New Job Means More Time with Family
by Carmen Clark
Sarah Greathouse has always been a party planner. In 6th grade, her teacher gave everyone a certificate for their strengths, and Sarah was Organizational Guru, always volunteering to take on the class party. Despite not being into clubs or groups or cliques in high school, Sarah found a home in leadership, where they planned all the high school events, including prom. Sarah was about to enter a teaching credentialing program when she was hired to work at a local resort, where she fell into the wedding coordination world. When she got laid off due to the crash of 2008, she said, “It was like being dumped by a boyfriend that you were in love with,” clearly, Sarah had fallen in love with wedding planning.
Watching her talk about it, her smile is wide and lights up her face. It’s hard not to smile too.
Eventually, the resort hired her back on, but in a sales position, and though it was a better paycheck, it wasn’t her passion. Sarah would find herself listening in on the planner and prospective clients, wishing she was part of the conversation.
Because of the sales position, Sarah felt like she missed the early years with her firstborn, so when the second one came around, and she was negotiating terms to return to work, she realized they could double her salary, and it still wouldn’t be enough. Getting fired the first time around gave Sarah the realization that there is no such thing as security, you can be a great employee and do all the right things, and something like 2008 can bring it all down, so why go back to a job that took her away from her family? She quit, and then, in attending a friend’s wedding, the term ‘Day Of Coordinating’ came up. Like a lightbulb, it lit her whole world.
Sarah is very aware of how privileged she was in even getting to quit and thankful that she had her husband and parents to support her.
A Paper Flower Wedding, so what’s in the name? For one, Sarah had paper flowers at her wedding, and secondly, she wanted something that would “attract a DIY style bride or a nontraditional bride that probably wouldn’t be looking for a planner.” Sarah’s Day Of Coordinating business focuses on people who want the actual wedding day and the rehearsal before it to go smoothly without the bride herself or any of the family members to be in charge. No one wants to be reminded every Thanksgiving that they botched the timing on a sister’s wedding!
Sarah manages setting up, breaking down, running logistics, and keeping track of time, basically, she’s the first to arrive and the last to leave.
While most would think starting a business takes away from family life, Sarah made it work around her motherhood. She worked during naps or late into the night and started off slowly. The first year she had four weddings, but every year her business has grown; this year, exceeding her 22 wedding limit by 11 because of the COVID pause on weddings.
Sarah hopes she and her husband, who also left a job to pursue his passion, model to their children that following a dream and finding fulfillment in what one does is important in life. Sarah says it kind of backfires on her; when chores come up, they’ll clap back with, “But your work is fun; I don’t like doing this, you like doing your work.” And it’s true, Sarah loves her work, “Even when it’s hard…I get to go to parties as my job, being around loving, happy, excited people on the best day of their life…it’s very infectious”.
Sarah now offers lighting for events, so if you need a Day Of wedding coordinator or spiffy outdoor lighting, check her out at apaperflowerwedding.com