Paper Me Wonderful

Purely Wondrous Inspiration

Minority Business Support & Diversity & Inclusion in the Creative Industry


We had the opportunity to speak with Tara Melvin of Perfect Planning Events and The Signature CEO Conference about Minority Business Support &Diversity & Inclusion in the Creative Industry. It was a great interview. Although we didn't cover each of the questions in detail via the webinar, we wanted to share the full interview here.

How can you be unapologetically black and still be respected as a viable and professional business owner?

I believe that a person never has to defend or apologize for their race, culture or beliefs. However one chooses to represent or “wear” their blackness is up to them and they need not always feel the need to offer explanations. The history and struggles of the Black race have placed members of the Black race in a unique position in that we feel as if we are constantly on trial in America and everything we do is another piece of a case that we are constantly building to prove how “American” we are. That same sentiment spills over into the professional world and executives and business owners are constantly faced with the decision to be themselves or to “fit in” with the majority that surrounds them. This majority sometimes places pressure on the individual and other times the pressure is invisible but the individual still feels it. 

Is there one solution? Seemingly, no. However, there could be and that short answer is to be one’s self. If you’re black and you’re proud own that, but be willing to face the risks that may accompany that boldness. If you know you’re black and don’t feel the need to prove that to your peers or to the majority, own that and be willing to face the criticism from your own kind as well as the possible acceptance from the majority. If you float somewhere in the middle, own that and be willing to ride the waves that come along with riding the fence and know that you can be up in one moment and down the next. Either way, be who you are and don’t apologize for it. Being black is not a disease, not a plague so its beauty doesn’t owe anyone an explanation and definitely not an apology. You started your business so you became viable the moment you inked the dotted line. Walk in both of those respects.

Example: Black History Moments on IG

Do you feel that there is a lack of support in the African American business community? What factors affect this stigma? How can we bridge the disconnect and unite together?

There is a lack of support in the AA business community, but it is not isolated to the wedding industry nor is it isolated to business. The lack of support within the African American community dates back to slavery and the divide that slave masters placed between slaves to compete against one another. Additionally, slave owners tore families apart and many of these families never reunited. Once slavery ended, many members of the Black race had to learn how to survive and instead of banding together, they used the “survival of the fittest” principle and this further divided the Black race. Unfortunately throughout history, the eras of division far outweigh the eras of unity. This stigma has forced its way into every aspect of Black life- education, business, entertainment and culture. 

How do you fix centuries of division? Religious leaders, philosophers and educators have been in debate for years over this one. Martin Luther King, Jr. did a great work. Barack Obama becoming the first African American President of the U.S. would seem to have fixed a sea of problems, but it didn’t. I do feel that on a smaller scale we can do a few things to make our tighter communities more cohesive.

  • Build teams that are more educated in their crafts so that we can become skilled professionals and not just people entering the field, creating a multitude of amateurs that are not prepared for work.
  • Understand that there are a plethora of clients who are celebrating various life events, be it weddings, birthdays, retirements, etc, so there is so much work going around. Know YOUR client and pursue that client, don’t pursue another colleague’s client because the deal won’t work anyway.
  • Believe that quality is worth more than quantity. It doesn’t matter that you have events every weekend if those events are not done with skill and precision. If you are trying to outdo someone else or changing prices every week just to book clients, then you are not running a quality business, you are only seeking to gain competition. Know your worth and build a business on that worth, not on price slashing or overbooking.

I read an article that minority owned businesses do encounter problems to raise money or to start a business; they encounter road blocks to sustain their businesses because of lack of support. Do you agree or disagree?

