the heart and soul behind it all.
I’d love for you to get to know me a bit. : )
Hello there! I’m Zsaklin.
Aaaand if you’re wondering how on earth to pronounce my name, let me assure you that you’re definitely not alone! I get this question all the time. : ) It’s the strange Hungarian version of the well-known French name, Jacqueline.
I’m the heart and soul behind Vow Your Way, an always positive, Hungarian woman, living the expat life in Belgium since 2016. Huge coffee lover and houseplant addict, I will never say no to a good movie and will always put my family first. I currently live in the charming city of Ghent with my Canadian husband, Scott ( which is a whole story on its own, that I won’t bore you with right now. : ) )
Let’s get personal.
I believe that things happen for a reason – even when it’s painful and makes no sense at the time. I believe in treating people with respect and kindness. And I believe that you get what you give in life.
I dream of a cozy little house, just big enough for my husband, our future children and I. : ) I dream of an awesome garden with a tiny greenhouse, where I can unleash my plant obsession with zero guilt. When I think of the future I see quiet Sunday mornings with pancakes for breakfast, family movie nights with lots of butter popcorn, weekends filled with fun and adventure – and epic wedding days, of course! I see a life where there’s always time for a hug, a laugh, and an honest conversation.
And while I dream of the future, I appreciate the little things the present has to offer. Those seemingly ordinary moments that last only a second, but stay with us for a lifetime.
MY JOURNEY TO WEDDING PLANNING.
Holding a bachelor degree in tourism and hotel management, with nearly 8 year’s experience in the customer service industry, I became a wedding planner – certified by the Wedding Academy – following a much needed career shift in 2022. If you’ve ever made a potentially lifechanging decision, you know exactly how terrifying it can feel at the time, and how easy it is to stay stuck in the familiar – even if it doesn’t make you happy anymore… Well thanks to the support of my amazing friends and family, I decided to make a move. Lucky for me, I couldn’t have made a better one!
But let’s rewind a bit.
My adventurous spirit took me to Belgium several years ago for an internship. I packed my bags and left behind my beloved friends and family to study French and live the life of a true workaholic in Brussels. Thanks to my determination and hard work – as well as the crazy desire to prove myself – I quickly climbed the ladder to my dream position at the time, and became the Front Office Manager of the third largest hotel in Brussels. It seriously made me feel like a real boss lady who could conquer the whole world! I was living my best life. The whole experience brought me meaningful friendships, amazing memories and taught me invaluable lessons, that made me the person I am today.
Well it all sounds amazing, right? So, you might be wondering where it all started going wrong… I have one word for you, my friend. And that’s “Covid”.
It has turned our lives completely upside down in the blink of an eye, and my beloved industry was hit particularly hard. In all the craziness I learned too late to recognize and respect my limits, and ask for help when I need it. Definitely a lesson learned the hard way. This extremely difficult period made me re-evaluate my priorities – as I know many of us did at the time.
And then something amazing happened: Scott asked me to marry him. ( Sometimes I still can’t believe he’s my husband! ) The only thing that kept me going during this tough chapter was planning our wedding. It gave me so much joy and happiness, and I loved every single second of it. When I saw the results of our work so beautifully come together on our wedding day, suddenly it hit me. I just knew, I needed be part of this world on a professional level. The only thing left was to figure out how. : )
Being an expat living abroad teaches you a lot. This lifestyle comes with a lots of ups and downs, tears of joy and sadness, achievements and sacrifices, and planning a wedding enhances all those emotions – good and bad. As I was riding my bike to work one day, suddenly my purpose became clear : to become the solid rock of my fellow expats, so they wouldn’t have to go through this journey alone.
And “just like that” the idea behind Vow Your Way was born.