Life of a Planner

Timeline Genius: Tara Jones

Timeline Geniuses,

Do we have a touching story for you today: We all know that sometimes our clients drive us crazy, but at the end of the day, they are the meaning in our work. We do it all for them. And every now and then, we get so lucky, our clients lift us up and inspire us.

Sometimes the timing of this sunshine is exactly what we need. Tara Jones of Simply Southern Weddings & Events shared a very personal story with us, that she has given us permission to share with you.

On Christmas Eve of 2015, Tara’s mom went into sudden cardiac arrest, and after being in a coma for four days the neurologist confirmed that there was no brain activity. Tara, her brother, and her sister had to make the hardest decision of their lives: to remove the woman who had been with them their whole lives from life support. Their mom was buried on New Years Eve. The holidays would never ever be the same.

From Tara:

“Upon returning home from the funeral, I was tasked with going through all of her important details since both my brother and sister worked outside their homes. While doing so, I came across a lot of her journals she wrote from the time we were all teens. Some made me laugh and reminded me of a lot of happy memories I had unfortunately forgotten; while others made me cry as she poured her heart out about tragedies she experienced, how our rebellious teen years drove her insane, and hardships we never even knew she was going through. The thought of that hit me hard.

It was during this time that I was trying to decide whether or not I wanted to move forward with my wedding planning business. Mainly because I knew no vendors and I hadn’t even begun to start advertising in VA, then I saw Amanda’s post.”

Amanda and Ryan were looking for a wedding planner through a Facebook wedding group. Tara responded to her post, and the two hit it off immediately. Tara describes her bride as incredibly sweet and extremely bubbly, and took to calling her “my Ray of Sunshine”, a nickname that has stuck to this day.

“I am and will always be thankful for finding her post because when she hired me, it pulled me out of mourning and jumped started my desire to continue my passion of helping brides have their dream weddings.

After driving to Leesburg to officially meet her, Ryan and her parents, and touring the beautiful Rust Manor, I was so thrilled to be back in the game! This wedding will always have a special place in my heart because it helped me realize that no matter what tragedy we are going through, we can’t allow it to alter our true passions. Even though we have to put it on the back burner for a small period of time, we need to never let it escape our minds.

I can’t imagine where my thought process would be right now had it not been for this wedding and my Ray of Sunshine!”

We’re thrilled for Amanda and Ryan of course, but also for Tara, who, with the help of love and sunshine, was able to continue growing her business even through the hardest of days.

This is why we love wedding planners and want to support all they do! We see so much strength, kindness, and love in our industry, and that makes it all worthwhile. Enjoy some photos from this very special day, captured by Samantha Martin: