Owner and Lead Event Coordinator for Significant Events of Texas, Meredith Commender, is another one of the oh-so-talented planners we have the pleasure of working with! Learn more about this wonderful woman here:
What is your favorite memory with Debby or The Branch?
Overall, I love working with Debby because she is always so positive and full of energy. She’s not afraid to be silly or be a straight shooter, and she always make me laugh. Her flowers are always so beautiful, especially the bouquets! Probably my favorite event we have done together was a recent one where we incorporated these grand cherry blossom blooming branches into all of the event design, to include suspending them from the ceiling. It was so beautiful!
How did you get into event planning and how did Significant Events come to be?
I did some event planning for my university while in college, but I never thought about it turning into a career. I used to be a high school English teacher and was trying to figure out what I might want to do once my husband and I started a family and I needed to stop teaching. I wanted to be able to be home with my children and make my own schedule. Then I planned my own wedding in 2004 and enjoyed that process very much. It seemed like that would be a good fit for the work-family balance I was hoping to create. I started the company 3 years later. It has grown to be bigger and more successful than I ever expected, but I have worked so hard at it and am very proud of what it has become.
What do you love about event planning?
I love that it is always interesting and challenging. It gives me the opportunity to exercise both parts of my brain by combining organization, logistics, design, and creativity. I love getting to help my wedding clients enjoy the best day of their lives because we have taken away their stress, creating an event for corporate clients that helps accelerate and promote their brand, and/or creating an event for a non-profit organization that helps them raise money for their cause.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere! I really try to keep my eyes and ears open for inspiring ideas. Of course, I get a lot of inspiration by following different event designers all over the world via social media channels and from magazines and event industry conferences. I also get a lot of inspiration from fashion, music, pop culture, and travel.
What can a client expect when visiting your office?
During an initial consultation with a client, I really try to listen and be honest and straightforward with my feedback about what is possible within the parameters of their budget and wishes. I always want them to know that I am there to collaborate with them and make their vision a reality, not force a pre-configured design upon them. I try and make them feel confident in my experience and knowledge to execute their event to the best of my ability along with a strong vendor team we will get in place for them.
What are the advantages to hiring an event planner?
There are many advantages but, most of all, I think a good event planner sets clients up for success by getting an excellent vendor team in place and by keeping the clients on track throughout the planning process. On the day of the event, we give the clients peace of mind knowing that we are handling their event in a professional manner so that they can relax and enjoy their day rather than worrying about the details or having a friend or family member handle it for them.
What is your top tip to clients?
Probably my top tip is to do your research and thus manage your expectations. Know the experience and abilities of those you are hiring and how you get what you pay for. Understand what is realistic within the confines of your budget, venue, and date. Having an acceptance of these realities will help prevent disappointment.
What is a surprising fact about yourself?
I’m a 4th degree black belt in judo. I did judo for 30 years total: 23 years as a competitor, 6 years as a coach, and 21 years as a referee. I’ve traveled all over the world referring judo ( :
What do you do to relax?
Not enough of anything! But I do love exercising, spending time with my family, reading, listening to music, and traveling.
What is your favorite flower?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I love flowers! I would probably have to say ranunculus. I love their texture and variation of color and how versatile they are for floral design.