I agree that minorities run into obstacles or roadblocks when trying to raise capital to start a business but I’m not sure if I would attribute it to a lack of support. I believe that some of these issues stem from lack of financial counseling, less than positive credit or financial history and improper knowledge when it comes to the tools needed to start a business. I also believe that as wonderful as the Internet is, it cannot be the sole resource for anyone. It is a good starting point for research, however when persons are looking to start a business, they should invest in hands on help from people who have been in business for a number of years and who have experienced hurdles as well as successes in business. Too often minorities start a business and after one year, instantly they are an expert. In addition, in order to gain support, we must provide a platform that is worthy of support. It is not fair to expect people to invest in us when we are not showing a return on their investment. Perhaps you aren’t starting a business, perhaps you are putting on a conference. If you expect people to invest in the conference, make the conference worth the time and the money. No, not all conferences are alike, but all educational ventures should be valuable and should not just be social gatherings. 

How has our industry changed in the past five years with the rise of minority businesses and what percentage of the economy do we reflect?

There are over 8 million minority owned businesses in the U.S. which represents a 39% increase  over the last decade. President Obama increased funding for minority business owners in his fiscal budget clearly identifying the importance of ownership by minorities and recognizing the challenges that minorities face when securing funding. I believe that our industry has changed and improved with the increase of minority business and has created more opportunities for exposure. I’m not sure that the industry has “grown” because of minority businesses but I think we have allowed more of the world to see that African American cultures, Hispanic cultures, Asian cultures and other minority cultures celebrate in the same manner that Caucasian cultures do. This exposure places us in position for even greater opportunities so in that respect, it is a step in the right direction. 

How can individuals connect with other minority businesses in our industry- are there formal groups, networks or directories?

There are so many ways! While I am a huge advocate for social media, I am also a strong believer in old-fashion networking. What happened to aligning yourself with another person whose business morals and beliefs agree with yours? We shouldn’t be afraid to connect with other people to gain knowledge or build relationships. In addition, we should seek to attend conferences that are going to help our business and our relationships. Sometimes the solution is not to create a conference but to help someone else build or improve theirs. The key is also not to continue to saturate the industry with persons who are not properly trained thereby making it harder for those of us who are skilled to get clients to hire us and trust us. 

I also believe that supporting magazine ventures, authentic groups, and reputable conferences can all be a means to connect with other minorities and ways to build mutual relationships. We as a community of business professionals should have a safe space and if we don’t have a place where we can come together and “talk shop”, we will never mend the divide.

Being accepted and included- most people of color want to be accepted by other communities, however, forget that they need support within their own community. Do you feel that the power within is the key to gaining support from other communities?

I believe that we are stronger together, yes. I believe that we can conquer great feats if we work together instead of apart. I also believe that iron sharpens iron so it helps to see greatness among our own and apart from our own because it forces us to be the best that we can be. The support that we gain from our peers is invaluable and while it does not “validate” us, it often becomes the wind beneath our wings. The support that we gain from outside of our community and even within comes from the work itself. I don’t think that anyone supports a business just because a race has it all together. The work should always speak for itself. I do think however, that if we can lay aside the issue of trying to always fight the battle within our own race of trying to discover who is for you and who is against you, then we can solely focus on our work and that will allow us to gain support from outside of our community. 

How do we change the conversation to have end results in making a change in the minority community?

I think that what we are doing now is a good starting place- having a conversation. Sometimes, a lot of times, those conversations have to be uncomfortable and maybe even painful. I think that coupled with conversation needs to be education. We cannot begin to make evident change without proper knowledge and how to apply that knowledge. And then there’s action and that final step rests with the individual. We can talk about it, we can supply a person with the tools they need, but at the end of the day we cannot force a person to act differently. Until each person, each professional makes conscious decisions to attend the conference, support the business, buy the magazine, connect with their colleague, these conversations remain just that- conversations. 

2015 Year in Review

Photo courtesy of Teshorn Jackson Photography. Copyright 2015.

Photo courtesy of Teshorn Jackson Photography. Copyright 2015.

