Today we’d like to introduce you to Marnetia ReFour.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Marnetia. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
The story of myself and my business comes with a long journey of aspirations, failures, plot twists, and successes. Growing up in the heart of Atlanta, where creative energy flows deeply, it’s no surprise that I discovered my love for weddings and wedding design early. As a young girl, I always thought I’d be a wedding planner. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I actually pursued the idea. I remember waking up one morning knowing that wedding planning was something I was destined to do.
Surprisingly, I didn’t grow up around weddings or any events for that matter. There were no social events planned in my family home. My parents had never even had a wedding of their own and the last wedding I could remember attending was at the age of seven as a flower girl. To the industry, I was a newborn baby and I didn’t even have a head start.
Not knowing anything about the industry but knowing that I was determined, I went to my bank and filed my first LLC for my business. I built a website. I created my social media platforms. I created business cards and had them printed through Office Depot. I did everything that I thought would become the foundation for my business.
I shadowed other experienced wedding planners, I discovered and fine-tuned my own design style. I planned and hosted my own parties to gain experience. I changed my profession and worked at several event venues in Atlanta just to immerse myself in the industry and eventually booked my first wedding client.
Fast forward to now and I have assisted, planned, and been a part of hundreds of weddings and events and I haven’t looked back since.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
If anyone knows about the events industry, they know how difficult it is to break into and this is where I think a lot of aspiring planners and designers get stuck. You know the old saying about not having a seat at the table and bringing your own? Not only did I have to bring my own chair, but I had to bring my own flatware, glassware, and food. And let’s not forget to bring those business cards to hand out!
But once I got through this door, it still didn’t provide me with clientele I wanted which I knew I would need to build on my own. This led me to one of the biggest challenges I have faced in my business. That challenge has been the steady task of understanding who I am as a wedding planner/designer and what I would like to offer through my business. This took years for me. In fact, there were several times where I had to press pause on my business to better think through my own aspirations. As a business owner, you’re always taught “go, go, go” as if everything is a race against time. Even further, the use of social media has made it extremely easy to be influenced by others’ design aesthetics and others, in general, which has made it even more difficult for entrepreneurs to find their own way and be original.
As a new planner/designer, it can be challenging to find your own voice. It takes time. It takes mental discipline. It takes understanding your end goal better than you understand anything else but once you’ve found it, the sky becomes the limit and you’ll find that clients will start to gravitate towards you and your work.
Please tell us about ReFour and After Wedding Design House.
ReFour and After Wedding Design House is an Atlanta based, full-service wedding design and planning company. We specialize in what we have coined, “scenic luxury,” and have become experts in planning destination weddings, forest weddings, mountain weddings, garden weddings, or any weddings that focus on exceptional scenic views. Because of this, we are different than many other wedding planning companies and cater to a specific clientele. What makes us even more valuable to our prospective clients is the knowledge that our owner and lead planner have been able to acquire over the years. She has worked in hotels, city clubs and “eatertainments” and thus has a lot of insider information that has saved her clients time, resources, and money.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I have been blessed over the years to have friends and family who have supported me and who I know will continue to support me. If I had to name one person who has helped me the most, I wouldn’t be able to. It truly has been a team effort between all of those around me whether they be friends, family, past clients, etc. I would like to say, however, that I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for my mother and everything that she has ever done for me. I’ve always said if I could be half the mother she is to me to my children, we’d be alright.
- Website: www.refourandafter.com
- Phone: 678.628.3848
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @refourandafter
- Other: @atlantabridesonabudget
Asante Amaning, @bhrwrk