Helping out a close friend ultimately jump-started my Event Planning career. Back in 2014, my friend was planning her twins’ first birthday party and the theme of the event was “Bubble Guppies,” a well-known children’s show and underwater adventure scene. I noticed she was struggling with ideas, budget, and day-of coordination. Ultimately, she needed help with EVERYTHING!
So I gathered my thoughts, and the creative juices began to flow. I came up with some very cool concepts, but the one that topped them all were the candy bags: I filled fish bowls with candy alongside a small water bag with a pet goldfish to take home. My goodness, how the kids enjoyed it, and social media loved it! After that, I received a boatload of emails and inboxes regarding event planning services.
A fork in the road
As fun as it was, event planning was not my path. However, life has a funny way of throwing curveballs at you. At the time, I was working a full-time administrative job at a local hospital. It felt like my dream job until I noticed things were beginning to change with my mental health. After seeking medical attention, I was diagnosed with anxiety. Man, did that hit me like a ton of bricks. Dealing with anxiety was a roller coaster. From the way I walk to the way I talk, everything got extremely difficult. One of my triggers was how difficult it was to look people in the eyes, especially while in conversation. I had to train myself all over on how to even breathe. It was a mess. However with therapy and lots of self-love, things got easier. I relearned myself by reprogramming my lifestyle and falling in love with my unique self all over again. That journey taught me to create boundaries and finally pay attention to myself and put myself first.
Through that journey, event planning became the center of my happy place. Being able to bring visions to life helped me cope with my mental health. I mean come on now, who doesn’t love unicorn cakes and balloons? You can’t go wrong there! It was like the planning world became my new happy place. Through the small events I was planning, I became this local event planning guru. I went from children’s parties to weddings overnight. I can remember booking my first wedding back in 2016 with a guest list of 200—yes 200—people. Jump-starting my wedding planner career was somewhat a piece of cake with the help of well-known local wedding events like the Wedding Guide Expo to every wedding planner’s go-to, “The Knot.” I learned quickly that it takes several months to plan a wedding, and not all brides are “Bridezillas.” Sometimes it’s really the mother of the bride. Oh, and grooms simply can’t wait until it’s all over.
I fell in love with couples and their families trusting Events by Mayberry with their big day. It is such a huge responsibility being in charge of the wedding venue coordination, vendor gathering from the photographer down to the catering company, making sure the bride fits her dress, reminding the groom to get fitted, and organizing the week-of wedding ordeals such as the wedding rehearsal. Boy oh boy, isn’t it a joy being a wedding planner? Many may ask where did I get my creative training, and my reply is always the journey of life. Growing up, I always found myself walking into spaces and rearranging and reorganizing everything in my mind, beginning with my favorite subject in grade school—art class. I just love how colors came together and I like to challenge those normal artistic guidelines with a little razzle dazzle here and there.
I have danced all of my life, so that definitely helped with being active at large events like Black Women’s Wellness Day hosted by The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness. An event of record number attendees scaling to nearly 1K at the Alliant Energy Center. This career has taken me to some amazing places.
Owning our own space
Events By Mayberry became an official event consulting firm in 2017 when I joined with my beloved business partner Na’ndi Bazzi. She grew into her years watching her mother do similar work and accompanying her in the bustle of things and enjoyed being her second hand. She holds a BBA from UW-Whitewater. With the rate of the company’s growth she was perfect! Her creative spins and marketing expertise are behind our website presence and other creative materials. We have grown into owners of our first 2,000-square-foot event venue space. We opened our venue in January of 2020 and were quickly shut down due to the pandemic. We opened our doors back up in June, and have already safely held birthday parties, baby showers, and wedding events in the space. With that being said, bringing a partner in was one of the best decisions I made for Events by Mayberry.
Beyond just events
Our event venue is a Performing Arts Center through the weekday and Event Venue every weekend. The performing arts program is known as The House Urban Arts Initiative, Inc. The House hosts an array of programs such as dance, drama, and theater arts. We have more than 55 students registered under the program. It has been one of our biggest accomplishments this year. Events by Mayberry sponsors 50% of the center’s overhead cost. We believe in the growth of our youth through arts. Why? Because I believe the arts saved my life. I don’t know where I would be without it.
How to get involved
If you would like to donate or get more information regarding our youth program, please email us at email@example.com. So where are we now? Events by Mayberry will be opening our 2021 wedding booking calendar with hopes the world goes back to some normalcy. If not, we are extremely excited to plan weddings that are COVID-19 safe, with specific guest amounts. I love a small wedding. My rule is the smaller the guest list, the more room for detail in your décor. We encourage couples to still carry out their planned unity celebrations with the support of Events by Mayberry. Allow us to take the stress off your shoulders and bring your vision to life! Please visit us at Eventsbymayberry.com to set up your free 20-minute consultation. We are excited to hear from you!