Every year we perform the task of writing A Year in Review. We spend time reflecting on the things that didn't go right as well as the things that did. We look back on our most memorable times and those we would soon rather forget. We become frustrated with ourselves regarding the things that we promised we wouldn't do anymore, yet we did anyway. Every year, for the last fourteen years, this is what we do during the last week of December...until this year. This year, rather than completing a Year in Review, we've decided to take a different approach and look ahead. In 2015, we serviced amazing brides, awesome entrepreneurs and wonderful individuals who took the time to celebrate the good things in life. We conquered some goals and fell short on others. We suffered some growing pains, but experienced some growing joys. The main point is the past tense of these verbs. We did these things, but 2015 is over-in the record books, done, finished; so why dwell on the past? With every passing year, we learn and this past year is no different, but in 2016, as we face our 15th year in business, we open the year ready to surge forward! While we do not boast in our own ability, we are confident that our business is God-ordained and we are blessed beyond measure to have been in business for 15 years (20 on paper). We commit to making 2016 our best year yet. We are implementing new policies, reinforcing existing ones and taking ownership of our own business. We are placing boundaries on ourselves so that we can be better and do better. However, there is one thing that won't change and that won't ever change-our 100% commitment to providing an excellent client experience. Our clients are the most important factor in our business and our wells of inspiration. Without you, there is no business and it is our goal to ensure that this fact comes across in every design, in every creation that we produce. So we have cleared the path for 2016 to enter in with full force. 15 Years. A Year of Celebration. Purely Wondrous Inspiration at its finest. 

2013 Year In Review


The year 2013 was twelve months of uninterrupted fireworks...and we loved every minute of it! The year got off to a swift start and by the end of January, we found ourselves knee deep in corporate branding, wedding monograms and project management...#purelywondrousinspiration!

We were blessed to serve over sixty brides this year and not a month went by where we weren't inundated with wedding bliss. Every bride that we served was an opportunity for us to create unique stationery that would serve as a constant reminder of their wedding journey. We saw a wide range of color palettes from rich purples to subtle blush to classic ivory, black and gold. We created stationery that aligned with themes such as wine country, the Harlem Renaissance, modern elegance, vintage charm and timeless beauty. We engineered invitation styles from flat cards to pocketfolds to laser cut designs to silk folios and silk boxes. We also brought the bling this year as many brides sought to include a little or a lot of sparkle into their wedding stationery.

As always, the client remains at the heart of our business and we were honored to take part in some memorable life experiences, during which we have built lasting relationships. This year, we worked with an amazing team of vendors and various planners. Through these business partnerships, we were able to make magic happen. From the Biltmore to the W to 200 Peachtree to Chateau Elan to the St. Regis, we incorporated the charm and personality of the venue into the beauty of the stationery. No matter the length of the journey, whether locally or nationwide, every bride we serviced placed an indelible footprint upon our business and we are appreciative for every couple that allowed us to be apart of their most special day.

In addition to making papered dreams come true, we also were fortunate to serve small and large businesses as they either rebranded or held corporate events. A company's identity helps to fuel their business and it is our pleasure to work with corporate leaders and business owners to take the responsibility of not only creating, but strengthening their brand.

We also took part in quite a few baby shower and birthday celebrations. We take great joy in celebrating life, whether one year or many years. How fun it is to design rock star stationery or Minnie Mouse favors or Forty and Fabulous invitations. Our workspace produces the simple and we produce the elaborate, but we produce it all with a signature Papered Wonders style.

Perhaps one of our most memorable moments of 2013 came in October, when we expanded the PWI Production Team. We welcomed Olyvhia Essein and she has been a great asset to our team and we look forward to even greater things in 2014.

Our year in review is one huge gratitude jar because we are grateful for every order, every client, every industry relationship and every ounce of support that we garnered. 2013 was a signature year for our company and because of that, we believe that 2014 will be even greater and the fireworks even more spectacular. We hope you'll join us for the show!

Thanks for an amazing 2013!

