A few years back, while working at a local bridal retail shop, the phone rang. A bride who Cecilia had helped find her dress months before had just gotten married and had placed an emergency call from the hotel bathroom of her reception to the bridal shop. It appeared that the day the seamstress was showing her bridal party how to bustle the bride’s train, no one really paid attention. And let’s face it, a French bustle isn’t easy to do anyway. “Could you come and bustle my dress?” she asked. Little did she know that with that one question, an adventure would begin.
Cecilia clocked out for lunch, got in her car, and drove down to the Hilton in downtown Tampa, met the bride in the handicap bathroom, bustled her dress and prepared to go back to work. Before she left though, the father of the bride gave her a $100 bill. “For fluff services rendered” he said. At the time, Cecilia had no idea what that was, she had never heard that term before. She was informed by the father of the bride that in New Jersey where they are from, people get hired to help brides get dress on wedding day, they steam their dress, layout the clothes, help them bustle the trains, and even stick around to help the brides change into a second dress for reception if necessary.
After that incident, a few months later, another bride called asking for the same service. Soon, more and more brides were calling. Until one day, while helping a bride get dressed, her wedding coordinator ghosted. Yes, you read that write. A no-show. So armed with a beat-up copy of the timeline and her cellphone, Cecilia stayed to help coordinate the wedding.
Then one day, friends of Cecilia got engaged. Now, while working at the bridal shop, Cecilia had met Maria. A recently separated soldier, Maria had joined the bridal shop world, and a Lucy and Ethel friendship had formed. When the bride asked Cecilia to plan her entire wedding, Cecilia asked Maria if she would help her with the wedding. After what turned out to be five years of not just work but the longest market study they could have ever imagined, it was time to take a leap of faith.
Armed with a toolbox filled with gumption, faith, and a belief in each other, Cecilia and Maria got to work and for an entire year they planned, researched, networked, and executed their friend’s wedding. Four days after the wedding, they LLC’d and never looked back. And that is how Elegant Evening Events began.