Ebony Jones of My Stylish Event: The Wedding Planner Who Makes Your Day Perfect
Wedding days are notoriously hectic, with a million details to take care of and a million things that could go wrong. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced wedding planner on your side.
Ebony Jones has years of experience in the wedding industry, and she knows all the secrets to making sure your perfect wedding day goes off without a hitch. From finding the perfect venue to coordinating the catering, Ebony will take care of all the details so you can relax and enjoy your wedding day.
So if you’re looking for someone to help make your wedding day perfect, look no further than Ebony Jones of My Stylish Event!
Gillian de Souza: Hi, there! Welcome to DC Weddings with Gillian. We seem to always have treats, but today is a real treat with Ebony Jones of my stylish event. Ebony is going to tell you about all the things that go on behind the pretty details of your event. I know you’ve got a vision for your event. I know you’ve seen lots of pretty things on Pinterest and other weddings and so on that you want, but there is so much that happens behind the details of those pretty things, and Ebony has the secret for that. So, stay tuned!
Hello, Ebony! How are you today?
Ebony Jones: I am wonderful. How are you doing?
Gillian de Souza: I am fabulous! Thanks. Folks, this is Ebony Jones of My Stylish Affair, and we want to hear all about what Ebony can do for you, for your events. So listen up as Ebony tells us all about what she does for her clients. So Ebony, let’s start off. My Stylish Event.
I think I said My Stylish Affair. I’m sorry. My Stylish Event. So tell me about that name. Tell me what you do for people and their stylish event.
Ebony Jones: So My Stylish Event, I am a wedding and event planner. I provide services for clients for weddings with full planning options, partial planning options, and wedding management as well. My full planning options and partial planning options they could be custom packaging.
So packages can be adjusted based upon the client’s needs and desires. I wanna make sure I focus on what the client needs and not just offering a client just the one size fit all option. Definitely want to be sure that a client is paying for something that they know that they need and something that they will find value in.
Then the Wedding Management Service is definitely a services that’s provided for clients that need some support on closer to the events and also the day of, not just day of support, definitely providing support a few weeks prior to the event, making sure everything is tied together, making sure that all the vendors have the appropriate information. So all of the loose ends are tied up and not just showing up on the day of.
So those are the services that are provided. The full-partial wedding management and then customizing packages as well. Making sure that the clients feel like their event is stylish for them and not for everyone else.
Gillian de Souza: Right. Well, let’s see if we can help our clients listening because we hear the terms all the time and we know what they mean.
But at bride and groom planning, they’re first and only wedding and they’re hearing the terms and maybe they don’t understand what the difference between full service planning, partial planning, and then you included the term wedding management. And so we know what all that entails and we know how those services are needed in different types of events.
Let’s touch a little bit on the wedding management. Tell the listener what wedding management looks like? What do they get? Not necessarily I walk it on the aisle, but what is it you’re providing for the client that may make them say, “I want that.”
Ebony Jones: I think there’s a lot of misconception even with the day of coordinator position where it kind of came from this thought of someone you kind of have never met before, showing up on your wedding. Never really have talked to, doesn’t know your vendors, doesn’t know what your actual expectations are. I think there was always a misconception of what that service provided. So definitely wanting to kind of shift that narrative and put the focus on more of really bringing all of the pieces together and not just, as I mentioned, showing up on the day of.
So even for the services that I provided, wedding management, it can start two to three months prior to the event. Not necessarily just two weeks prior. Two to three months prior going over the final scheduling, making sure that your actual timeline or even providing a day of timeline, so that is included in the service I provide for wedding management which is the day of timeline, working with all the vendors to ensure that the vendors have the appropriate timeline, making sure that the vendors have any final adjustments or details, cuz last minute things happen and change. So ensuring that the client is not putting in a position three weeks before the wedding, that they have to communicate those final details to their wedding vendors cuz that can be stressful, trying to pull everything together, especially since so much can change at the last minute.
In addition to making sure that your floor plan is appropriate because oftentimes the client may not be aware of what’s appropriate for a floor plan with the venue. Sometimes clients can come up with their own type of floor plan that may not make sense or have the right flow.
So it’s important that they get the proper — even educating them, providing ’em some type of education throughout that two to three month period so that we ensure that everything flows well throughout the event. And also providing some last minute details, some last minute options for them to be sure that their event is what they expect it to be.
