February 20, 2019

EP. 27: Olympic Dreams with Jessica Gelder of Shine Events

FILED IN: Podcast

Today we are excited to be joined by a colleague and fellow wedding planner in the studio. Jessica Gelder is not only a fabulous wedding planner but also an Olympic softball player. She channeled her love of logistics and planning for the softball field into a career planning one of the biggest days in a couples lives. Jessica reminds us that where your path begins doesn’t have to be where it ends.

Most of us think that wedding planners are girly but not the case for Jessica.

“I didn’t consider myself someone who was particularly girly, feminine, fashion-forward, conscious.”

Jessica likes planning and details and putting all the pieces together. Working alone is one of her biggest struggles. She misses having someone to be able to throw ideas off of. Jessica found her way to wedding planning from the most unlikely of beginnings.


In college, Jessica was a catcher or played outfield. She was very fortunate to have a wonderful collegiate career. She was an All American and played in the world series in Oklahoma City. As a kid, she always dreamed she would play in the Olympics, for gymnastics or figure skating, little did she know her future would be a little different than imagined.


“As a kid, I always thought I’d play in the Olympics in some version.  I was going to be the first woman to play Major League Baseball or I was going to be in the Olympics for gymnastics or figure skating.”

In early 2001, Jessica and her sister realized they were able to try out for the Greek Olympic Softball team.  Although it was a little bit tricky, they were fortunate that their grandma had saved proof of her family heritage.  When the final team was created she realized that she was able to play alongside old teammates and friends from her childhood.  They were coached under Linda Wells, the ASU softball coach.

Two of her children are following in her sporty footsteps. Her son is playing baseball and is currently a catcher and her daughter plays softball. They are heavily involved in the sports scene and she spends a lot of her evenings cheering them on from the sidelines.  She loves that they are involved in sports. Regardless, we know her kids are going to truly be sports rockstars especially growing up with such a cool mom!

Jessica believes that having an honest conversation with each other about a budget is the number one tip she gives her clients. She wants each of them to know what is most important to them on their special day. They need to ask themselves what do you absolutely have to have and where you could cut some things out.


She is a star trek nerd! For warning, she doesn’t speak Klingon. Another interesting fact is that Jessica was also born with a birth defect causing her legs to grow unevenly.  She didn’t let that hold her back from becoming an olympian!


Website: www.shineeventsaz.com

Instagram: @shineeventsaz

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