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Check Out Maureen Renée’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maureen Renée.

Hi Maureen, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?

My passion for hospitality started at a young age. I thrived on the hustle and bustle of the restaurant scene for years, which I believe gave me an invaluable perspective on what it means to create a memorable experience with the simplicity of great service. Those formative years in the restaurant industry across Saint Louis lit the spark to pursue a career in the hospitality and events industry.

During my junior year of undergrad at Saint Louis University, I realized that the forensic psychology degree I was pursuing wasn’t the right path. During my senior year, I completed as many business classes as I could fit into my schedule and decided to go full force into the world of weddings upon graduation (I still put that psych degree to good use!). Soon after graduation, I began interning with a local wedding and events company in their early stages. Quickly, I knew the wedding industry is where I wanted to be!

I was promoted soon thereafter to work with clients during the last few months of their planning process. Getting to know my clients through those years proved pivotal, as I learned the importance of my role on such an emotional and important day. As a wedding planner, I become so much more than a service provider to my clients. Often a sounding board, you become a close friend to them through the process.

I continued working my way up at the company, becoming a lead designer within a few short years. From there, I was able to work with clients who trusted both my creative vision as well as my prowess for planning. During these years, my experience ranged from private dinner parties to executing elaborate multi-day destination wedding weekends. I spent the evenings taking night classes and completed my Masters in Public Relations and Media Communications, which led to double-duty as the Director of Marketing at the company. I was honored to have my work and marketing efforts featured in various national publications like Vogue, Martha Stewart Weddings, and BRIDES Magazine.

Near the end of 2018, as the company was scaling back, I knew that my time was coming to an end there. It was during my search for my next opportunity that I was approached by a previous client, Porter Braswell (CEO, Jopwell, NYC), who was so impressed with the flawless planning of his own wedding, that he & his wife offered to partner and invest as I navigated a new business venture. As 2019 began, I opened Maureen Renée Events, my own luxury wedding design and event planning firm. Porter and Juliana have been such a support during what was such a tender time. Leaving my previous company after a five-year tenure was difficult and proved to be one of the most crucial moments for me both personally and professionally.

I am proud on the eve of the third anniversary of the company that I have since been named ‘Best Wedding Planner’ by Ladue News and honored by The Knot with their ‘Best Of’ wedding award. While 2020 and a majority of 2021 have been the most challenging of my career due to COVID-19, I know that it is only onward and upward from here. I’m excited for the couples who will tie the knot with MRE in 2022 and honored that they’ve entrusted us to be a part of it.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Being from Saint Louis, I know that no road is ever smooth – there are always a few potholes hidden in there! I believe my journey has been just the same. I truly have had amazing opportunities over the span of my career from traveling across the world to learn from the wedding industry’s top minds to working with clients from across the country who put their trust in me to bring their wedding day to life.

But, with great opportunity comes much responsibility. The wedding industry is not for the faint of heart! While what is seen on the outside is glitz and glam, behind the curtain is a high-pressure job that requires an extremely high level of execution. We promise perfection to our clients, so come hell or high water, we will make that happen. It can be a struggle to keep up with that level of expectation – not to mention, 16-hour wedding days on your feet!

2020 proved to be the biggest struggle of most wedding professionals’ careers. The restrictions on gatherings pushed many clients to postpone and reschedule their celebrations, making many of us planners do double the work. Coupling that with the increased supply chain issues, I know that 2022 will still see some of those after-effects. As a business owner, I learn more and more each year about how to really run my business and all the work that takes place behind the scenes.

It seems those potholes are lesser each year – so, I’m trying to keep it that way!

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
As a trusted wedding planner and designer of luxury events, Maureen Renée Events is known for its client relationship and hospitality focus. I pride myself on having a fresh and distinctive design aesthetic, steadfast attention to detail, and an unmatched passion for the hospitality industry. We are known for a white-glove level service for any and all celebrations – private events, anniversaries, birthdays, and certainly weddings.

I’ve spent the last years developing a detailed and process-driven approach to my services, which allows our clients to truly enjoy the entire experience. The process begins with truly getting to know my clients – what makes them who they are as a couple. Learning about their vision and style allows me to create a truly unique event that reflects their personalities.

Some ask if I’m a wedding planner or a wedding designer – the simple answer is that I am both! Not only am I focused on the logistics of the day, but also in the creative direction of the day aesthetically from Save the Dates to the last dance. Our ideal client puts a high value on the visual look of their event and the experience of their guests.

And finally, I believe that my authenticity sets us apart from others. I am committed to creating collaborative and trusted relationships with my clients. It has been the biggest compliment of all to have clients I worked with nearly ten years ago seek out my new business to work with me!  It’s most humbling and such an honor to work with families who want you to be a piece of so many of their special occasions.  And above all else, I want my clients (and the vendors I work with!) to have FUN working with me and my team on the day of the event!

How can people work with you, collaborate with you, or support you?
We currently have a few weekends left for 2022 weddings or events and are booking for 2023!, too. We do take on a limited number of full-service clients per year, which allows us to keep our service offerings at their highest level. If you’re in need of planning or design services, you can inquire on our website, maureenreneeevents.com.

We also offer creative and consulting services for brands that are interested in bringing a higher level of hospitality to their next event or pop-up. With so much experience in the restaurant industry, I love offering to help with new restaurant concepts, menus, or branding. Need custom gift boxes for a corporate event? We can do that, too!

And finally, as a designer, I’m constantly sketching new ideas for my clients (think stage backdrop or floral arrangements). So, I’m also able to sketch for fellow creatives in the industry that need help leveling up their design services or for those looking for a unique gift – like a sketch of a couple’s new home, wedding cake, or special wedding memory! You can check out The Wedding Sketch Shop on our website, too.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Mattea LinAe Photography, Ehrhand Brunch, Kate Hargis Photography, Hailey Chris, Lauren Muckler Photography Shannon Duggan Photography, and Catherine Rhodes Photography

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