Gillian de Souza: That is wonderful! But I’m gonna dig a little bit deeper for the listener’s perspective because we just trying to help them out, right? We trying to help them understand what services they need because when they realize on their wedding day or the week before their wedding is too late, right?
So helping us understand that early enough to want to include the cost for wedding management, day of management or full service is vitally important. So you mean to tell me I have hired a DJ, a photographer, a baker, an officiate, a florist, a venue, a caterer, and I can keep going and I’ve paid them.
Why can’t they just take care of their piece and just get it done? What is that? Why do they need something more?
Ebony Jones: Wow! So they have to work as a team. They are independent contractors. So having someone as that person to bring all of those pieces together to work cohesively because you may have a florist that’s gonna show up before the stage shows up in order to be able to communicate with the production company.
To be sure that those pieces meet, is one thing to hire them and to let them know when the venue is available. But it’s another thing when a professional is able to look at your timeline and communicate and make sure that everything makes sense and communicate with everyone to be sure everyone is on the same page.
And if there’s no cake there and then there’s no table at the same time, things can go left really fast and you’re not in a position as a client to rectify that or maybe not sure what the best, of course the action is to rectify that.
Gillian de Souza: Of course. And then, I mean I just threw that out for you as devil’s advocate because of course, we experience this all the time, but our poor dear clients are experiencing it once and we don’t have a do over, we don’t have a trial run. We’ve gotta get it right the first time every time and so those are the kinds of things I want our listeners to hear that is just not a nice thing to have, that it is absolutely vital that there’s cohesiveness amongst the vendors and it is your services that will provide that for them in order to have that seamless, get it right the first time, every time at their event. Fantastic!
Ebony Jones: Exactly. There can be a lot of communication going back and forth, and it can be very overwhelming for a client to have to deal with multiple strings of communication at one time a week before the event and then have to deal with their families at the same time because their families are probably bombarding them with questions as well.
So making sure that you have someone that can support you and guide you through that process and making your life a little bit easier so you can try to enjoy the time.
Gillian de Souza: Yes.
Ebony Jones: Cuz that’s important and the time as well.
Gillian de Souza: Indeed. So many times our couples, they just wanna get the day over with and it should be a joyous time that they’re experiencing this first big thing that they do together and have a great time doing it. But now it’s stressful and it’s something we just wanna get past and that’s certainly not what we want for our brides and grooms. But like you said, it’s education. It’s education because they don’t see it until they’re actually in it, and then it’s too late.
Ebony Jones: Yes. Yeah. Yes.
Gillian de Souza: Fantastic! Okay, so tell us, how did you get into the wedding industry?
Ebony Jones: It’s been a journey, I would say. I just can’t say, just get into the wedding industry. It was definitely a journey for me. And I mean like a, almost like a 15 year journey.
Gillian de Souza: Wow!
Ebony Jones: I believe. So I launched My Stylish Event in 2018, but this has been in me since, again like I said, for about 15 years.
I believe at that point I was in the wedding gown industry.
Gillian de Souza: Okay.
Ebony Jones: So that’s where the juices started flowing.
Gillian de Souza: Nice!
Ebony Jones: And so I went to fashion design. That was my first career in fashion design and my focus was wedding design. A bridal gown and informal design. So being in that industry, getting a taste of it, working with brides and things like that.
I also worked with, my mom had a catering company, she’s been catering for about 15 years now.
Now, she’s more on the corporate catering side. So she had a catering company. I helped her. So our juices were just flowing together. We started our own company. I believe we started our own company together of event planning company 15 years ago.
When its a corporate, went back to school for hospitality management, thinking I was gonna go into hotels and event planning there. And I said, “No, I want to be more creative. I wanna get closer with my clients.” And that’s when I said, “I’m done.” I felt like I was tiptoeing in.
Over the years I felt like I was tiptoeing and in 2018, I said, “I’m just leaping, jump right into it and stop playing with myself.”, and I just kept going.
Gillian de Souza: Congratulations on making that move! And all of our brides and grooms are all the better for it because you’re out there working so hard for them. Tell me a story about one of your brides and grooms — you don’t need to give names, and the story can be a fun story, an unusual story. What would you give us something about a great planning event that you’ve had with your clients?
