June 11, 2006 – Beach weddings are big business on St. John, and A Love City Wedding may just be the newest kid on that block. Kathy Hurley opened shop on Aug. 21, 2005, and has a business that just keeps growing.
"This is the busiest time of the year," she said, referring to the spring rush of weddings that keeps wedding officiates hopping.
Like most people in the wedding business, Hurley is a nondenominational minister.
For Hurley, the wedding business is a big jump from her former life in corporate America. Hurley worked in human resources for Cable Vision Systems Corp., spending stints in Boston, the Bronx and New York City. Her job took her all over the country.
The Peabody, Mass., native decided early in her career that she would retire at 40. She said that since she was in human resources, she knew that once people hit 40, it was all downhill as far as their career went.
She also said she didn't like the cold weather and wanted to live some place warmer.
While she began alerting friends and family to the fact that she was planning to exit the corporate world, she said they were nevertheless shocked when she actually did it.
"In their mind you just don't walk away from it. My family thought I must have hit a mid-life crisis," she said.
She said that her former colleagues are her most frequent visitors, who now marvel at her new life.
Knowing that she wanted to get out of the cold, she looked at Key West, Fla., as well as St. John.
Now 50, she moved to St. John in 1997, spending her initial years on the island doing what many people do – working in restaurants and tending bar.
She said she played around with numerous options, like managing a bar on Jost Van Dyke and seeing what kind of business she could get going on Vieques. She said she's still thinking about the Vieques option, but doesn't see that the Puerto Rican island has enough tourism business yet to make it worthwhile.
After arriving on St. John, Hurley struck up a friendship with longtime nondenominational minister, Anne Marie Porter, who urged Hurley to get into the business. She started working with Porter in 2004, and a year later, launched A Love City Wedding.
She said there are almost no challenges involved in the wedding officiate business other than getting the business underway. She said, however, that it does take a leap of faith on the part of the bride and groom since they're dealing via e-mail or phone with a person they won't have a chance to meet until their wedding day.
She said other than the threat of rain, there are no downsides because it's the happiest moment of the bride and groom's life.
"It's the greatest thing I've ever done," she said.
Visit the company's Web site or call Hurley at 779-4364 or 1-888-229-4671.
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