Featured this week on the blog is none other than TSE’s fearless entrepreneur, Mary Pilkington herself!
Born and raised in the Pungo area of Virginia Beach, VA she graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College where she studied Criminal Justice & Sociology. She is married to her high school sweetheart Jamie and just this past February they added a precious little bundle of joy to the family.
Mary says their baby boy completes her in a way she never knew was possible. From the moment she and Jamie received confirmation that he was created, she began to affectionately call him Sunshine Boy. His sweet smile brings a bright joy into their day, every day and it is her delight to be his mom! Their bond is amazing to watch as he responds to her, turns his head in her direction when he hears her voice and constantly smiles at her when he makes eye contact. I think she spoke something beautiful over him by calling him sunshine!
Some of Mary’s interests and hobbies include antiquing, thrifting, and recycling things. Her and Jamie had the courage to take on a full renovation when they bought their first house. With that completed they have begun a new project. Renovating a 1971 Shasta pull-trailer that they refer to as “Birdy.” Their goal is to take their first flight (trip) by the end of the summer! It’s looking good but she better get to working, it’s July already!
You may already know this about her because she makes quite a few posts, but she has a guilty pleasure for the Bachelor, but don’t we all? 😉
Planning her own wedding revealed all the complicated moving parts of a major event, yet she came alive in that whirlwind of an environment. It was in those moments that she fell in love with the entire process of wedding planning. When the opportunity to create TSE presented itself, she knew she could deliver clarity, direction, & results. Of all the rewarding parts the planning process encompasses for her, the greatest joy is showcasing the couples’ unique personality on their big day. Mary loves rising to the challenge of skill that it takes to create a memorable event. She is passionate about love and grateful to live out her dream as she creates one happy bride at a time!
A typical day at TSE for Mary includes meeting with vendors to finalize details and design selection. She also manages the books and TSE’s social media pages. A wedding day normally consists of being the first to arrive, direct vendors to their designated areas, setting tables, putting together centerpieces, checking on the bride/bridesmaids, and of course keeping the groomsmen wrangled and focused. Once the morning is started and all the vendors are set, executing a perfect wedding is the goal. Seeing the bride and groom enjoy their celebration, their guests and each other as well as seeing their smiles at the end of the night means their perfect wedding was achieved.
Mary says she is most productive while working in her office with the music turned up & an iced chai tea latte in hand. She finds her inspiration from drawing a lot of designs from heirlooms and antique architecture.
Her favorite part about planning and coordinating events for clients is when the vision comes to life while the bride is sitting back being pampered.
“TSE is supported by an amazing team of passionate, hardworking, and creative people,” Mary says. She says that working with her team has made her life a breeze. Her girls are so passionate about seeing the bride’s vision come to life and that’s why they all work so well together because they all share the same goal. She says time and time again, “This could never be possible without them!” Wedding days take a village and she’s so lucky to have hers <3
The best advice she has received while being a small business owner was that not everyone is meant for you and that’s OKAY. Meaning the couples, brides, and vendors that are meant for you will find their way. Don’t force anything that doesn’t feel right.
A tip she has for small business owners that haven’t gone full time is, if you can’t stop daydreaming about it, then do it. Life is way too short to wonder what could’ve been.
Mary was finally convinced to quit her full-time job because, TSE got so much business that she was going to end up using all her vacation days for wedding. She took that leap and prayed it would pay off & so far, God has been faithful and provided the best staff and couples.
Mary is looking forward to the future of TSE! With the growing and thriving team of passionate wedding planners she’s equipped to bring more gorgeous wedding days to life. What’s better than being part of many more beautiful love stories?