Edel 2015: Let’s do this!

November 12, 2014 | 24 comments

As I have traveled all over the country this year for my book tour, one of the most frequent questions I’ve gotten is:

“What is up with that Edel Gathering thing?”

People who heard about the event from friends of friends wanted to understand what was so different about this gathering, and I always struggled to explain it. Describing it as a “party” showed how fun it was, but it didn’t capture the palpable sense of camaraderie. Calling it a “conference” made it clear that we had quality speakers and a wide variety of top-notch vendors, but it didn’t convey the part about hotel security having to almost drag us off the dance floor well past midnight.

One day I was fumbling around once again to describe it, and the analogy finally came to me: It felt like it was a weekend reprieve for frontline soldiers who’d just come in from the battlefield.

Hallie and I started this event because we were filled with a sense that Catholic women — mothers in particular — desperately need breaks they’re not getting. We believed there was an urgent need for these women to get a weekend away to have their temporal needs met, in the form of quiet hotel rooms, delicious food, uninterrupted conversations with friends, and glasses of wine.

In short: We thought they needed a really good party.

We threw the first Edel Gathering this summer, neither of us having ever hosted a conference before, and it exceeded our wildest expectations.

And so it is with giddy excitement that I tell you that tickets to the 2015 Edel Gathering will go on sale next week!


The 2015 Edel Gathering
July 10 – 11, 2015
The Francis Marion Hotel
In historic downtown Charleston, SC

Tickets on sale here starting 11/19/14


  • A Friday night cocktail and hor d’oeuvres party (and of course the now-traditional Crazy Shoe Contest!)
  • Fabulous speakers, including Kelly Mantoan and Rachel Balducci
  • Time on Saturday morning to enjoy the Farmer’s Market across the street from the hotel, meet up with friends, stroll through downtown Charleston, or just sleep in!
  • Vendors with a wide variety of great products
  • Free access to massage chairs, a makeup consultant, and other fun service providers
  • Top-quality coffee
  • Karaoke (though we now have a rule that you cannot drop the mic after rapping and doing the robot to Flo Rida because the DJ gets mad)
  • A lavish dinner on Saturday night
  • Overstuffed gift bags
  • Easy access to the local cathedral
  • And we just received word that the Catholic Channel on SiriusXM will be covering the event!


Tickets go on sale at our TicketLeap page here next Wednesday, November 19 at 11:00 AM ET. Tickets are $280 and include a full pass to all events. Also, we expanded our capacity this year so that more of you can come!


We are also excited to announce that we got a deeply discounted rate of $189/night at the hotel, exclusively for Edel attendees. We have a limited number of hotel rooms at this rate — in fact, we completely sold out of our first room block shortly after we posted the “save the date” announcement a few weeks ago, and we’ve already had to request an additional block — so I recommend that you don’t delay in booking your rooms. You can make reservations by visiting the Edel page on the Francis Marion website or by calling (843) 722-0600 and using the code ‘EDEL’.

If you have any questions, you can check out the Edel Gathering website or email us at edelgathering@gmail.com.

See you in Charleston!!!


  1. Chloe French

    Hotel room is booked! I can’t wait!! As a single lady with no kids, I’ll probably be the odd one out but who cares. I know this is where I want to be in July. Sooooo excited.

    • Jennie

      Chloe, you won’t be the only “odd one”! 🙂

  2. Emily D.

    NO, Chloe, you won’t be, because I’m coming too, and I’m a single lady! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Chloe French

      Yes!!! Oh I can’t wait!

      • Allison

        I was about to ask if single ladies were invited, too! I guess so! 🙂

        • Chloe French

          All the single ladies!
          [All the single ladies]

          (Oh golly, I’m having a Beyonce moment…)

          • Emily

            We can sing that at Karaoke. 😉

  3. Tracy Bua Smith

    Just booked my room and hoping to get some girlfriends to join in on the fun! My 18th wedding anniversary is on July 12….hmmm, I’m not sure how this will all work out? I’m already wondering how to get to Mass on Sunday, July 12 with my husband for our anniversary… 🙂

  4. Anabelle Hazard

    Are you just having momma speakers? May I recommend Fr. Joseph Aytona? he’s with the fathers of mercy, appears on EWTN, founded the Spiritual Motherhood Sodality, speaks on Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin Mary and it’s importance to motherhood and priesthood, and can do a mean break dance. you will love his story. http://Www.fathersofmercy.com/priests/fr-joseph-aytona/

  5. Michelle @ Endless Strength

    I booked my hotel room when you announced the Save the Date and am looking forward to reserving my ticket!

