One of Bold’s amazing design sales managers, Jessica Dankenbrink has nearly 20 years of experience in the event planning and catering business. She just recently got married and planned a wedding on her own, including some of Bold’s signature design and catering elements. Get to know her in our full Q&A below, and check out @boldeventsatl on Instagram for more highlights:
Where are you from originally?
Long Island, NY. I moved to Atlanta with my (now) husband 4.5 years ago.
How long have you been with Bold?
4.5 years. I moved here and started with Bold right away.
What is your role at Bold?
I’m a design sales manager. I originally started out as an event manager in the warehouse, then worked in floral, as an event coordinator, as a sales assistant and eventually sales designer for nearly three years. I work with corporate and social clients (including brides) and work on proposals, put together design boards and design concepts, meet one-on-one with clients, etc.
What is your favorite part about being part of the FGR/Bold family?
Since day one, I’ve met people that are still some of my closest friends in catering and design. Most of them were at my wedding and I was at theirs’s. We’re extremely close and have become family.
Who do you admire + why?
Oprah! No joke, I would run home from school every day to watch Oprah at 4 p.m. I’ve always admired her. In fourth grade, we were supposed to pick a family member that we admired. Everybody picked a mother, grandfather or grandmother, and I picked Oprah. She’s family to me!
What’s your favorite Fifth Group Restaurant dish? Cocktail?
I have an equal love for Ecco and South City Kitchen in Midtown. I love the goat cheese balls from Ecco – so much so that I had them at my wedding! I also love Ecco’s “All Hail the Queen” cocktail. At South City Kitchen, I love the pimento cheese. It was the first pimento cheese I tried when I moved here and OH. MY. GOSH. Pimento cheese + pickles = heaven.
What are your favorite Bold dishes?
I love our barbecue sundae and poke stations.
What is a fun fact about you?
I love to grill! I was the only girl chef back home for our catering company and still love to grill. Everybody knows to come to my house, but don’t touch my grill. I’ve done lobster bakes, seafood, steaks – pretty much everything! My neighbors bring stuff over and I grill it for them. I have a big gas grill, but use to wheel around a six-foot charcoal grill in New York.
What part of town do you live in?
I live in Woodstock and I love it! The drive was daunting in the beginning, but I enjoy it now because it feels like a little getaway. We’re within walking distance of the downtown area full of shops and restaurants.
Favorite wedding design trend?
I love brides that are unconventional and just go for it. I’m seeing more and more brides steer away from the perfectly classic wedding, who aren’t afraid of color, cool chairs and tables for reception, etc. I have some weddings in the pipeline that are really cool. It’s refreshing!
What is the most memorable/exciting project you’ve worked on?
The event I’ve learned the most from was one we organized during the Super Bowl. It was crazy, but I learned a lot from it. It was cool to set it up and then come back to the office and see celebrities post about it. Cardi B performed!
Give us a snapshot of a day in the life on the job.
It starts with a venti iced Americana – I need four shots in the morning to get me going. I usually get in around 9 a.m. and stay later. I have certain things in my calendar, but I get pulled in a million directions so I don’t have a set day. I love to first sit down and get emails done and revise proposals. Then it’s event mode! Saturdays are usually reserved for weddings and I always come in for those. I could probably count on one hand the events I haven’t been to. I like to be in it and touching every element. Thank goodness for our event coordinators who make it all come together!
How would you describe your personal style?
Bohemian and vintage. As for preferred colors, my wedding featured a lot of purples, yellows and pops of blues. I chose to keep the dresses muted so the flowers could speak.
What was the inspiration behind your wedding design?
A garden. “The Secret Garden” was my favorite book and movie growing up and I always envisioned walking into my wedding as a lush garden. Our two floral designers, Brooke and Denise, took my design board, ran with it and made it come to life. They’re unbelievable!
What’s your biggest piece of advice for a bride?
First, don’t sweat things that are out of your control. I spent two days with horrible anxiety because of the weather. But obviously, you can’t change the weather. Secondly, trust your vendors! Being on the other side of things this time around, I learned to let go of control and let my floral designers, venue and planner have my back. And it worked because it stopped raining one hour before the ceremony and the venue worked overtime to make it happen last minute, so I got to have my ceremony outside!
Any other noteworthy features from your wedding?
I bought a lot of stuff on my own – which I never recommend to brides! And I still recommend them not to! I had my grandfather’s rosary beads on my bouquet of lilacs. Lilac was my grandmother’s favorite flower and we had it everywhere! For food, Bold served Ecco’s goat cheese balls, a cheese display, new ahi tuna taco appetizer and stations including barbecue sundae, chicken piccata and salmon.
Did you let your husband get involved in wedding planning?
No! He was involved in food tastings. He’s a huge Mets fan and wanted blue and orange somewhere at the wedding. After saying no a million times, I surprised him with blue and orange confetti in canons that went off at the end of our ceremony after we were pronounced husband and wife. He was surprised and got his orange and blue!