Five years ago today I signed my name on the dotted line and walked away from a great job at a well established local venue. I had many thoughts cross my mind that day and most of them were about fear of failure. In life, I have always had a (healthy?) fear of disappointing myself as well as those around me. I think it’s part of what drives me to work hard. So as this opportunity fell into my lap… I closed my eyes, took a leap of faith, and dove right in to A Southern Soiree with my heart and my mind set on succeeding.
Some may know and some may not that A Southern Soiree was owned by someone else for 4 years before I took over ownership in 2010. We celebrate A Southern Soiree’s anniversary as a rebirth of the company in 2010. We had our fair share of setbacks and hardships to overcome five years ago and I spent many nights lying in bed wide awake wondering if I had made the right decision. The company was rebranded, redirected, and repurposed and is what it is today because of a lot of amazing hands that have helped mold it into the business I saw it becoming. We have gone from one full time employee and one intern to four full time employees and 2 interns.
As a newlywed of two months, my days and evenings consisted of reaching out and trying to prove my worth to both vendors and prospective clients. I toured venues, I asked questions, and explained my goals for the direction/growth of A Southern Soiree. I sold myself to those clients, those venues and those vendors. I didn’t know what to charge, I didn’t know the order of the bridal party processional, I didn’t know how many wine glasses needed to be ordered for a bar for an event. There were many things I had to learn and some things I ended up learning the hard way.
If A Southern Soiree had a motto, it would be “Underpromise and Overdeliver.” From day 1, I have made it my mission to exceed my client’s expectations. I have instilled that in the amazing team of ladies working with me as well, so that the quality and professionalism associated with our brand stays strong and continues to grow.
220+ events later (!) and there are some people to thank!
My husband: You are a saint. For all the DIY projects you have helped me with, for all the Saturdays I’ve left you alone for 12+ hours (now with 2 little girls – ages 3 and 8 months), for all the tears you have seen me cry from being overtired, overworked or overstressed during our busy months. You were the one who encouraged me to take this leap in the beginning and I will always remember that. You are my bookkeeper, Director of HR, CFO and longest standing unpaid intern and my biggest fan. Thanks for being you.
My team: I certainly have not done it alone. The team working for me is amazing. You have to love what you do to do this job and these ladies know that it’s not the glamorous career the movie made it out to be…but that it is refreshing, deeply emotionally rewarding, and never ever boring. Thank you for all you do to make A Southern Soiree the best.
Our Clients: Without you, there would be no anniversary to celebrate. Thank you for trusting A Southern Soiree to plan such an important event in your life. Thank you for referring your friends and family, thank you for writing fabulous reviews, thank you for taking us in as a part of your families. We love you all!
Vendors/Friends: To those venues/vendors that opened their doors/minds to me 5 years ago, thank you. Getting to work with you and know you personally has been a joy and we as a team look forward to many more partnerships over the years to come.
As part of our anniversary celebration, our team has been looking back on some of our most memorable moments we have been so thankful to have been a part of throughout the years. While each wedding or event we work is unique and special, the following moments are special to our consultants for many reasons!
- Special Dance: Madi and Matt’s April 2015 wedding had one of the most unique special dances ever! The bride’s sisters had planned a special flash mob to surprise the bride and groom during the reception—the best part was all of the flash mob members holding up masks of the bride and groom’s faces!
- Cake Flavor: Megan’s favorite was the sweet potato with cream cheese frosting. Gina loved cinnamon swirl, while Kelley Ann chose her favorite to be almond cake (or pumpkin) with butter cream icing. And lastly, Mackenzie’s favorite was a tier flavored “Irish Car Bomb”.
- Heather and Neal – April 2012 – Nello’s marinara sauce – The groom started making this special marinara sauce before the wedding on the side and now, since their wedding it is showcased and sold in retail stores nationwide! (pictured below)
- Kelly and Justin – December 2010 – mini pies with ornaments wrapped around them, the pies were homemade using the bride’s grandmothers recipe.
- Special Exit: One of the most unique special exits we have helped plan was from 2011 with our couple, Laurie and McQueen. McQueen only let Megan and Brenda, from Carolina Country Club, know of the surprise beforehand—Laurie and the guests were blown away (literally) 😉 Check out the picture below!
- New Trend: We have to say that video-booths have been one of our most favorite new trends. Jess and Mike recently used the slow-motion Turtlebooth at their Umstead wedding this year and even Megan and Gina were able to get in and have some fun!