Today we’d like to introduce you to Marquita Gooch.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Marquita. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Named for Marquita (owner and primary Officiant), Melvin (loving husband), and Mackenzie (expert flower girl), MV3 Events is a family-owned and operated company. We primarily offer wedding officiant and ceremony consultations. However, we also offer preferred vendor recommendations, day of/run of show coordinating, proposal packages, and exclusive “After the Aisle” home and union blessings. In the making for over ten years, MV3 Events was formally established and branded to go hand in hand with the owner’s own wedding theme, “New Year, New Life Together.”
I have been planning a variety of events for over ten years. I began with small-scale events for friends and family like birthday parties, bridal, and baby showers which helped me plan events for the Auburn Avenue Research Library. I worked there for almost four years and planned many events, including art exhibits and openings, book signings, and a full-fledged film festival for the Friends of the Library. It was a challenging but rewarding task.
I also worked for a party planning company and helped many of the retail customers plan out what they truly needed versus what they wanted because it looked pretty. That led me into consulting on the side and being part of a team that decorated the Governor’s Mansion in Atlanta for a special event.
By trade, I am an Asst. Director for Technology and Training – a job I adore. However, the creative side of me kept nagging away and, eventually, I started DJ-ing, then coordinating and designing invitations and “Save the Date” cards, and now fully focusing officiating. My ultimate goal is to become a one-stop-shop for couples who do not have a lot of money to spend but still want to look and feel special on their day. I marry all couples, no matter what. I feel that if two people are willing to take the leap and marry each other, who am I to stop them?
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
So far, so good, except that one time I was scammed. I had only been an officiant for a few weeks when I got my first lead. I was ecstatic! I dove in headfirst and began communicating with who I thought was an artsy couple. The address and names they gave were legit, so I had no real reason not to believe them. They were coming from out of town and wanted to send me a huge check for being so compliant and helpful. That should have been a red flag right there, but I was eager to start my business, and again, up until that point, all things seemed fine. I had no real reason to doubt them being who they said they were.
A few days later, I get the check. It looks and feels real, but my gut is nagging. I want to pause right here and say that there is an author I follow, Demetria L. Lucas, who always says, “follow your gut.” I definitely did not take her advice in that moment. I get to the bank and shocker – the check is fake. I drove home angry and so, so disappointed.
I can laugh about it today, but I was crushed in the moment. I contemplated just removing my officiant profile and giving up. I was in a funk for a few days.
In the midst of dealing with the scammer couple, another bride reached out to me. This time I was a little – ok, a lot – more cautious. I asked for more information on the bride and groom, their registry, where they were from, if they had a wedding registry, etc.
After our initial email exchange, I spent a good 45 minutes on the phone with the bride. We talked about everything and finally realized after about 20 minutes that we had not discussed the wedding ceremony at all. I had a good feeling about the couple but was still very, very cautious. I did my research once again and determined that this one was real.
It turns out I was right and married them on a beautiful and warm spring afternoon! I was incredibly nervous and only slipped up my words at the very end when I pronounced them married, but it was done—my first ceremony in the books. I was elated.
Another struggle is figuring out how to stand out. I think I have been doing a very good job at it so far, but it is still very early on, and the field is saturated with officiants. I think what sets me apart is my rapid response time, the care I take getting to know each couple, and standing my ground. My prices are set. I am flexible on some things here and there, but what I offer, personally and with my touch, cannot be duplicated.
MV3 Events – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Right now, we are focusing on offering affordable officiant services. I create each script to fit the couple by gathering information from them in a brief questionnaire. For most couples, they only plan on doing this once, so the words being said to their friends and family need to be memorable and unique to them. I go back and forth with the couple to make sure the wording is just right up until one week before the big day. That gives me time to practice inflections, pacing, projecting, and such.
Now, for the non-traditional folks, we offer a “You, Your Boo, and a Friend or Two” special. That package is the basic of the basic. It’s “Do you? I Do. Done” with a “Love is patient, love is kind” quote. Ten minutes and they are legally wed. We also offer custom packages for unity traditions like the blending of sand or lighting of the candle with custom keepsakes for the couple. We also provide alternatives like tea ceremonies or seed and sprout planting rituals.
Something most folks don’t think about too often is the after the aisle stuff. Marriage is hard work, and you need all the support, love, and prayer to make it a smooth transition. We offer an optional “After the Aisle” couple and house blessings. I believe in karma and want to pass those good vibes on to the couples we marry.
What makes my organization different was that it was truly founded in love. My husband is super supportive of me and even fills in as my official photographer. He was the key person in getting me out of my funk when I was scammed, and he’s never let me give up on something he knows I am passionate about. I am working on getting him ordained too!
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I think success is taking something that started as a simple idea and following all the steps it takes to see it into fruition. So for me, I am already successful. I wanted to start a small business, and now I have one. I think as I grow and expand, my perception of success will change but as long as I’m pleased with my work and know that I’m putting my best efforts out there, I’m happy with all that comes. Each opportunity is a lesson to learn from and grow.
- Average ceremony $125-300
- $85.00 Elopment
- Website: www.mv3events.com
- Phone: (404) 383-4653
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/mv3events
- Other: https://www.weddingwire.com/biz/mv3-events/bab5c3272b9b6f7f.html