Lisa and April

Commit to Remember

black_history_month_by_mindstheprison-d4o49q2 Around the nation, February is celebrated as Black History Month. Each year, in our schools and communities, we are reminded of the great sacrifices that our ancestors made so that we would be able to enjoy many privileges today. Although Black History Month is recognized by our government, over the years, the notoriety of the month has decreased. Some may feel that there is no longer a need for a month to be designated to celebrate a race of people. While we know that we don't only honor our history during the month of February, we also don't see the harm in allowing the spotlight to shine on various African American pioneers during this month of the year. The African American race of people is a very strong and storied group of people and we are proud to stand on the shoulders of those who had the courage to be bold, to be brave, and to carve out a place for Blacks in America. We encourage you, regardless of your race, to educate yourselves and your children on the importance of Black History Month and to also be inspired to make your own place in this great world. Believe it or not, one person can truly make a difference and it is our hope that this month and throughout the year, you pay tribute to those individuals who knew that one voice, one step, one act, and one belief made and can make a world of difference.

Photo credit:

PUBLISHED :: WedLuxe Magazine Couture Chronicles Blog

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4. ImageWe are overwhelmed with excitement and great joy to have been featured on WedLuxe Magazine's Blog with the amazing Charlton Inije of Inije Photography & Film. Charlton approached Papered Wonders, Inc. along with the talented Kathy Grate of Divine Occasions to bring his vision to reality. It was a lot of work, but the reward was priceless! I can't begin to describe in words how gorgeous the styled shoot turned out. Check it out for yourself!

WedLuxe Style File: All That Glitters

Happy Monday!

WIPA - Not Just Another Networking Event

We've been in the Atlanta Wedding Industry for over ten years and it is always a pleasure to mix and mingle with other industry professionals. On January 10, 2013 we had the opportunity to attend our first WIPA meeting. WIPA is s a non-profit association that is run by its esteemed members.  They understand what it takes to produce a wedding since we represent the multitude of wedding disciplines: cake designers, caterers, DJ's, florists, entertainment companies, hoteliers, invitation companies, musicians, officiants, photographers, rental companies, wedding planners, venues, videographers and many more. Lindsay Pitt of TOAST® Events is the Atlanta Regional Director and invited us to sponsor the stationery for this awesome event. It was indeed not just another networking event in Atlanta. The meeting was held at The Estate, A Legendary Event's latest venue addition and it was nothing short of fabulous. Many industry professionals attending this event rarely leave their offices to network so it was an honor to be in the midst of such an esteemed group of individuals. Most intriguing was the amazing, Calder Clark of Calder Clark Designs, who was the guest speaker. She really inspired us to create events that are innovative and filled with all the characteristics of our clients. Calder's designs are incredible and she is "killing the game" in Charleston. I can't wait to go visit her!

Jeremy Harwell of Harwell Photography captured every detail. Here are a few photos from the event.




This dessert bar by A Legendary Event was to die for! Lot of new year's resolution broken early! :)


Lindsay and Calder



Here's the programs we designed for the event!


Hanging out with Jan McBee of LaFete Weddings and Events.


Great spending time with our friends Gabrielle and Clay of Edge Design Group.

It is WIPA's mission to advance the wedding profession, enhance the professional growth of members, uphold the highest ethics, and educate the public about WIPA-qualified specialists.

I believe WIPA will indeed be the most respected national community for wedding professionals who want to be recognized as masters and innovators.

Atlanta, the bar has been raised!

History Reformed

Today, we celebrate the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We are proud to honor his memory, and everyday, we strive to make his accomplishment come to life in our daily practices. We commit to furthering his dream of ensuring that we take full advantage, not only of the American Dream, but our individual dreams. Dr. King's legacy not only lives in ceremonial and celebratory services, but it lives in the spirit of endurance and perseverance that we must possess in order for his dream to be fully realized. We must devote to working collaboratively to serve those less fortunate and to serve in all areas of our life. Fifty years after Dr. King gave the "I Have A Dream" speech, we commit ourselves to recognizing that which we can do to further his dream.
On this day, we also commemorate the Inauguration of President Barack H. Obama. How proud were we when in November, we learned that President Obama would once again take office. Although we do not profess him to be a perfect man, we do take great honor in claiming him as "our" President. He is our President, not only because he is an African American, but because he stands as the Representative of these great states of America. America is not a perfect country nor have we ever had a perfect leader. However, America is the greatest country in this world and we are the free world; therefore, we consider the leader of the free world as one of the greatest people living in our time. As we stand on Dr. King's legacy, we stand with the living legacy of President Obama. We celebrate the greatness of both of these men and we stand in awe to take part in the events of this day and give God great praise to be alive during such a time as this.
Congratulations to President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on four more years!

