Over the next month, we are featuring successful wedding and event planners who started their business after age 40. Today we are featuring Vanessa Segui Meagher from VSM Event Creations. VSM Event Creations serves southern Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri.
Name: Vanessa Segui Meagher
Business: VSM Event Creations
Facebook Business Page: Facebook.com/VSMEventCreations
When and why did you decide to start a wedding planning business?
Celebrations have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Music was always playing, and it was not uncommon for my parents to be dancing as my sister and I set the dinner table on regular ‘ole Tuesday night! I remember my mom taking special care to get all the party details just right for her guests. She would always receive compliments and I learned to take pride in a job well done.
I would plan my own birthday parties as I got older and really enjoyed thinking of the details that would leave an impression with my guests. I wanted everyone to have a good time and enjoy. In 2009, I enrolled in a planning course and became an intern for an established Wedding Planner in Los Angeles, and later on, in San Diego. I met my husband, got married, and moved to the Midwest in 2011 and worked “9-5” jobs until 2015, while still planning weddings and events on the weekends. I yearned to be a full-time planner and not just sit at a computer and number crunch at the wrong type of job for me. I wanted to serve others, find fulfillment, be creative…and be my own boss. I started VSM Event Creations in January of 2016 and haven’t looked back.
What was your previous career or work experience before starting your business?
I worked in the retail industry for over 20 years. I worked my way through all the “ranks”-from Cashier to Inventory Analyst to Assistant Buyer in various well -known companies. Every position has taught me the basics of my job now-customer service, forecasting trends, color, and design, managing a budget, establishing relationships with vendors, and listening to what the client wants.
What advantages do you have over younger wedding planners?
As a business woman who is over 40, I bring knowledge, more experience, emotional stability, and consistent service to all my clients. These advantages are all applied to situations in which I need to resolve tasks and issues on event day, calm a bride, gently guide and counsel a couple, and sometimes be the mediator amongst bridesmaids!
Does your age present any disadvantages in our industry?
I feel it’s all about perception. If a 40+ planner feels good about themselves, maintains a positive attitude, and continues to learn from the industry and others, they will be perceived as a go-getter who is on “Team Bride” and ready to handle anything. You always have to put your best foot forward. It goes back to offering your brides consistency-and being the best version of you establishes that.
What are you most proud of in your life/career?
I am proud of many things in my life! I live daily always being grateful and recognizing the good in others. I feel I am a devoted and loving wife/stepmom/daughter/sister/friend. I am proud of how I always try to be positive in thought and action, and how learning to love myself helped discover my true passion and allowed me to start my business. I care about people, especially family.
When my mom had those moments to relax before her guests arrived, it fostered the feeling of her taking care of us. It made the parties more enjoyable knowing nothing was left but to have a good time. I am proud that I carry that into my services. I am driven by the feeling of comfort that I want to afford my brides with their loved ones before they get swept up in their day! When a mother and daughter have a moment to share privately as they get ready-that is my proudest moment as a Wedding Planner.
What advice would you give to someone over the age of 40 who is considering starting an event planning business?
My advice comes from the quote, “Move forward in the direction of your dreams.” We are all created to live our lives to the fullest every day, and if you are feeling unfulfilled and that something out there is your calling, pursue it! We (being 40 +) have the advantage to have learned from our past mistakes, the knowledge of experience, and the blessing of having a more stable life (in all aspects) than when we were younger. Why NOT take advantage and go for it?! Do your research, find other creatives, and start establishing the habits needed to be your own boss!
Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself or your business?
Thank you for the opportunity to share about myself and my business. My hope is that anyone who is unsure feels renewed and goes out there to fulfill their dreams!
Photo credit for feature photo: Ambar Dilallo Photography
Ready to start your wedding planning business? Learn more about our professional guide: 25 Steps to Start Your Wedding Planning Business