Ebony Jones: Okay. So I would say a couple that really was kinda they did not know much about weddings. They hadn’t been to many weddings. I think that both of them had just attended their first wedding a few months before their wedding. So they didn’t know what weddings were about. They didn’t know what was gonna happen at their wedding. So they really trusted me with the process.
They looked to me to be their advocate and I really enjoy that part where they allowed me to guide them through the process and educate them through the process as well, support them even when it came to some of their family members. They kinda was able to play some things in my hand and their focus was enjoying the day. They were already married but they wanted to focus on just having fun and enjoying their family, their friends, and celebrating their union. And that’s really what it’s all about. So that for me was very rewarding and comforting that they trusted me enough to allow me to guide them through the process.
Gillian de Souza: Fantastic!
Ebony Jones: Not funny, but that was very heartwarming.
Gillian de Souza: Yes, indeed. So if you had to tell a listener what is the one reason they should hire Ebony Jones and My Stylish Events, what would that reason be? One that sets you apart from every other person that’s doing this.
Ebony Jones: One. Just one. Okay.
Gillian de Souza: Okay, maybe a few. That’s fine.
Ebony Jones: So I would say weddings are beautiful, right? We want beautiful weddings, we want beautiful results, but this is a process. And my goal is not to only focus on the photos and the beautiful floral arrangements, the beautiful lighting. My goal is to really guide my couples. I have a need sometimes to support and guide people versus telling them what they should do, how they should feel, what their wedding should look like, is really important to me. I often ask my couples and make sure my couples understand is, what do you want? Even down to some of the simplest things and decisions, what is in your heart?
And I wanna make sure I keep that focus throughout the planning process. I often make sure I ask my clients, how are you feeling? How is this process making you feel? Versus continuing to feel like you know, and bombarding them with questions and emails and doing this and doing that and making sure I understand where their mindset is throughout the planning process.
Cuz again, like I said, I want them to enjoy this time, not just the planning process. To be sure they’re enjoying their time with their partner because this is a lifelong decision. Obviously, we all say it’s not about the one day, it’s not about this one day. So I wanna be sure that during this planning process, you are still focusing on you, you are still taking time for yourself, and how can we even focus on maybe taking a step back from the process if something is not working for you, if you’re stressed out of things like that. I wanna make sure I focus on the wellbeing of my clients throughout the process. That’s really important to me.
Gillian de Souza: That is beautiful! So what I hear you saying is that you’re going to get the mechanical things done. You’ll get them down the aisle, you’ll get their timeline done. You’ll put all your vendors in place and make sure their contracts are done and you do all of that. Every wedding planner does that, right?
Ebony Jones: Right.
Gillian de Souza: And you’re saying the heart of the client, what they more in tune of, you doing those things but you’re making sure that you’re staying in tune with them and who they are and their wants and needs for their event. And I think for us here at Caribbean Caterers, that is a big plus, plus, plus because no two weddings are the same. No two bride and grooms are same.
Even if they selected very same menu for their wedding meal and the same colors and so on, the wedding itself will be very different, and it speaks to the client’s person. And so how can you deliver that to someone if you don’t get into it with them and know who they are?
So it’s very heartwarming for me to hear you say that because I know as a wedding professional how important that is for us here at Caribbean Caterers with our clients. So that is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for that. And so that was a good one. Do you wanna give another? Since you have many but that was a great one.
Ebony Jones: That’s okay.
Gillian de Souza: All right! Okay. And so you said that you started in the fashion and wedding gown side of things. Does that help you with your bride and grooms now as a wedding planner?
Ebony Jones: It does. That’s what made me realize that there’s so much that goes on outside of the pretty details cuz I had the opportunity during that time period working with brides. There was a lot of emotion during that time. You can tell some of the family tension when working with brides that come to a bridal salon. You can see that tension. You can see the dynamic with even the mother-in-laws, the sisters, and you can pinpoint some of those awkward moments.
So that kinda allowed me to be where I am today, how I support and guide my clients, knowing that there’s so many dynamics going on. There can be so many issues behind closed doors that may arise on the wedding day, may arise during the planning process because relationships aren’t always perfect. Even brides they kind of spill their guts in the dressing room, talking about how they’re really feeling about this process. Brides crying for breaking down in the dressing because things aren’t going right. I’ve sat in a dressing room with the bride while she was crying. So that definitely allowed me to recognize the human side of this process and the relationship side of this process, not just with the couple, but with some of the extended family members and trying to figure out ways to really address some of those issues with the family members.