2012 :: Year in Review {Part I of IV}

2012 was such a magnanimous year that we weren't even able to complete our year in review at the end of the year. It was such a huge year that we'll have to present this in a four part series! We are still on a high from all of the wonderful people we served in 2012 and we can only imagine what lies in store for us in this brand new year. With that being said, here is our "wonder"ful year in review for 2012! January Our year started off with a bang because we helped to plan and execute our Pastor's 20th Pastoral Anniversary Celebration. This month long celebration was full of design, print, time and energy. We had a blast at every event and the service we rendered was more than worth it.


We also started our wedding season off in January with a wonderful bride who infused her African ancestry with a modern American flare into her wedding day.

ImageImage Photos by KreativTouch Photography.

February The celebration for our Pastor continued and wedding season bloomed fully. We had save the dates growing out of our ears and were gearing up for our wedding wonderland that would span from March to October.

The "tie the knot" design from 2011 still reigned supreme in 2012!


Photo by Rae Leytham Photography.

We also had the distinct pleasure of helping to plan the wedding of a family member and Lisa collaborated with two Atlanta planners, Brian Green and Michelle Gainey, and hosted a workshop for wedding planners. Lisa provided the marketing and branding expertise for the event. ImageImageImage

Photos by Inije Photography & Films.

We ended the month on a high with a client who we've serve in the corporate arena for years. It was a lovely wedding at the perfect location!


March We had a fabulous wedding that showcased the color scheme of purple and black fabulously.


Photos by Milanes Photography.

We also enjoyed providing the stationery for a bride whose colors were black, ivory, and blush. It was the perfect color scheme to usher winter out of the door and welcome in Spring!


Photos by Alecia Lauren Photography.

Stay tuned next week for the adventures of the second quarter in 2012. Happy Friday!

Published :: Modern Luxury The Atlantan Brides Magazine

Happy Friday! We're excited to have finally put our hands on this gorgeous issue of The Atlantan Brides 5th Anniversary Issue. Image

Our stationery and graphic design was featured in this fabulous shoot at The Biltmore Ballrooms in Atlanta, Georgia designed by F&G Weddings.



We also designed custom stationery for one of F&G Wedding's beautiful brides, Alana. The peacock blue and wicked green are the perfect pair to fabulous!


StudioWed partnered with The Atlantan Brides to present "An Evening of Bridal Luxury" and "The Inspired Bride", which is our signature event.


We designed custom stationery for F&G Weddings for their fabulous I Love New York themed tablescape.


Lemiga Events designed a Paris themed tablescape. It was simply gorgeous!

Look forward to more purely wondrous inspiration to come!

Commit to Celebrate

Image We officially reopened our office for the new year yesterday on January 8. As with previous years, as soon as the clock turned 9:00 a.m., phone calls and emails began. We actually love to hear from our clients and vendors regarding their fresh and innovative ideas for the new year. We take joy in hearing "I got engaged" or "I'm pregnant" or "I'm taking the leap and starting my own business". In essence, we love to learn that our clients are committed to celebrate in 2013. Whether the occasion is a wedding, baby shower, birthday party, retirement dinner, new business venture, or just a day to reconnect with loved ones, it is our goal to help you firm your commitment to celebrate by doing it on paper. While we certainly take note that we live in a digital world, nothing screams "celebration" like a printed invitation, save the date, program, etc. Why  not escalate your celebration and go against the norm of sending an "Evite"? Your celebration deserves all of the fanfare it can get and what better way to start the process than to commit to beautiful paper. Your commitment to celebrate coupled with our commitment to serve creates an awe-inspring opportunity to resonate to your guests a feeling of anticipation, excitement, and sometimes reciprocal celebration. So, go ahead, find a reason in this new year to do something different, to commemorate your life's achievement or just to honor the people who make your life special. Find a reason to commit to celebrate; we, in turn, will create the moment...on paper, of course!

