I grew up in a very small Texas town where you needed to create your own entertainment. During elementary school, my best friend, Nancy, and I orchestrated neighborhood carnivals in the front yards of our homes. We were playwrights, actresses, singers, game attendants, food providers (really our moms), and whatever else came to mind. Our parents always supported our efforts, and amazingly, people paid to attend!
What was the best vacation you ever took and why?
Every trip near or far should be an adventure. Whistler BC ranks high on my list. Fly-fishing from tubes in the middle of a secluded lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains, whale-watching from a rubber boat, white water rafting with shoreline salmon bakes, ATVing to Blackcomb Mountain, and hiking off-the-beaten paths were a few of the breathtaking highlights. We hope that Banff is next!
Do you have a favorite holiday? Why or why not?
Without question, Christmas is my favorite holiday. We celebrate the birth of Jesus, our savior, and reflect more deeply on the blessings of life. The joy of sharing love with family and friends is always elevated at Christmas, and it’s the perfect time to pay forward the many ways people have lavished me with kindness.
Who was your inspiration for becoming a part of the event/wedding industry?
My mother definitely passed along her hospitality DNA to me! She and my dad loved to celebrate ANY occasion. Despite working full-time, she would decide to host a party, and with little notice would extend personal invitations to friends of all ages. Organized and detailed, she creatively made everything by hand, from delicious food to pretty place settings. There was a lot of laughter, and everyone left on a high note, which gave her great pleasure. The consummate gift-giver, she often sent guests home with a cleverly designed favor. She was very resourceful and devised an ingenious solution on a meager budget for every obstacle! I’ve used the fruit of her seeds in every phase of my career leading to opening my event-planning company. I’m now blessed to have my daughter as a part of my team. Could my four-year-old granddaughter be next?
During your time as a wedding professional, what has been your most touching or panic-inducing experience?
Each wedding touches my heart in ways I will never forget. In one, the bride and her dad started their first dance as the groom watched. This was unusually touching, as the father-of-the-bride had been through two life-threatening bouts of cancer. Sadly, the groom had lost his mom to breast cancer during his college football days. They were very close, and she was his biggest fan. There would be no mother-son dance for him. As the groom’s tears started to roll, his best man intuitively felt the groom’s loss, moved over and placed a hand upon him. One by one, each of the other six groomsmen followed, until all of the guys had rallied around the groom. Some stood, some knelt with their hands on him, whispering encouraging words until the dance was over. The love and compassion they showed were overwhelming and brought my own tears. Knowing the behind-the-scenes journey of these profound moments and being a part of the joy of celebrating victories with couples and families is life-changing for me. It fuels my passion to help create priceless memories and personalize each wedding experience. Wedding planners need tissues, not just for their clients but for themselves, too.