Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Sironen-Massey.
Hi Amber, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
As many young people in life, I had no serious direction on “what I wanted to be when I grew up.” I went to a state college and majored in Communication Studies, which is often the butt of many jokes. I knew that I could and enjoyed writing and I was never a shy person, so public speaking didn’t spark the fear in me as it did in others.
As I continued to meet people within my classes many women would state they wanted to be wedding planners.
I scoff to myself, “uh, wedding planners? So predictable.” I desperately wanted to work in Radio and plan large events. I wanted to plan concerts and festivals. I wanted to be behind the scenes and organize these large-scale events. That was my dream.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Communication Sciences in 2008, right as the recession hit. I applied for every radio job in the country I could find. I traveled to West Palm Beach for an interview because someone finally agreed to meet with me. Still, no work to be found. At that time, many large radio corporations were downsizing and blending radio stations so that the team on one station would voice multiple stations and also their promotions/ event planning departments.
So, I did what most young women do when they can’t find the job of their dreams; wait tables. I worked at a local restaurant and a winery, which is where I met my (now) husband.
Through the years I finally worked my way into sales and event planning. Small scale, food-focused events. I worked for many different restaurants and fine-tuned my skills of event planning, and on a more personal note, in my own kitchen. I fell in love with the restaurant industry. The ability to create experiences from an event and from a culinary perspective really appealed to me. I learned to mix and craft cocktails. I learned to pair wines with all types of cuisine. I became more effective in my event planning skills and crafted non-conventional events.
At this point, my husband and I had been together for 11 years. A year previously, I received my certification of ministry and became solemnized by the State of Ohio for my current job. I had done a handful of weddings and was learning the wedding industry from a more personal side and not such an event mindset.
These couples wanted something simple. They wanted to get married and enjoy the day to themselves or with a few loved ones. But these days still seemed stressful and very cookie-cutter. I could see that couples wanted a bit more than just “let’s get married.”
In 2019, my husband and I decided to get married. We discussed the idea of eloping because the “wedding parts” weren’t important to us. Throwing a big wedding with all our friends sounded like a blast, but the cost of hosting something along those lines was out of the question. We decided to invite our immediate families for an intimate “elopement.”
I found a bed and breakfast in the area to host the event. They had a package that included everything we needed, and they had a restaurant on site. Ideally, it was perfect. I wanted a location that would handle all the details because when you plan events for a living, planning your own is just more work.
The experience was a disaster. From the moment we paid our deposit we had nothing but issues. Our event coordinator quit, as well as her husband, who was the chef at the bed and breakfast. After trying to desperately contact her, I finally found out by calling the establishment. I spoke to the owner, who would still not admit that she quit but reassured me that she would handle our booking, which was 2 months away. The establishment suggested a photographer, which we also were unable to contact until weeks before the wedding.
The day we were to depart to our “elopement” (the day before the actual wedding), we received a call from their guest services team noting that they had to cancel our massages on the day of our wedding due to lack of staffing as one technician was dealing with the death of her husband. They apologized profusely, which our response was, of course, cancel the massages. We totally understood that the death of a loved one came first before our spa services. At that time, we were notified that they were trying to find someone to marry us as well. I stated I knew exactly who was marrying us as we were already notified, which then we were told that the man that was to marry us, was the husband of the spa technician.
Oh boy. Ok.
And downhill it went from there. I asked that the owner be there upon our arrival to go over any missing details so we could rectify any issues before our “big” day. That’s when we were told that the owner left the country. . .
Due to this experience, I decided, “Hey. I can do WAY better than this. If this is what couples are experiencing, then the industry has to change.” I had enough event planning experience to know how to move forward. I had enough experience performing weddings that I knew what was expected and how I thought it could be changed to make it better. And, through my years of customer service, I knew how to create a true experience and offer something that people didn’t even know they needed.
And then, at that moment, Epic Elopements rose like a phoenix from my wedding day ashes.
We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It’s been fairly smooth. Many people see what I’m doing and are intrigued and want that intimate day, but still, want 100 people. We do not, under any circumstances, offer our events for more than 50 people.
But, other than that, it’s been pretty great.
As you know, we’re big fans of Epic Elopements. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about the brand?
Our business turns your wedding day into a true experience. We talk to our clients and let them guide us on what they need from us and how they see their day coming to life.
We are a support system for those who have friends for family who bully couples into having a wedding they didn’t want. Your wedding day is supposed to be about you and your partner, not what your family wants, right?
We think we are right. And now more than ever, with the rising costs of event spaces & food, Pinterest ideas, and Instagram photoshoots, it’s easy to get carried away and plan a giant wedding. But, at the end of the day, our couples don’t want that. They start planning these weddings and realize the cost and how the day is going to be and the chaos of the dynamic of all those people in one place, and realize, HEY, THIS ISN’T FOR ME.
Readers should know that we are experienced, trustworthy, we are a guide for what is practical, and we will make a moment that should be so special between the two of you, about YOU and no one else.
We offer inclusive packages so that you literally don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to. Once we send you a quote, your wedding is planned. Done. Then you show up, you look amazing, you get married, and you go off to your happy married life, and let us take care of the details.
Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
When people leave reviews telling us how easy we made everything for them. That is was beautiful and amazing. When couples tell us that the best thing that they did though this whole process was to call us.
When I send out questionaries to couples (that they fill out so we can customize a ceremony for them) and see the responses that are so full of love and friendship. Many people don’t get to see those intimate details of a relationship, and it’s so great to see the happiness that others carry.
Working in customer service for so many years, it’s so common for people to just complain about the smallest detail that doesn’t really matter.
These weddings. Weddings that are truly about the couple, and seeing them so happy because they are dealing with the stress of their bridesmaids, or Mother-in-Law complaining about the cake or the chicken dance, or whatever the hell people do these days, THAT, is what makes me happy. Because it’s real.
- Website: www.epicallyelope.com
- Instagram: epic.elopements
- Facebook: Epic Elopements Ohio
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