Woman Wednesday: Anita Vaughan

 Photo by Angel Eyes Photography

Photo by Angel Eyes Photography

Meet Anita, she's a breath of fresh air when weddings get stressful. Why? Because she's the one that calms your nerves and gets to make it official!

“When I think of what gives me strength, the first thing that comes to mind is resilience. I’ve been knocked down many times, but I’ve always gotten back up again. This resilience is something that has come to me courtesy of life experience. And we all know that’s a nice way of saying, “age.”

My 50th birthday is quickly approaching in March and, as I look back, I realize that I have had the good fortune to keep moving forward. With each misstep and with every stumble, I also took a step forward.

I think much of this can be attributed to my upbringing. As the youngest child of immigrant parents, I saw my mom and dad working hard to provide for us. My father was a janitor in a high-rise building in Edgewater and my mother worked at home as a seamstress. My siblings and I were encouraged to work hard and do our best, no matter what we were doing.

But we also laughed. And we laughed often – and LOUD. I can still remember times when my mom, sister and I would sit at the kitchen table as my sister recounted stories of working at a grocery store in college. We laughed so hard, we were all in tears. And that laughter has served me well in difficult times – and has kept me strong.

I am also very fortunate to work in “the wedding world.” I’ve spent the past ten years as a wedding officiant, so I am constantly surrounded by love and happiness. This also gives me strength. I know that, no matter what troubles I face and no matter what is happening in the world, people are falling in love and celebrating their joy. And I am the lucky one who gets to share in these incredible, love-filled moments. It is a beautiful reminder that, no matter what, life goes on. Love goes on.

So, as I approach a milestone birthday, I look forward to new adventures – both personal and professional. I know that there will be set-backs. But I also know that they won’t break me. And as I travel on my continuing journey, I’m sure going to enjoy the ride. And I’ll probably make a bunch of bad puns along the way.”