drive for planning events after completing this," the young businesswoman said.

Ellen's business, Estelle Events, is a destination wedding and elopement service named after Ellen's French bulldog, Aleu Estelle. The mission of Estelle Events is to change the way couples view their special day, to challenge the idea of tradition and focus on the experience, the adventure, and the destination.

There are two packages to start from - partial and full planning services, with the option to customize with add-ons.

"Estelle Events is a traveling company," Ellen said. "You tell us your dream location and we are there for you every step of the way." She offers online meeting options for long distance couples.

With the pandemic, the wedding industry has had some challenges, Ellen says. She is reminding couples that love is not cancelled! Being creative and open-minded to a new destination location is a great possibility! She says it is amazing what your decor options are when using the outdoors.

Her favorite destination wedding so far has been one she just planned in Clearwater, Florida.

"The couple has a very special place in my heart and it was amazing to get to see their special day come to life," Ellen said.

Make sure to check out Estelle Events at eedestinations.com and follow them on social media! Also, if you are a couple in search of a destination wedding planner, have a chat with Ellen!





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