Mother-daughter Duo Create Memorable Events

Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photographer / Brian Brosmer

Last year a Hispanic man and a Jewish woman walked into Magical Moments Event Planning, hopeful that the owners could help them create a wedding that would beautifully meld the traditions of their cultures. In November, their wish came to fruition as the bridal party donned mariachi apparel — the bridesmaids in flowing, colorful gowns and the groomsmen in big ruffled sleeves. Following a traditional Jewish ceremony, the reception included professional Mexican dancers as well as Jewish Bottle Dancers.

“This couple was passionate about representing both of their cultures in their wedding, and we were honored to help make that happen,” says Amanda Craft, who runs Magical Moments Event Planning along with her mother and owner Lora Pennington.

The mother-daughter team launched their event planning business in 2012, which, thanks to word of mouth and social media exposure, has taken off recently.

Craft and Pennington start each meeting by sitting down with their clients to assess their needs and get a feel for their vision. They ask clients to share Pinterest boards, family photos or anything else that may spark ideas for the event. They’re also sure to match couples with vendors who fit both their personality and budget because such considerations are paramount to customer satisfaction.

“It’s a very interactive process because we want to be sure we get it just right,” Pennington says. “It’s so fun to see clients leave a meeting with an enthusiastic energy, breathing a sigh of relief because they’re confident we understand what they want.”

Though they consult with lots of brides and grooms, they also plan corporate events. The cost for event planning is dependent on the amount of work it takes to orchestrate. Magical Moments offers several packages including full event planning, a one-stop shop for those who don’t want to hassle with vendors such as florists, caterers, photographers, bakeries, venues, and the like, décor and design planning, wherein the pair coordinate all the chairs, flowers, linens, centerpieces and sometimes even wall and ceiling decoration to create a certain ambiance, and day-of event coordination, which involves running the rehearsal, creating the timeline, double-checking with vendors and tidying up odds and ends to ensure the occasion day runs smoothly.

Pennington and Craft also provide consultation for a fee for anyone who wants to do the majority of the planning on their own but still need a bit of guidance from the pros.

Pennington lives on a 9-acre farm in Boone County with her husband Charlie, along with cows, chickens and bees. Craft, who lives in Whitestown, worked briefly in social work but found it difficult to juggle two careers. So, she opted to jump into full-time event planning with her mom.

Pennington handles the finance side of the business, while Craft manages the website and social media. As for planning and coordination, each has her favorite themes. While Pennington loves vintage and Bohemian styles, Craft relishes doing cultural events.

Though the women have been hired for jobs as far away as Europe, they have yet to tackle destination weddings. It’s on their bucket list, though.

“Any time I travel, I’m making mental notes of good spots to get married,” Craft says. “This business is always on my brain!”

Craft feels fortunate to work with her mother — someone who recognizes her strengths, capabilities and potential.

“In this industry, it’s a great asset to have a partner who knows and trusts you,” Craft says.

Pennington couldn’t be more thrilled that her daughter shares her passion for making magical moments for others.

“We just sat down with a bride and groom who needed a planner because they said they knew nothing about putting together a wedding,” Pennington says. “They didn’t know who to call or what questions to ask. That’s why we’re here — to give our clients their dream wedding without them having to do all the work.”

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