I can’t necessarily fight their battles for them, but I can try my best to be their advocates as I had mentioned earlier. So, that definitely allow me to see some of the emotional and the mental side of the process.
Gillian de Souza: Well, I am so very impressed with this — that you can bring to the clients because again, as I said, you then continued on right now in your last discourse in terms of how you get into what the heart and the meat of what’s happening in somebody’s life and not just mechanical things. So that is wonderful.
I tell my grooms all the time that when they choose a wedding planner, it should be someone that they feel comfortable with, that they feel understands their vision, the kind of person that you can call at three o’clock in the morning, not that we are expecting you to call, but the kind of person that you plan for at three o’clock in the morning and have a cry session with to say, “I don’t know how to work out this problem.” And really all they needed was for somebody to hear them and it mightn’t be a sister, it mightn’t be a mother, it mightn’t even be a maid of honor. But it is somebody impartial that wouldn’t judge, that would just listen and half of the time they want a problem out just by talking it through.
Ebony Jones: Some of those emotional issues sometimes really has like a mechanical solution. There’s sometimes a solution to that issue, which is creating an emotional situation but there can be a solution and sometimes you need to talk that through, and then your planner can be that person that can provide that solution for you, especially if they know it’s a issue for you and your family.
Gillian de Souza: Well, I am going to put you on the spot, Ebony. I’m sorry. I’m putting you on the spot because most listeners will say, hearing you say that, “Oh, that wouldn’t happen in my family. My mom’s cool. My sister’s fine.” I see your face. So can you make it real? Give us an example of where — yes, you have one?
Ebony Jones: Okay. So, a couple, mother attended every meeting. Daughter and mother. The bride, the mother, the bride. Very sweet. Both very sweet. No real tension, no major relationship issues, anything like that. But a lot of people will usually have their own opinion.
And that opinion kinda conflict with the bride and groom’s request, the bride and groom needs. And sometimes that person’s opinion can weigh on the couple, especially if that’s your mom. Your mom’s opinion mean a lot to you. They may have been there through the process.
You want to try to please your mom. You all please, whomever. And a lot of times when bride are in that situation, they often wanna be people pleasers as well. And because of that, that can cause some type of tension or even just some emotional stress. It may not cause a fight, but it may some cause some emotional stressors and in a situation where this has happened, I’ve been able to provide the bride with some solutions that work for both her and mom, so they can either be on the same page or even another situation speaking up for the bride and letting mom know that this is how it’s gonna happen in a very polite way and ensuring that mom is not making the final decision in most situations.
Mom may not be making the final decision and letting her know on the day of, if mom doesn’t see you do your bridal bouquet toss, it has already happened, and it’s okay. I’ll make sure mom is okay. Make sure, you know she’s having a good time. But it can happen. It may not be a fight over something simple, but it can be some disagreement that cause emotional stress.
Gillian de Souza: Yes, yes. I’ve seen it happen over and over and what’s good about a great planner audience is that they keep that at bay for all of your vendors so your vendors don’t have to feel the stress and tension, “I can do the job.”
And so you sort of absorb the shock. When the bride and groom have chosen to be their own planners, because somebody’s got to do work, they’ve decided not to hire somebody, so they’ve got to do it themselves when they have no experience doing it, when they have no playbook for it. They’re just doing what they think is best, which half of the time, most of the things aren’t the best ways to go, and you just don’t know.
But when that happens then all of the tension that could occur — and it doesn’t have to be a negative tension, but it’s a tension that’s there — all of the vendors feel it and now all of a sudden you don’t know, “Can I do this? Can I do that? Is this gonna cause a problem?” And we have nobody to run that by and so everybody’s just kind of like — it’s like flailing. It just doesn’t come together in a congeal fashion. And I think most couples don’t necessarily see that until you share it with them that this can happen at your event or any other things can happen.
Ebony Jones: I’m sure you know, there’s so many things that can happen that the client never knows about.
Gillian de Souza: Never knows. Absolutely.
Ebony Jones: Never knows. They have no clue.
