It was a chance opportunity in April 2016 when I met Mona Dunlap. I was shooting a prior bridesmaid’s wedding, and she was the planner. I was absolutely blown away by the fantastic attention to detail that Mona laid out for that day. She and her crew were absolutely on top of everything, and it was perfect. I knew from that moment forward; she was a wedding planner that I would love to work with every weekend, and over the past few years, I have been so incredibly blessed with the opportunity to shoot many weddings with Mona and her outstanding crew.
Mona has shown me truly how a business in this industry should be run; with passion, excitement, precision, and love for your clients. If you genuinely love your business and take pride in your work, every detail will be perfect.
I cannot wait to share her story with you. Her wisdom from being in the wedding industry for over 25 years is unmistakable. – Ann-Marie
“The best advice I could give any bride would be not to get caught up in the details but focus on the reason for the celebration. Having a great planner is a huge part of that. I do not know what we would have done without Mona Dunlap. She absolutely made that possible for us.” – Sarah Hearn Sexton
“Twenty-five years ago, I retired from pharmaceuticals due to the amount of time it required me to be away from my two-year-old. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to have a job that allowed me to make my own schedule and be at home with my children more. I began putting flowers together for some friends’ weddings in my downtime. It was then that I realized how large the weddings were in Memphis, but how little coordination there was. I decided that I needed to put the flowers down and start helping families coordinate their weddings. I began hiring the best floral people in town to do the flowers and hired out all of the rest of the work to other local vendors that I trusted. It has been a fantastic job for the stay-at-home-mom lifestyle that I was looking for. I feel so blessed to have been able to do all of the things I love without ever having to short my kids or my business.” – Mona
“The learning curve that comes with planning a wedding is so large, and you only get one shot. Almost all of the mothers that I work with come to me in our first meeting and are frantic because they don’t know the answers to any of the questions people are asking. A wedding is an enormous investment for one day. There is a lot that goes into it. Trying to take care of everything that goes into a wedding without someone with the wisdom to help guide you is like trying to build a house with no builder. Having done this for twenty-five years now, I have sculpted a team of vendors that I refer my clients to, and they are the ones that really make me look good. By the end of my first meeting with a client, I can see a calmness come over the mother that wasn’t there before. Knowing the correct way to go about planning is key. If the wedding is scheduled to be a year away, I give the bride one or two things to work on until we meet again and then I designate a couple more things. A month before the wedding, the bride and her family are so surprised that they don’t have anything to worry about and they can relax and enjoy the wedding month the way that they should.” – Mona
“People ask me all the time how I keep coming up with these ideas. My brides are my inspiration. When I meet with them, I dig deep. I want to know how they met their fiancé, what they do for a living, what their favorite restaurant is. I look at the way they’re dressed. I may go to their home and see how they move and groove at home. I look at their jewelry to see if they prefer gold to platinum or silver. Paying attention to these minute details helps create the exact feeling that I want a bride to have when she sees the final product. I want it to be perfect for her in every way. After meeting with clients and talking about the ideas they have in mind for the wedding, I soak on it for a little while, and the design evolves on its own. It’s like putting a puzzle together, and the puzzle takes a lot of time and thought. I don’t stop working on the puzzle until I can see each detail and placement clearly in my mind. Most of the time, ideas will hit me while I’m driving down the road, in the shower, or cause me to shoot out of bed in the middle of the night. When that perfect puzzle piece idea hits me, I know immediately that that’s what I need to do.” – Mona
“I am especially thankful for my mom and Mona Dunlap. I brought a few ideas to them early on in the planning, but they ran with them and brought them to life better than I ever imagined! They are two of the most creative people I know, and they made the entire planning process as well as the wedding day so fun and relaxed”. – Kimberly Gibson Rolfe
“Everyone needs to have a budget. Most people don’t come to me with a budget because they have no idea what stuff costs. I guide each client that I have into a budget, and then we try to stay close to that. I may offer them options outside of the budget, but it’s up to them if they choose to forego them or not. Having a budget helps people navigate through the whole process much easier. My job is to help create the most incredible day for their daughter without any parents having to sell their furniture.” – Mona
“Weddings and events, in general, have really grown over the twenty-five years I’ve been involved with them. The details and traditions that our culture has adopted over the years make the day so special and personal. It is vital that I keep up with the trends and keep my clients’ weddings very modern, while also sticking to the traditions that we all know and love. Providing a unique backdrop for friends and family to take pictures at has become something I try to include in wedding receptions now. I also try to incorporate as much soft seating as I can. Soft seating makes the wedding seem younger and more comfortable. The grandparents also love them. It provides a new way to seat people without taking away from the aesthetic.” – Mona
“Mona.Freaking.Dunlap. I’m speechless. Her attention to detail and knowledge of wedding planning is unparalleled. She made my wedding visions come to life in a way I couldn’t have dreamed!” – Amelia Brown Williamson
“This is my work. It’s like painting a canvas. It has made me who I am today. I have loved learning how to be a better mother from working with moms. Watching them be patient with their daughters, watching them really lean in and listen, watching them work hard to make something happen that was important to their daughter, has been such a blessing. To watch these mothers love their daughters in a way when planning weddings has taught me more about how to be a good and gracious mother than I ever could have been otherwise. When I am working with a client, I want a mom that wants a teammate. It works best that way, and it ends up being a lot more fun! The brides are always so precious. There is rarely ever a bride that I see in her wedding dress that doesn’t make me tear up.” – Mona
“I have always said that my last wedding is my best advertisement. I am strictly referral. My team does our very best at every single wedding we do, no matter the budget. That is how I plan for my future. That is my investment.” – Mona