2012: Our Classroom

Image After coming off such an adventurous year in 2011 and celebrating our 10th Anniversary, we began 2012 with great expectation of serving more clients in and outside of Atlanta. While we were blessed to do just that, we also quickly learned that 2012 would be full of growing pains. This is not to say that the year was bad or unfortunate in any way because that would be an untruth; however, in anticipation of every great thing, there lies a great work...and boy, did we work! In our eleventh year of business, we worked harder than we ever worked before, yet it was all worth it. At the end of the day (metaphorically speaking), we realized that hard work didn't kill us, however, it did reveal the character of our company and of ourselves. In that hard work, we had to come to the realization that as much as we think we are super women, we are not. In our quest to do the best and be the best, something happened- we realized that we were human. Our spirits never wavered, but our minds and bodies did. This did not cause us to stop desiring to serve our clients, but it did cause us to miss some deadlines and inadvertently compromise others' expectations of the great service they were used to receiving. Personally, we encountered difficulty, but we tried to press on when we should have said "pause". Our year in review helped us to realize that although PWI is a very strong entity, it is not a perfect entity. We certainly can't expect to get it right 100% of the time, but we strive for it 110% of the time. At the very center of our company lies service and in some ways, we may have shifted from that in 2012. However, in 2013, we are returning to the core of what makes us unique and what keeps our clients returning time after time and that is superb service. We want to make sure that our clients, our vendors, and our industry partners know that they can always depend on Papered Wonders, Inc to provide excellent service and follow through with our commitment to provide stunning stationery. We were blessed to strengthen existing relationships and build new relationships in 2012 and we look forward to continuing to nurture those relationships in this new year. Furthermore, we are especially excited to serve our clients during some of the most memorable moments in their lives. When our clients allow us to take part in their journey through life, we are at our very best and we never want there to be any hesitation when our clients need a stationer. Our CEO was honored to take part in the Engage12! experience and hopes to infuse the knowledge she gained into our service this year. In 2013, we are determined to not only do better, but to be better. We look forward to growing and hope that you will grow with us. In 2013, we renew the attribute that carried us through the first decade of our business. In this new year, we are "committed to serve".

Collaborate, Design, Inspire then Educate

"Having a great idea and not selling it well is like sitting on a pig and hoping for a ham sandwich!" Very well said Sam Harrison. This weekend, the Atlanta Wedding Creative is hosting our first education event, A Planners Workshop. This is not your regular sitting in the room sipping water listening to people talk type of workshop. Michelle Gainey of Lemiga Events and Brian Green of F&G Weddings have spent quality time putting together an intensive itinerary filled with interactive sessions including some of Atlanta's top Wedding Industry Professionals. I am most excited about the tablescape photo shoot each attendee gets to do with amazing photographers Janet Howard of Janet Howard Studio and Jeremy Harwell of Harwell Photography. What a fabulous start or enhancement to one's portfolio! Speaking of tablescapes, check out this behind the scenes video by Inije Photo from AWC's first photo shoot with Ross Oscar Knight. It's not too late to register at  



Special thanks to I Do Linens, MM Ink, Edge Design Group, Jackson Durham and Unique Event Management.

