We have loved getting to know Debbie Miller, owner of Sunshine Events by Debbie, since she has become party of the Richmond Weddings family!
Tell us a little about your company!
Sunshine Events by Debbie is a family owned full service wedding and event planning business. Although I am the proprietor, I utilize my close relationship with my husband and grown sons to help with all my events. It is a family affair! I also have a huge inventory of decor and rental items that my clients can use at a discounted rate.
I have oficially been in business for 3 years after I interned with one of Richmond’s premier wedding planners. I have worked at some of Virginia’s most prestigious venues and with many outstanding vendors. I love the passion throughout this industry! I have worked small intimate backyard weddings and large multi ballroom affairs. They are all equal in the attention and detail.
How did you get started in this business?
I love the service industry, and I have always been drawn to weddings. It all began 30 years ago when I worked for a local florist as their order control manager. I scheduled appointment for brides and became very familiar with all the different types of flowers. However, with two young boys at home, I needed to earn some extra money. I obtained a job waiting tables in a local hotel’s sports bar. When the opportunity arose, I would always volunteer to help out with the banquet department. It was just fun to me! I loved setting up the events, folding the napkins, and making sure everything was perfect.
When my sons graduated college and I was left an empty nest, I remarried and went back to college myself and completed the Bachelor’s degree I had begun so many years ago. While attending the University of Richmond, I noticed they offered certification programs as well as degrees. Of course, the Wedding and Event Certification course caught my eye! I enrolled and felt as though all the stars in heaven had realigned! I was back where I was meant to be!
Why do you like working with weddings?
I have just always been pulled toward weddings. I am at my happiest when I am working through the controlled chaos of planning. I have trouble sleeping the night before a wedding because I am so excited! My adrenaline is so high!
From a vendor’s perspective, what is the one best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?
Do not forgo the wedding planner! It is not fair to your family and friends. I have been that person for many years that worked tirelessly to make my family and friends day amazing. However, I missed all the fun and the special moments. “Day of” service is a must! A venue will sometimes include their coordinator with the rental fee, and they are great to work with. However, their primary interest is in the venue. A professional wedding planner will look out for the bride’s interest, coordinate vendors, set up and break down event, secure gifts and take care of any problems that arise. They can also sometimes get certain vendors at a discount. It can often save you a great deal of money! Now who doesn’t like saving money AND making family and friends happy? HIRE A PLANNER, even if it is only for the day of!
What or who motivates you?
There was a time when I worked for the money or to teach my boys about responsibility. Thankfully, I am past all that and my motivation has changed. The event itself motivates me. I love to work hard and the joy of seeing everything come together is addicting. I feel like a ROCK STAR! I work from my heart now, and it has made a huge difference in my life.
What do you like to do when you are away from work?
I love to travel and enjoy weekend trips to the beach in our camper. I just love pulling up and breaking out the bike to explore. It brings me peace and allows me to recharge. Day trips are also awesome. I love visiting small towns to shop for that unique item.
I also enjoy learning new things. I am currently signed up for a photography drone class where I will get to make a movie of my drone’s adventure. My husband does aerial photography for fun, so this was something we both wanted to explore. My husband also DJs for fun, so we like to get family and friends together for impromptu parties.
Lastly, I love my fur babies. We have a Jack Russell named Penny, and our newest baby is a basenji. She is so quick and Ninja-like, so we named her Lucy Lou! Penny will be 14 years old this year, has her own Facebook page and is always trying to show off and welcome new friends.
What would we be surprised to learn about you?
I love woodworking. However, I am afraid of power tools so I can only watch it on TV! I would love to build things, so I refinish old things instead. Sometimes I can convince my husband to work the scary power tools for me! I love working with my hands!
I also took a CDL class and can hold a CDL license to drive tractor-trailers. However, those things do not stop easy and although I passed the class, I chose not to get the license. That is not something I would ever want to do again.
Thank you, Debbie, for letting us learn more about you! If you’d like to chat with Debbie and learn more about her services, please visit www.sunshineeventsbydebie.comhttp://www.sunshineeventsbydebie.com or email SEbyDebbie@gmail.com.