We had the good fortune of connecting with Shonice Montgomery and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shonice, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Surprisingly, what inspired me was planning my very own wedding. My now-husband and I had a modest budget. But we refused to let money stop us from celebrating our love or sacrifice the overall style of our wedding day. I planned a surprised wedding in three months for under $3,000 without a wedding planner or day-of coordinator! And yes–I was STRESSED! Even though my overall wedding day was amazing, afterwards, I remembered the highs and lows that day brought and how I didn’t want another bride to go through with what I endured. But most importantly, I remembered the beautiful experience my husband and I were able to create and share with our closest family and friends. We accrued zero debt from our wedding day, and that was the inspiration that led me to Montgomery Weddings & Events. MWE is an event planning business passionate about educating couples on planning unique, adventurous, affordable experiences without sacrificing style.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Montgomery Weddings & Events (MWE) is an event planning business passionate about educating couples on planning unique and affordable experiences without sacrificing style. MWE challenges the idea that a wedding should be a cookie-cutter event. MWE believes a wedding should be a direct reflection of the couples’ love story. No two weddings should look exactly alike. We take pride in carefully planning custom events that showcase the couples’ love for each other while also creating an unforgettable experience for their guests.
Research, prayer, and consistency are what built the foundation for MWE. After my wedding, I immersed myself in all things “bridal,” researching and writing down every tip & trick I used to keep our overall budget at $3,000! In 2018, I rolled out a weekly Instagram series, Wedding Tip Wednesday. I shared my personal experiences from working over seven years in the retail/hospitality industry throughout the series, along with my constant bridal research. In 2019, I launched my first online wedding course to help equip brides for their big day, and from there, my services expanded.
Building MWE is not easy, but it’s gratifying. Within any business, you will have good days and bad days. One minute I would feel highly motivated, and the next minute I would feel like an imposter. Overall, I learned that speaking life over myself + the business is essential! Three things that keep me rooted are:
My faith in God.
Surrounding myself with positivity.
Constantly learning/ investing in myself from others who have proven success.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would start the trip at my favorite local coffee shop, Mulvi’s Coffe Co. The Pistachio Frappe is a must-try on a hot summer day. Grab a fresh-baked bagel from SouthBound Bagel & Coffee. To get our blood flowing, we would walk the Hattiesburg Public Art Trail. The trail is full of beautiful murals created by local artisans that are perfect for ‘grammable photos! Next, we would grab lunch at the coolest place in town, T-Bones Records & Cafe. Great atmosphere. Amazing food. I eat at T-Bones at least once a week. Afterward, we will shop at the best-kept secret in Hattiesburg, United Apparel Liquidators (UAL). It’s the only place in town you can buy high-fashion brands at affordable pricing. It’s truly a gem! You never know what they will have in stock. I purchased most of my favorite clothing pieces at UAL. Next, we would visit our local farmer’s market and pick up a fresh-pressed juice. Lastly, we would end the night downtown with live music + delicious food at Blu Jazz Cafe.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and most importantly, I want to thank my Lord Savior, Jesus Christ! Without Him, I am nothing. Secondly, I want to thank my amazing husband and my biggest supporter, Chancellor Montgomery (@chancellormontgomery). He pushes me to think bigger and to stay consistent! I also want to shout out to my top-notch mentor Dr. Eve Huddleston (@evehudsonphd), and the dopest graphic designer/ brand strategist, Gabbi Graham (@graphics_on_the_graham). Lastly, I want to thank my tribe! My family and friends! They are constantly cheering for me. Thank y’all!
Light Visuals Co. B. Miller J. Raymon