AWC Planners Workshop Speaker Spotlight: Michelle Gainey {Lemiga Events}

Tom Peters of Fast Company said, "A brand is a promise of the value received." Michelle Gainey, Lead Designer of Lemiga Events, has built her brand believing that statement. I had the privilege of meeting Michelle just before she opened StudioWed and remember thinking, this young lady is really going to change the Atlanta wedding industry. Michelle has successfully built her own brand and had a hand in taking the StudioWed brand to another level. For those of you unfamiliar with StudioWed, it is an exclusive collection of Atlanta's wedding vendors representing the finest wedding professionals that service the Atlanta area. This is a hip and revolutionary concept in local and destination weddings in Atlanta: a stylish and sophisticated planning studio where the area's best vendors come to you. Meet with a photographer over coffee in the morning and enjoy a glass of wine as you chat with a florist in the afternoon. Best of all, there's no cost to you to use StudioWed's services, so you can feel free to spend an entire day -- or as many as you need -- planning your big day. Michelle has built a great balance between the two businesses and an awesome staff to help her maintain them. As Lead Designer and Planner of Lemiga Events, Michelle is a girly girl. She loves shoes, dresses, makeup and everything about being a woman! Michelle loves a challenge. She's always looking to do things differently than how they’ve always been done. Lemiga Events is a premier event design boutique specializing in stylish and glamorous affairs for a discerning clientele. They are passionate about creating unique and exceptional moments that will be remembered for a lifetime. Their love for design and intricate details is what defines our signature event style. Enchanting venues, sumptuous fabrics, stunning florals and captivating stationery are some of the elements that make our events spectacular. I love working with Michelle. She is the epitome of a wedding planner. Her glamorous style and attention to detail ensures that each and every client feels appreciated, her service is valued, and the wedding is amazing! What I love most is that Michelle, like me, is a mom! She is married and has two adorable daughters. I know that she is setting an example of how to be successful in every aspect of life. Kudos Mrs. Gainey!

Michelle has a passion for educating and inspiring fellow associates in the wedding and event industry. You can hear her share her knowledge in an intimate setting and speak with her personally at the Atlanta Planner's Workshop at StudioWed happening February 18-19, 2012. For more information and to register, please visit

AWC Planners Workshop Speaker Spotlight: Brian Green {F&G Weddings}

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." I am so excited to be working alongside two of the most incredible wedding and event planners this side of heaven! Fast friends and passionate partners, The Atlanta Wedding Creative, brought us together to educate and inspire this industry with amazing design! One of my partners is Brian Green of F&G Weddings. Brian, known as Chief Dream Maker and Creative Visionary of F & G Weddings, is an award winning event planner with many years of experience in creating the most fabulous weddings for clients. I have embraced the honor of providing custom stationery for many of his brides over the last several years. Each time we meet I am totally blown away by the level of creativity he brings to each wedding. Brian is known for the "best friend experience" and I can truly attest to his passion and overwhelming desire for each client to have the most fabulous experience as they prepare for their big day. Wedding planners are not created equal. You may find some who concentrate on logistics, others who concentrate on design, but Brian is the complete package. He prides himself on taking your vision and creating that fabulous factor for every client in a way that speaks to who they are and what they want for their wedding day! With an amazing creative team to support his design and his ability to execute flawlessly, Brian Green works tirelessly to ensure love is always in the details.

Brian has a passion for educating and inspiring fellow associates in the wedding and event industry. You can hear him share his knowledge in an intimate setting and speak with him personally at the Atlanta Planner's Workshop at StudioWed happening February 18-19, 2012. For more information and to register, please visit

Announcing...The Atlanta Wedding Creative

The Atlanta Wedding Creative is a collaboration that seeks to educate, design, and inspire the wedding industry through seminars, interactive workshops and luxury bridal events. TAWC brings together three of Atlanta's widely sought after wedding professionals including Wedding and Event Designers, Michelle Gainey of Lemiga Events and Brian A.M. Green of F&G Weddings, along with Lisa R. Zachery, Customer Stationer and Branding Artist of Papered Wonders, Inc.

We are ecstatic about this collaboration and look forward to sharing more purely wondrous inspiration with you through this venture.

More details coming soon at

Green with Envy

Sometimes we allow fear of consequences to keep us from speaking truths regarding situations we deal with daily. Everyone tip toes around certain subjects and it appears "taboo" for one to call others, including ourselves, to the carpet about certain issues. Anyone who knows me, recognizes almost immediately that there is not anything that I'm afraid to say. Are there times we should keep our mouths closed and mind our own business? Of course! However, today, I'm saying enough is enough.


