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Community Highlights: Meet Megan DeChant of Megan Elizabeth Weddings and Events

Today we’d like to introduce you to Megan DeChant.

Hi Megan, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Truthfully, I stumbled my way into the event industry in a really lucky way. I had been working in the insurance industry for several years when I started planning my own wedding. I met with my wedding planner once and immediately knew that this was my calling. I started working with my wedding planner’s company a few months later and hit the ground running. I gained so much knowledge and experienced a lot of personal and professional growth in the years I spent with my previous company. It definitely wasn’t easy- I put in a lot of hours and had to make a lot of sacrifices, especially being a single mom. I‘ve had an entrepreneurial spirit for as long as I can remember and always planned on being a business owner one day. I told myself that I would know when it was time to venture out on my own, and that moment came after the pandemic hit in 2020. I was scared and unsure to leave a secure job with a steady paycheck but after the world got turned upside down, I decided if I made it through that then I can make it through anything. I officially started my company November 1st, 2020 and had given myself 6-12 months to be up and running. By the end of the first week, I had all of my legal paperwork filed, business name, branding, and a fantastic marketing team on board. I hit the ground running much faster than I anticipated, largely due to the overwhelming support and referrals from my previous clients and event professional friends. Within two months, I had hit my six months goal, and by the end of my first year, I had surpassed my two years goal and had the honor of being voted Georgia’s Best Event Planner.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No way! Starting a business has its own set of challenges, then add in starting an event business in the midst of a pandemic… I still don’t know why I had so much confidence that it would all work out, but I’m glad it did. Within the first two weeks of starting my business, I got Covid-19. I was fortunate enough to not get as sick as so many other people did, however I did end up with various long-term symptoms that lasted for about ten months. On top of that, I was not prepared for the intense recovery from burnout from not being in control of my own schedule for so long. A big reason why I decided to start my own business was so that I could be fully in control of my time and energy and to be able to focus on being a mom to my son, Liam (age seven). I’ve actually really struggled with feeling guilty for now having the time and resources to put myself first. I’ve had to learn (and am still learning) how to balance work and taking care of myself and Liam. For the first few months, I felt like the scales tipped really far in either direction but now I am very proud of the balance that I’ve been able to create in my life. Mental health is not discussed in society nearly as much as it should, particularly with the focus on mothers and business owners. I have anxiety, ADHD, and depression- all of which kicked into high drive after I got sick. I felt very alone in my struggles because I felt like there was such an unspoken stigma around it, so I was hesitant to seek help.

Before this, I had always been very candid and openly shared my successes and struggles with the people in my life. Something just clicked and I decided to ask for help. I have an amazing therapist that I have sessions with nearly every week and my doctor worked closely with me to help find the right combination of medications which has helped me immensely. I have found activities that really help me handle the stress of it all. I focus on taking care of myself as much as possible by practicing yoga, meditation, and journaling. I structured my personal life and my business on being able to bring value to other’s lives while living my own authentic and fulfilling life. I used to focus on my ADHD being a hindrance, but now I use it to my advantage. I build my workday around habits that help me stay productive and happy. I’ve put a limit on how many meetings I take in a day, and I’m sure to schedule downtime in between. I also only work on certain things for short periods of time before switching to something else which helps me to remain fully focused on one situation at a time. Lastly, I have been able to openly share my successes and my struggles with my clients and they have all been extremely supportive and understanding. I am thankful for my struggles because they have ultimately made me stronger. I hope that I can help someone that is struggling by sharing my story.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Megan Elizabeth Weddings and Events?
My company is a wedding and event management firm primarily based in Savannah and Atlanta, although I do travel throughout the United States and internationally. We specialize in planning, design, management, and execution of weddings and virtually any type of event. Our mission to create lasting memories and genuine connections is at the heart of everything I do. We believe in equality and inclusivity, and our work highly reflects those values. We embrace and respect that each and every one of our clients are unique in their own way. I work with clients from all different walks of life that live all over the world. Their events are always exciting and interesting no matter if they are on the beach in Savannah, downtown Nashville, or in a castle in Scotland. I do have plans to add full-time planners to my team, but for now, I am the lead planner for all of my events. I have a great team of planners that join me at every event and help me behind the scenes as needed. I am proud to say that every single person on my team has a true passion for this business.

Planning any type of event is an emotional endeavor. My clients count on me to be their confidante, advocate, and sounding board. I have an incredibly unique approach to event planning and design and am continuously refining my process. I take the time to explore not only what my clients want their event to look like but also how they want their experience to feel. Oftentimes my clients will come to me with ideas that seem all over the place at first glance. Through my planning process, I am able to create a unique and show-stopping event that harmoniously incorporates my clients’ wildest ideas with my creativity and expertise. My goal is not to be the biggest event company ever, but I do aim to be the best. I believe in quality over quantity, so I only take on a limited amount of events each year. This allows time to be able to foster my creative energy so I can ensure I am providing my clients with the most inspired experience possible.

I am proud of the experience and connections that I have fostered at home in Georgia, but I also jump at the chance for a challenge and anything new. I am continuously learning and growing, and I actively choose to surround myself with people that have the same mindset. Whenever I don’t have all the answers, I am quick to find someone that does. I have a wide network of trusted vendors that I have worked with many times before, but I am always open to exploring connections with new or “new to me” vendors. Everything is about balance and harmony. I find that by towing the line between tried and true and new opportunities, I am able to bring together the right team of vendors that works together to create a beautiful and seamlessly executed event.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
There are so many wonderful people that have been a part of my success. I will be forever grateful for the company where I started out, Carlson and Co. Paige Hager, bride turned best friend, and Will Smith, best wedding DJ ever turned best friend, believed in me starting this business long before I believed in myself. April Crawford has been one of my closest friends from the very beginning of my journey. I have so many friends, clients, and industry friends that continuously show me love and support. I am thankful for my wonderful team of planners, with a special shout-out to Daniel Claypoole. I have had the pleasure of training and working alongside Daniel for three years. He always has my back and I am looking forward to working with him for many years to come. I know my business would not have taken off as quickly as it did without Luke and Erica at First Page Marketing and I know I will be a client of theirs forever. I saved the best for last. My son Liam is my biggest cheerleader, supporter, and motivator. He loves telling everyone he knows all about my business and has promised me that all of his classmates in first grade will hire me as their wedding planner when the time comes.

Pricing:

  • Event Management starting at $500
  • Elopements starting at $500
  • Day of Coordination $3,300
  • Partial Planning $6,000
  • Full Planning $13,300
  • Destination Events $Custom Investment

Contact Info:


Image Credits
Joy + Everette Photography, Esther Griffin Photography, Alex Converse Photography, Ashly Mccoy Photography, Halle Morgan Photography, Maggie Braucher Photography, Rich Burkhart Photography

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