By: Courtney Murphy
Google “Wedding planners, Greensboro, NC” and you will receive pages and pages of results. It can be a tad overwhelming even to find someone to orchestrate an event that is already overwhelming to plan. If you are lucky enough to stumble across Michelle Wright, then your path to a beautiful event just got a lot easier.
I had a lot of fun talking to Michelle. She is a girl after my own heart. A CPA who felt an urge to exercise the more creative part of her brain. Since the coupling of creativity and accounting typically end in divorce (see: Enron, AIG, Lehman Brothers, etc), she wisely put her creative talents to use by being the official party planner for her firm. At the end of an audit job, she would show up with goodie baskets. If there was an office party, she was in charge, pulling out all of the stops. Christmas, birthdays, you name it. She had her creative outlet to get her through the more mundane tasks of being an accountant.
It was a daunting idea to leave the stable world and paycheck of accounting to try to make a career change into wedding planning. So, she stuck the idea up on a shelf and continued crunching numbers.
That all changed when her best friend was diagnosed with an aggressive throat cancer and died within 6 months. She realized that fear was holding her back from the life she wanted to live. She now possessed this newfound and very tangible understanding that life is short. Living your short life in fear can be… shortsighted. She took a deep breath and a leap of faith to start her business, taking care to gently mold her brand in order to set herself apart from the pages of Google search results.
What exactly makes Michelle unique? First, her passion and energy about her life and career shone right through, even over the wireless phone lines. Traits that will prove worthy in the exhausting trip to the perfect wedding.
Second, you need to book her quickly as she only takes 10 – 12 brides per year. She is fully committed to making each event more of an experience that is representative of the bride and the groom and their journey together. She wants to capture their relationship and share it with their friends and family on their wedding day. This is not a wholesale, one size fits all operation she is running. Planning a wedding is a long process and she wants each bride to have a peaceful journey down the path to her special day.
Finally, she has a good heart….she is empathetic not only to stressed out brides but also to community issues. She lets each bride pick out a charity to which she donates a portion of her planning fee. I doubt many wedding planners offer that opportunity. And, of course, high on that list of proposed organizations is Backpack Beginnings.
Michelle’s relationship with BackPack Beginnings began on a flight. She read an article about a backpack program in California. “It boggled my mind and broke my heart to think of these children going without food.” She searched for almost a year before she stumbled across BackPack Beginnings. She is excited and thrilled to be a sponsor for the K5K. And K5K and BackPack Beginnings are thrilled to have her energetic support.
At the end of an entertaining conversation, I asked her if she would participate in the race. I obviously wasn’t thinking straight with a Saturday summer race date and her commitment to her occupation. Her immediate response? “Of course! If I don’t have a wedding.”