Gillian de Souza: I always tell my bride and grooms, if something happens at your wedding, on the day of the wedding is not funny. In a week’s time, when you come back from your honeymoon or whatever, you laugh about it, but at that time when you are working it out, it is not fun and there is best laid plans, something will go awry.
You know you have the DJ in one spot. He needs to move to another spot for some reason. But then it throws off the kick and it throws off the band and it throws off because —
Ebony Jones: Exactly. The whole power goes out. The DJ needs more outlets. Where is the DJ gonna go? The DJ doesn’t have enough cords and they never know. If they have a planner, they will never know.
Gillian de Souza: Yes, Yes. A funny story was, I was fortunate enough to do a wedding for one young lady and then her sister came, was getting married and came back to us to do her wedding as well. And the sister said, “Well, I don’t think I need a wedding planner, because my sister had one and it didn’t look like she had much to do, that she was doing anything.”
I said, “That’s because she was a great planner.” She got things done well. She came up smelling like a rose. But it’s just like that duck on the lake, everything’s calm here, but she’s doing all of this in the background. You don’t know that, that’s going on in order to make it look so smooth. Cuz doesn’t matter what happens in the back as long as the front of the house, where the guests are, where the client is, is going smoothly. So I said it is not that you didn’t need a coordinator. You had such a good coordinator that you didn’t notice anything going array.
It’s only when I explained that to her that she realized, “Oh, I do need somebody.” I must tell that story more often. It actually occurred and she did get a plan and actually I must look up, she did write a note after thanking us for making her see the light of that because in the meantime of planning her wedding, she saw another friend planning a wedding who was pulling her hero.
Another friend of hers was planning a wedding at the same time without a coordinator. She said, “Thank you for setting me on the right path.”
Ebony Jones: That helps too. They’ve seen the process for another bride that maybe went through a lot. People come to me knowing I’m a planner, talking to me about someone’s wedding they went to, or talking to me about their friend that’s going through the process.
So if they know someone that they, like you said, going crazy, that helps as well. But that is a good point. Know the things that were going wrong or they had it together.
Gillian de Souza: Correct. It had it so together. Well, my dear? We have come to the end and I’m so sad to stop because I know that there’s so much more I can ask you.
We may have to come back for a part two because there’s so much more on my list that we could talk about that we can help our brides and grooms with. So before we go, is there anything that you would like to leave the audience with from Ebony Jones at My Stylish Event?
Ebony Jones: When you’re considering a planner, consider what you need a planner for. Be sure that you understand your needs so that when you do hire a planner that you are actually allowing your planner to execute on those needs that they promise. So that you’re not wasting your money.
Oftentimes, brides want to be so involved in the process, but there’s a planner that already said that this is included in your services and you wanna make sure you enjoy the process. So we want you to enjoy the process as well. So just be sure that you know your needs and focus on your event.
Gillian de Souza: That is wonderful advice and you said something that I want to repeat. I wrote it down when you said it because I thought it was so good. Brides and grooms listen up. There is so much that goes on behind those pretty details because all you see is the pretty details and you want this for your wedding and you want that for your wedding, you have the pretty details, but to get those pretty details like this, there’s a whole worse of things that have to go on behind the scenes that’s behind those pretty things. And you need Ebony Jones to get you there. So guys, we’ve been talking with Ebony, as you know, and she has one last thought for you. It’s so important. So bride and grooms listen up. Ebony.
Ebony Jones: Yes. So making sure that the bride and grooms throughout the planning process, being sure that the planner is making sure that you are not solely focused on wedding details, making sure that your life is not being consumed by wedding details. Are you still going on dates?
Are you able to feed yourself spiritually? Are you talking about the wedding at your dates? That’s a big no. Taking that time for yourself to really pour into your relationship with your partner, continue to pour into relationships with your family members. Being sure that every time you’re with your mom or your family members that is not all wedding talk, to be able to relax and still enjoy this time because the most important part of this time is getting to the wedding and celebrating your love, and you want to still be fulfilled and spiritually and emotionally leading up to that timeframe.
Gillian de Souza: Fantastic! Great, great, great advice. Thank you so much, Ebony.
Ebony Jones: You’re welcome. Thank you.
Gillian de Souza: Thank you so much Ebony, for your time. It was a pleasure talking with you and you are very welcome. Folks, this has been Ebony Jones of My Stylish Event. Thank you so much for joining us. We see you soon!