We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Harris and Mallory Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan & Mallory, what do you attribute your success to?
When we started Marmaros Productions, we didn’t know much about the wedding industry at all. The only thing we knew was that we loved weddings, planning, and helping others. Through our experience in coordination of stage productions, we realized we worked well together and held similar interests in wedding planning. These passions turned into a business foundation and dream. From there, we began networking as much as possible to meet couples who needed wedding support. We network in a variety of ways, whether it be through engaging others on social media, listening to new couples’ love stories, or seeking counsel from other professionals that entered the field years before us. Even today, networking is one of the most valuable contributors of Marmaros’ success. We began through networking and we will continue to grow through networking.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It’s no secret that Marmaros Productions stands out from other planning companies. First of all, we don’t limit contact with our clients. In fact, we encourage them to reach out to us whenever they have a question or concern. Most other planners in our industry only truly work with their clients 1-2 months out from the wedding day – that’s just not something we feel comfortable doing. We’re committed to being there from day one so we can know your wedding better than you do. Currently, we are in our fourth year of business and can already look back and see how far we’ve come. It certainly hasn’t been easy. Marmaros was built in the confusing aftermath of college graduation, where full-time wedding planning just wasn’t a financial option. While building Marmaros from the ground-up, Megan worked at a popular wedding venue for two years and completed 80 weddings in that time. Mallory works at a company that produces video game tournaments, broadcasts, and expositions. As you can imagine, working two jobs presented challenges both personally and professionally. In 2019, we both struggled to keep our full-time employers happy while also growing Marmaros. Personal sacrifices had to be made to keep our business running like a well-oiled machine. Although last year was difficult, we learned that communication is key. Our roles have evolved and work outside looks different than in 2019, but we still keep an open line of communication between us. This helps us know where one of us is struggling and where the other can step in and help to get the task completed. This lesson learned last year has been a building block for Marmaros. Beyond our own jobs, we want the world to know that our couples are our first love! They are why we started Marmaros. Beyond the jobs, responsibilities, and plans…beyond it all – We do this for the amazing couples. For every couple who has come to us and has booked Marmaros, we have done a little happy dance knowing that we get to be a part of their wedding day! We strive to get to know our couples and form a friendship so that when they have babies or buy a house or move states, we can remain connected. It is our joy to share in those big life moments!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We are always up for a fun experience that includes good food & drinks, so we would likely build an itinerary around some of our favorite restaurants. One of our favorite local spots is a family-owned restaurant – Mojitos. Let’s say it’s a Friday evening and we have visitors coming in town, this would be the first place we would take them to try to forget about the work week and kick off the weekend. Named after mojitos, this restaurant truly has the best mojitos one can find. Since Mojitos is local to us, it would be a great place to grab dinner before heading to see whatever show is at the fabulous Fox Theatre in downtown Atlanta. The historic theater was built as a movie theater in 1929 but is now the home to Broadway in Atlanta (not to mention we grew up going to watch the Nutcracker there at Christmas time too). After enjoying the show, we would walk across the street to the Georgian Terrace Hotel and go to the bar to discuss the show over some drinks! Fun fact – the Georgian Terrace Hotel houses the venue that our first ever wedding was in, The Livingston, whenever we walk by we peek inside and remember that incredible day. If we had theoretical visitors staying with us all weekend long, we would want to show them what makes Atlanta truly Atlanta. We think one of the best ways to enjoy Atlanta is to be a tourist – even if it is your own city. Years ago, Mallory took out of town family on a trolley tour of Atlanta and to this day it is still a fond memory of hers. On the trolley tours of Atlanta, you learn fun facts and history about every area of town. Best of all – the trolley tour ends right in front of the Chick-fil-A on Marietta Street. We think this is a must since Chick-fil-A originated in Georgia and who doesn’t love some nuggets and waffle fries right?! After lunch, we would take our visitors to the World of Coke or the GA Aquarium (or both if time allowed)! Both of these locations are staples for Atlanta and before you say “I can go to an aquarium anywhere” – think again because you haven’t seen the majesty of the one in Georgia. To close out the night, we would take our guests to a concert at the Tabernacle (Mallory dreams to do a wedding there one day). Another reason we love this venue is the history behind it – a 109-year-old church converted to a venue just really has an incredible ambiance. Everyone gets a little hungry after a concert, so we would take our guests to Waffle House across the street. Another brand born in Atlanta, it is truly a late night must! Before heading home for the night we would take our guests to the Atlanta Ferris Wheel to see the city lit up at night and to leave a lasting impression on our guests so they can remember the spectacular day they had! Since the second day with our weekend visitors was so packed, we would take the final day easy. We would spend the majority of the day browsing through the Atlanta Beltline (what used to be the railway tracks now turned into a pedestrian walking path). We would start by looking at the little shops within Krog Street Market and then walk the beltline until we got to Ponce City Market. The land of Ponce City Market has seen lots of different businesses, but the building we know today is actually a Sears building from 1926 that has been converted into an indoor market. We would spend the morning browsing the shops and tasting different foods throughout the market. At some point, we would take our guests up to the roof, which houses a little amusement park and also was the location of one of our first weddings! Following Ponce City Market, we would catch a matinee show that Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre (TMBT) is premiering. TMBT was founded by Megan & Mallory’s local dance role models and we absolutely adore seeing the pieces they create! To wrap up the day, we would head to Acworth and get some food from Henry’s Louisiana Grill. We discovered this restaurant in college and to this day we still find every excuse to go back – just thinking about their Chicken Ooh La La has us drooling! Whether we are planning an action-packed weekend, bridal shower, or wedding we make sure that every detail has been planned thoughtfully, personally, and intricately!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It is so important to have people in your corner when you have a business. First, we want to recognize the 65 couples who have entrusted us with their big day so far, but a special shout out to Mara Mandradjieff Bennett, who was the very first person to entrust us with her wedding. She saw our passion. She trusted our support. Because of her, we got our start in the business and were able to grow from there. Once we started the business, the first person to get behind us and support us was friend Catherine from Catherine Cansler Photography. We first met her when she shot the wedding day of one of our founders. Before ever working with us in a vendor relationship, she referred us to her sister, who was newly engaged Catherine’s sister became one of our clients in our first year of business. In our fourth year, Catherine still continues to recommend us to her brides! Two years ago, we found a podcast called Weddings For Real where the host, Megan Gillikin, brings on wedding pros to share their expertise and successes. We had the opportunity to work one-on-one with Megan, where she helped us examine our business. She gave us this opportunity within months of us listening to her podcast. Since then, she has launched The Planner’s Vault, where planners from around the world have access to helpful documents, educational webinars, and a space to congregate and discuss the planning industry (super helpful in a COVID world!). These two things have really been pivotal in our business to help us learn and grow in ways that we didn’t think were possible!
Catherine Cansler Photography, Christina J Massad Creative, SPR Photography, Ashlyn Cathey Photography