Happy International Women’s Day! From planners to floral designers, hair and makeup artists, and bridal salon owners, the wedding industry is full of incredible women who have founded their own businesses.
We recently surveyed women who own wedding businesses and the results are not surprising. Women in the wedding industry are not only smart, creative and tenacious business owners, their small businesses also create jobs for their cities and beyond. On average, women in the wedding industry that own their businesses have been doing so for 9 years and employ an average of 2.4 full-time employees and 3.5 part-time employees.
To celebrate all of this, International Women’s Day, and more, we’ve tapped 10 women in the industry to give us their two cents on what it’s like being a wedding business owner.
“It’s so important for my children and their peers to see this business take off and succeed. Not just for my daughter, but also for my sons. I want my daughter to know what she is capable of and I want my sons to respect what women can bring to the table as equals.” — Terrica Skaggs, Cocktails & Details
“My favorite part of being a female business owner is helping other female-identifying business owners. Whatever I can do to give someone a boost or a leg up, I’m going to do it. Whether it’s making important connections, taking friends to networking events with me, talking business strategy, or referring business to other female-identifying business owners, I want to do whatever I can to lift us all up.” — Leah Weinberg, Color Pop Events
“When starting this business, I was not a #GirlMom, but when my daughter and the business’ namesake was born, I realized my purpose. The most rewarding part of my business is working alongside some amazing and thoughtful women. My purpose is to leave a legacy behind in which my daughter can be proud of.” — Desiree Dent, Dejanae Events
“The best part of owning my own company is the fact that it has become our family business. My husband is now my business partner, our children assist us, and I continue to have my cake and eat it too. We are “all-in” for work and life together on our own terms. And because of that, my son and daughter live confidently in a world where hustle and dreams co-exist.” — Amy Shey Jacobs, Chandelier Events
“The most rewarding part of running my business is making my own hours. I’m a working mom so knowing that I can run to my kid’s school and pick up a sick child or volunteer is crucial, as is having the ability to take the day off if I so desire and I don’t have to answer to anyone. Obviously with some planning and such because business owners wear many hats!” — Kirsten Palladino, Equally Wed
“The most rewarding part of running my business is being able to come in as a vendor to my clients and leave as family. I have been given the honor and role of Godmother to several of my past client’s children. It doesn’t get better than that. Nothing compares to that.” Eurykah Fon Ndumu, Asheri Events
“I wanted the freedom to dictate my own schedule, workload, and also be a stay at home mom so I could design a life perfect for my family‘s needs while earning money doing so,” — Michelle Garibay, Michelle Garibay Events
“Doing it the way I want to do it and how fits me (and my ideal clients) best. “Freedom” is the key for me in creating something for yourself. By no means does working for yourself mean that you work any less (actually, it’s usually the opposite), but at least it’s up to you to determine the direction, the policies, the products and outcomes, all to be whatever fits you best.” — Bethel Nathan, Ceremonies by Bethel
“The best part of my job is seeing my clients, many of whom are fellow female entrepreneurs, on stage at an event industry conference, really coming into their own. There is typically this moment where everything clicks- their topic, the audience, everything. We often work with clients for years- so I know first hand how much time they’ve put into this and it’s incredibly rewarding to see everything come together for them.” — Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting
“I love that I am able to hold a place in society in this ever-challenging and changing event industry, where being and staying relevant matters. By doing what I love, it has kept us afloat. We are coming up on our 15th year in business and are extremely proud to have made it this far and looking forward to many prosperous years ahead.” — Marcia Villiers, Beautiful Kreations
“My wedding photography career has taken me all over the world where I’ve watched the most epic sunsets and connected with some absolutely amazing people. The best part is that I can come home and be present with my family. I’ve come out on the other side a stronger, more intuitive businesswoman. At the end of the day, the most rewarding part of running my business can be summed up simply; I can be a successful mom and businesswoman.” — McKenzie Deakins
“I love being able to provide for my family and create a work environment that is female and mom supportive. For example, if one of my employees has a sick child they can choose to work from home while also taking care of their child.” — Emily Campbell, Go Bella Design
“I am damn proud of being a female founder. It gives me the opportunity to opportunity to collaborate and support other females and minority-owned businesses. By societal standards, we are sadly already at a disadvantage the minute we walk in the door so it’s extra important that we support each other and show the respect that we each deserve. Female founders are fierce, strong, smart, and I am so proud and honored to be in this club.” — Brittny Drye, Love Inc. Magazine
About the author: Anja Winikka is the former editor of TheKnot.com and The Knot Magazines turned educator and contributing editor @WeddingPro. She’s on a mission to help creatives, community leaders, and wedding businesses own their stories and tell the world about it (follow along via Instagram @anjawinikka).