I was inspired by my new friend Kelly at LeslieJames Events to share a little bit about the Riley Lou name and how the company came to be.
Riley Lou Events was officially founded in January 2021, but my love for events and celebrations began way before. I have always loved celebrations of all sorts! My mom and other family members always made my birthday seem so special and like such a big deal. Probably a perk of the only child life! When I started dating my husband (I was 14 and he was 15) I started planning birthday parties for him, then I started planning my sister-in-law's birthdays. Nothing extravagant, but still celebrations to make them feel special. Then I started helping with other celebrations like graduations, birthdays for other family members, and surprise 50th birthday parties for both of my parents. That just kept evolving into helping with more parties. Then I got to the age where I was being asked to be a bridesmaid or maid of honor for friends and family. I have had the honor of being a bridesmaid or maid/matron of honor in six weddings. So that opened the door to bridal showers, lingerie showers, bachelorette parties, and weddings. Then in 2009 I planned my own wedding! We were living in Lubbock and I was planning a wedding in Dripping Springs, so I definitely had some challenges, but I loved it. We had a beautiful wedding and I really enjoyed wedding planning. Look at these babies, my husband was 21 and I was 20.
A few years after our wedding my husband and I finished college and moved back to the Central Texas area. We are both from the Central Texas area and my husband has a family business here. I began my career as an elementary school teacher. I had considered wedding planning as a career when I was younger, but I ending up going the education route instead. Teaching is rewarding, but it extremely challenging. I learned a lot, developed many great skills, and made some amazing friends during my time as a teacher. When I got pregnant with my second my husband and I started exploring the idea of me staying home and trying to do some work from home type job. Our daughter was going to be 2 months old when the school year started and we both hated the idea of putting such a tiny baby in daycare. We were lucky with our son and with the combination of maternity leave, summer break, and some help from family he didn't have to start daycare until he was 6 months old. So we decided that I would stay home with the kids. Then COVID began and my last year of teaching got cut short. Having a new born and a wild toddler during the middle of a pandemic was insane, but that is a whole different story!
Then in January of 2021 my sister-in-law, who I always refer to as my sister, got engaged. I always knew I would help her plan her wedding and be the one to throw all of her parties. Her venue required her to hire a professional coordinator and we started looking into wedding coordinators. One day while talking about it I made a joke that I could totally do this as a job. At the time I was still staying at home with my kids and not sure what I wanted to do, but I knew I wasn't ready to return to teaching. My sister is a go getter and a super optimistic person, she really encouraged me to do it. Just start a wedding planning and coordination business, she said it like it was no big deal, as if people start companies all of the time. I mentioned it to my mom, joking again. She had the same response as my sister, totally in support of it and so sure that this would be the perfect business for me. So I agreed to give it a try, just a couple of weddings to see how it goes.
Now for the name...I knew I wanted the company to use a name, but Danielle is not easy for people to spell. I played with lots of combinations of my children's names and ended up choosing Riley Lou after my daughter. Her name is Riley Louise, she and I both have the middle name Louise and are named after my beautiful and amazing grandmother Betty Louise. Riley is also a family name. Here is a picture of my grandmother, please excuse the quality.
So that was more like a lot about Riley Lou Events than a little. I am just loving working as a wedding planner/coordinator. At this point in time Riley Lou Events has been a part of or booked 14 weddings!! It is wonderful to have a job that I love and one that enables me to work from home and on weekends so that I can stay home with my kids. All of the experiences and skills I developed as a teacher work so well with weddings; making plans, managing people, coordinating a little chaos and being able to do it all while staying calm and smiling. I am grateful for each and every wedding I have been a part of. I have learned so much from each one of them and it has been such a joy to see the love between people on their wedding day. It is such a special day and I love that I can help my clients and their family celebrate and enjoy that day with as little stress as possible. I enjoy getting to meet new people, both clients and vendors, and learn about their unique stories. I look forward to helping celebrate the love of many more couples!