I've been in the wedding industry for over ten years and have never witnessed the things we are being exposed to today. As Marvin Gaye said best, "What's Going On?" I consider getting married one of the most sacred times in a couple's life that should be reverenced with honor and celebrated in grand fashion at the same time. It should be a time when a couple can share the things they love most about each other in a ceremony and celebration. A good friend and fabulous wedding planner, Brian Green, of F&G Weddings says, "A wedding is the first opportunity a couple hosts a party together as husband and wife." If this is true, why is there so much chaos in the wedding industry?


Some days I feel as though our industry could be traded in for the TV slot of The Young and The Restless or All My Children. Planners are fighting caterers. Caterers are fighting designers. Designers are fighting venues. Who has the best interest of our clients, the bride and groom, in mind? Every industry has competition. That's the way the world goes around, but competition is only as competitive as you see it. Sean Low, Founder and President of The Business of Being Creative, LLC, said once, "keep your blinders on and focus on what you need to be doing for YOUR client." Well, that brings up a different subject that I won't address today. {Do you really know who YOUR client is?} I have witnessed so much bickering back and forth between vendors that I'm sure clients have had second thoughts about who they hired. Vendors are undercutting each other to get the business and the sad part is they think that no one knows. {WE KNOW, BOO!} Vendors are going around town pretending to have interest in business relationships and instead are seeking information and sharing negative information about one another. Are you serious? If we spent less time trying to figure out how she opened a new studio or how he booked the client you met with and more time serving our clients, the Atlanta wedding industry would be everything everyone THINKS we are. I love when vendors from other states call and want to come visit. From Facebook and Twitter, they see how much we network and party and celebrate each other, but what they don't see is how we use one other, back bite and gossip.


What about the newbies coming into the industry? Why are we so afraid to share a few minutes of our time to help them learn? I didn't say you had to be a mentor or give away all of your trade secrets (if there is a such thing!), but a cup of coffee to help Suzie decide if she really wants to be a planner wouldn't kill you. If they are calling seeking advice, that means you must be doing something right. We shouldn't be threatened by or intimated by new people joining the Atlanta market. I personally would love to have a network of stationers that met and shared creative ideas from time to time. If I'm busy or on vacation, I would love to have someone I could trust to refer my clients to for a one time job, etc. However, that's almost unheard of here in Atlanta.


We've all been a part of a negative conversation, whether we choose to admit it or not. We are all human and sometimes we just need to vent, but when it turns into a serious plot to put people out of business, we need to check ourselves. The word of God says in James 3:16 "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." Stop being envious of another planner for booking seventy weddings a year. You don't know what they have to do to maintain that schedule or what level of service they are providing. Designers, start charging what you're worth and not $500 below your competitor just to book the business. Stationers, please develop your own style and stop copying other designers. All inspiration has to come from somewhere, but this is a creative business. Be inspired to create your own designs.


I don't believe that Rodney King knew how life changing his statement was years ago, "Can't we all just get along?" Unfortunately, it seems to be impossible, but I am a firm believer that if we all spent our time servicing our clients to the best of our ability instead of worrying about what other vendors are doing, we would create the best wedding industry in America. We have the talent. Stop hating and get to work.


"To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is, a dissatisfaction with self" ~ Joan Didion

Paper Me Wonderful!

When we first started our blog, we chose the name "CreateMePapered" because we thought it embodied so much of what we strive to accomplish everyday at PWI. We want all of our clients to understand the need for papered memories for every special occasion and endeavor in their life. We love sharing our papered creations as well as the milestones that we reach in business. The CreateMePapered blog has certainly been a source of inspiration for our readers as well as for ourselves. However, in our tenth year of service, we discovered the need to enhance the branding side of our company and felt that the name "CreateMePapered" was a better brand for our design services rather than our blog. Therefore, we are pleased to announce the new name of our blog, "Paper Me Wonderful". Everything that we do on paper makes us feel wonderful and we want to transfer that feeling of purely wondrous inspiration to our readers. So we hope that you like the new name and that you will continue to find information and inspiration that tickles your fancy and papers you wonderful! Happy Reading!

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