  6. Karen

    What an awesome thing to get going. Bring it West, Oh Pioneers!, someday, maybe the shoe contest could be Crazy Hiking Shoe Contest? Commune with nature? River rafting? Just a thought… 🙂

  7. Christine @ loveisneverdefeated

    This is amazing! I wish I lived closer. Edel in Canada!j Just kidding. ..sort of 🙂 I probably won’t be able to make it but it will kill me to be on the internet during it. Just like last year..AH! Maybe there is a chance I can.

  8. Suburbanbanshee

    It sounds like you have reinvented the classic science fiction “relaxacon” convention, except with a posher hotel and without the science fiction fandom part. And you actually have speakers, instead of ditching them.

    Nothing at all wrong with that….

  9. Mindi

    San Felipe de Neri Parish; 2005 North Plaza NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

    mailing address: PO Box 7007, Albuquerque, NM 87194

    Pastor: Rev. Dennis Garcia

    Deacons: Jose Lucero, Maurice Menke, Tom Perez, James Carabajal

    Religious education: Melany Gallegos, Director
    School: Jennifer Mason, Principal
    Museum and Gift Shop: Steve Torres Manager (convent bookstore on-site)

    Stewardship Report:

    November 1 & 2, 2014

    Sunday envelopes: $6,906.50
    Sunday loose: $909.72
    Envelopes used: 321
    Building fund: $1,009.00
    All Saints Day: $1,037.00
    All Souls Day: $565.00
    St. Vincent De Paul: $1,843.00
    Other: $192

    Renovation Pledge/Annual Catholic Appeal:

    Our Parish Goal is $80,000 to pay on our debt for the renovation project.
    Total pledged: $71,285.14
    Total paid: $54,795.14
    Pledge balance: $16,490.00

    Families: (active registered) 1,200
    Total number of pledges: 245

  10. Crystal

    Love the backstory on the Saint Edel, beautiful!

  11. Lisa

    Jen – I’m so excited. I just booked my hotel rooms and am trying to bring along all the gals you met during your trip to St. John’s with our smashing Stoli Jalapeno drinks that matched the cover of your great book. Ready to have some rest and relaxation. I’m so grateful I have a hubby who is encouraging me to go even though I’m about to deliver baby boy (baby #5) in February. I’m sure I can sport the baby bjorn and do some crazy dancing with a Stoli Jalapeno in hand.

    Thanks for organizing. I know from experience it is alot of behind the scenes work. You and Hallie are awesome.

    (switched my blogging from Homeplace Homeschool to Classical Cornfields while I’m temporarily living here in the Middle)

  12. Amanda

    Gosh! So much more amazing to come in SC! Which means I’m so sad that we can’t swing the dinero this year. Thankful I was able to attend last year and will be praying for another amazingly beautiful time this year. Totally doesn’t need prayers for that because it will be awesome but I’ll offer prayers and ask Holy Spirit to direct them where they are needed 😉 Y’all are wonderful for doing this and making it a thing!!! I will be missing this awesome reprieve but pray that maybe I can sneak one in nearby 😉

  13. Josh

    You should describe it as a Festival! Festivals celebrating truly great things are some of the most needed- and neglected- elements of modern life. Either we don’t really believe in them- or we are too busy and tired to put all the energy into it that it deserves. Way to go!

  14. Sarah

    That looks like so much fun! I live in Charleston, but I am also a med student with two kids, so I am going to miss it. I will definitely keep any eye out downtown for my favorite bloggers, though!

    Be sure to walk down the Battery and, if you are inclined, drive over some of the area bridges at sunset or in the early morning. The view coming into the peninsula from the James Island Connector is particularly gorgeous

  15. The Crescat

    why does all the fun stuff have to be so expensive? Poor single moms need rejuvenating and camaraderie too?

    • Aimee


  16. Sara

    I’ll have a one-month-old by then, so maybe not this year. But will keep an eye out in future years.

    Have a wonderful time, Ladies!

  17. Jennie

    I booked my hotel room and got the time off work approved, so hopefully I will score an EDEL ticket! 🙂

  18. Lisa Schmidt

    My room has been booked since September! Hoping to bring along a few beautiful souls from I-O-W-A!

Connect With Me On Social Media or Explore My Site



The "THIS IS JEN" podcast is on Facebook & all podcast apps


- Subscribe on iTunes or Google Play (audio)

- Get weekly bonus episodes on Patreon

- Sign up for my email list to be the first
to know about new tour dates