Dancing in the Madness

By Jessica Bisher WG’16

This June, I married the love of my life at my family’s picturesque cottage on Lake Erie. And it poured…torrentially.

Wedding collage sm
Jessica Bisher’s (WG’16) wedding didn’t go exactly as planned. But it was still amazing.

Here’s what my wedding experience taught be about being an entrepreneur:

  1. Find opportunity by talking to as many people as you can

Since my husband and I got married in a place where telephone numbers are still only 7 digits, we couldn’t exactly use the internet to find our vendors.  So instead, we hit the streets (and the bars) asking as many locals as we could find for leads.  We ended up at a 40th birthday party at the local Polish center listening to an incredibly talented and fun cover band. We booked them then and there.

  1. Plan, but know that planning only gets you so far

Pinterest and excel sheets were my two best friends during the planning process.  My wedding was going to be organized and full of awesome DIY touches with warm weather and a beautiful sunset.


  • Our brothers and uncles spent the morning spreading hay around the tent in an effort to keep it dry.
  • Due to above hay spreading, my twin was late to the ceremony.  The speeding ticket he got from the cops didn’t help.
  • My mom and aunts called six different venue locations an hour before the wedding due to the dire conditions under the tent.
  • My mom got a phone call in the middle of the ceremony alerting her that the band refused to play!
Note the large puddle.
Note the large puddle.

[tweetthis alt=”One sure thing about both #startups and #weddings: ‘Yep, things won’t go as planned.’ –Jessica Bisher #WG16″ hashtag=”” url=”http://whr.tn/1j647Z9″ ]Yep, things won’t go as planned.[/tweetthis]


  1. Appreciate and utilize the diverse skills of your network

I guarantee you that the range of talent and skill among your friends and family is underrated.  And my experience shows that these people are more than willing to help. At our wedding, my cousin Laura, an event planner, put the wedding coordinator to shame; my pot-smoking, guitar-playing cousin, Jake, hooked up our audio; my brother Chris finally put his knack for picking amazing dance songs to use as a DJ; and the male guests laid a floor of plywood down under the supervision of their acting-foreman, my mom.

  1. Recognize that pivots add value

Without the band to emcee the wedding, the same man that announced all of my husband’s high school football games became our emcee.  Calling out the groomsmen by their football numbers brought a fun extra touch.

  1. Learn to dance in the madness

Starting a company or working with a startup will have its fair share of unplanned adventures.  But when you learn to dance in the madness, you will certainly end up with an exhilarating and worthwhile adventure.  After all, the unknown and unplanned make it all that more special, don’t you think?

JBisher_Headshot smBio: Jessica Bisher is a WG’16. She graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in Civil Engineering.  After five years of heavy highway construction, Jessica traded in her hard hat for the business world. She loves entrepreneurial ventures, trying new things, efficiency, and DIY projects. This past summer she received an Entrepreneurial Intern Fellowship to intern at SmartyPal.