Welcome to our “Day in the Life” series! We feature wedding and event planners from around the world with many different levels of experience. If you would like to be featured, download our questionnaire here and email your responses and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are excited to feature Florida wedding planner Tawanda Sims today!
Name: Tawanda Sims
Business Name & Location: Elite Events by Tawanda, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Years Working in the Event Industry: 9 years
Years Owning Your Event Planning Business: Since 2011
Business Facebook Page: Elite Events by Tawanda
What is your typical day like?
My day starts at 10am. The first task I do after making breakfast for my husband is check and respond to emails from my event planning business, check in with my clients, schedule weekly posts for IG and FB and then I switch gears and work on our upcoming conference, Let’s Plan 2018. From calling sponsors, reaching out to vendors, sending out mailers, networking, and passing out flyers, I literally eat, sleep, and breathe Let’s Plan.
**I work from home on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, Thursdays. Fridays I spend in the field, appointments with service providers and or hotels. Unless I have an appointment with a client/bride in my studio.
**I’m a foodie, so my lunch is right after breakfast. Unless I have a scheduled lunch appointment, I eat all day long.
** My day typically ends around 5:30pm or 6:00pm, unless I have an appointment or networking event.
** My husband is retired so I try and spend Mondays with him and Sundays in church or relaxing on the couch eating poppycock and pecans.
How did you get started in the industry?
My best friend, Veronica Jackson, is an Emcee. Back in 2009-2011, I would go with her to assist her with her events. The few weddings she emceed, the brides had no planner, the family members and friends had no clue, and the poor brides were so distraught. I would jump in and try to assist as much as I could. Not to mention, I had no clue. However, with my training as an HR Director, my skills kicked in and I saved the day.
After attending a few weddings with Veronica, I was bitten by the wedding bug. I fell in love with the industry. I immediately started to travel and attend as many wedding conferences, courses, and seminars as I could. From Catersource to Wedding Wire, you name it, I was there. In 2012, I was attending a Wedding Wire workshop in Miami and Laurie Hartwell, the founder of The Bridal Society was a guest panelist. She inspired me so much with her industry knowledge, I made plans to attend her course in Orlando and become a Certified Wedding Planner.
What inspires you?
The Bible keeps me motivated and grounded, my family is the best support system, my church family, my closest friends and they know who they are, amazing staff, and my loving husband pushes me when I feel like throwing in the towel.
What are your favorite online resources for your business?
Planners Lounge (and I mean that from the bottom of my heart)
Aside from wedding and event planning, how do you spend your time?
I love spending time with my baby sister, Terri, cooking and eating blue crabs, shopping – wait… “window shopping” – in Boca Town Center Mall, networking and supporting my colleagues in the industry, spending time with my husband, mom, Godchildren, and grandkids. The one thing no one knows, not even my husband, I will travel 45 min to Boca Raton, FL for a candy apple and a piece of cheesecake from Cheese Cake Factory every day if I can get away with it.
Tawanda, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story and a day in your life. If you are an event planner and would like to be featured, download our questionnaire today and email it to us along with a photo. If you aren’t sure about being featured, take a few minutes to read how it can help your business.