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Life & Work with Meagan Culkin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Meagan Culkin.

Hi Meagan, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I first entered the events industry when I was 17 and working at a country club, which is where I fell in love with banquets and events. Throughout college, I continued to remain involved in the events industry, and after graduating I took a job as a baker and catering manager in my hometown of Wilson, NC. Unlike Raleigh, Wilson did not have any local wedding planners, so I truly started my business out of necessity. For the first few years, I worked on my own but eventually grew to a team of 13 — comprised of lead planners, certified bartenders, bakers, and event staffing assistants. We are currently in the process of expanding into Virginia and hope to one day grow a team there as well.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Absolutely not! When I began the company, I intended on staying in my full-time position working in Higher Education and planned to continue on to graduate school. As the need for planners and industry professionals in our area grew however, I decided to put that plan on the back burner and explore owning a business full time (which I always said I wouldn’t do).

Three years ago, my husband and I separated, and I worried that I would not a) be able to sustain myself and the company financially on my own and b) that couples would not want to hire someone who was going through a divorce. Fortunately, neither of those things actually seemed to be the case, and we entered 2020 anticipating the greatest year of the company’s history — and then COVID happened.

Fortunately, I was the only full-time employee and was safely able to cut everyone else’s hours without fear of them losing their main source of income– but it was still a huge lesson in cutting back and determining what costs were superfluous.

Then at the beginning of this year, three of our team members left the company to go open their own competing brands without warning, just weeks before we learned that the state would start lifting restrictions and we would have had more than enough work to keep them busy.

So needless to say, owning a business is not for the faint of heart.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
From the get go, it has been very important for me to create a space for clients where they feel welcome, seen, and supported, I never want to be known for a certain style or type of wedding — but I DO want to be equated with an experience.

It does not matter to me if a couple has $25K or $250K to spend on their wedding. What matters to me is that when people walk into their wedding, they see that couple represented.

I love that our team is made up of planners with different styles, strengths, and backgrounds because it allows us to be the best at our own individual strengths while also learning from one another instead of trying to all do the same thing.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
Collectively whether in work or my day to day life, I love being a problem solver and helping to make other people’s lives just a bit easier. It gives me a great sense of joy and accomplishment to know that I can help others.

When a couple leaves a meeting with us and says “I was so stressed before, but after talking with you I feel so much better”.

Alternatively, looking out on the dance floor on the wedding day and seeing the bride and groom dancing with their friends and family and having a great time instead of worrying about things like ‘who is packing up the gifts and putting them into cars at the end of the night’, because they can take comfort in the fact that they hired us and now they can relax.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
1. Morgan Caddell 2. Amber Robinson 3. Morgan Caddell 4. Cara Powell 5. Amber Robinson 6. Creative Pix 7. Rosetrail Images 8. Tiffany L Johnson

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