Our CEO, our boss, our friend – Callie Murray, the founder of The Big Fake Wedding, is the reason why we’re all here creating fake weddings. We know we’ve done a few posts here and there about Callie, but what better way to end our series of Staff Highlights than with our incredible CEO? Callie came up with the concept of The Big Fake Wedding (formerly The NotWedding) in 2008, and hasn’t looked back ever since. For that, we are all very grateful! Callie created The Big Fake Wedding with the intention of working towards the very real goals of promoting small businesses, inspiring brides and grooms, and encouraging solid marriages. When she’s not, ya know, running a company, Callie spends her time with her sweet, growing family – just a few weeks ago, the Murrays welcomed their third baby girl, Marin! We don’t know how she does it, but Callie Murray is actually superwoman and continues to impress and inspire us every day. To learn more about why Callie does what she does, read The Heart of The Big Fake Wedding here.
Why did you start The NotWedding (now The Big Fake Wedding)?
The idea for The NotWedding came when I was brainstorming how I could market my then-brand-new photography business. I knew that the best weddings I booked were from people who had seen me in action (bridesmaids or guests at a wedding, a DJ I worked with, etc), so I thought that maybe that was something I could recreate. I wanted to advertise myself in a way where people could experience my craft and build a relationship with me as a person, and I thought that maybe other wedding vendors would feel the same way. A few wedding industry friends got together and started planning the ultimate fake wedding, and now here we are, throwing fake weddings throughout the year!
Although you probably have many, what would you say is one of your favorite memories from The NotWedding/The Big Fake Wedding?
Oh there are so many!! The surprise engagement was absolutely a highlight. (http://www.thenotwedding.com/proposal-story-8th-atlanta-notwedding/) We kept this a secret from almost everyone (vendors included!), so when the music ended and everyone was pointing at Gina, it was hilarious to watch the realization of what was happening flood her face – and the faces of everyone in the crowd!
Tell us about your family!
My husband David and I have been married for over 7 years, and we’ve experienced quite a bit in that time: an entire Navy enlistment, living in 8 different addresses (in just 7 years of marriage), the joys (and terrors!) of starting a business, and the joys (and terrors!) of starting a family. We have two toddler girls, Wells and Charleston, and we just welcomed a new baby girl, Marin, in February. I feel like I am in the toddler years both personally (quite literally) and professionally, as growing a business definitely seems to mimic growing a family in some ways. Like a newborn, the business used to rely solely on me, 24 hours a day. It was exhilarating. And it was exhausting. Today we’re at a point where the business (like my toddlers!) can do some things on its own and it does well under the supervision of others. It still requires a lot from me, but I can see glimmers of it growing up. And then it will do something like pee on the floor and I’ll question everything 😉
How do you do it all and do it well? Wife, mom, mom-to-be, friend, small business owner…
Ha! One major lesson I’ve learned is that I can’t fulfill each role to the capacity I would like to, which could mean that I always feel like I’m failing. Thanks to a husband who is super-wise and caring (and probably ready for me to have less meltdowns), I’ve been learning that I have to set boundaries on each area of my life and do the best I can within those boundaries in order to feel good about the work I am putting in. I’ve set a pretty strict work schedule (a certain amount of hours and even what hours I work on certain days), and I try to work as efficiently as possible during those hours. When I’m off work, I am OFF (no emails, etc) so that I can then be present with the kids or whatever else I am doing. It’s not a perfect system and I am still working on turning work off mentally, but having set time for each section of my life has definitely kept me a little more sane.
I also get a lot of help! We have an amazing babysitter for ten hours a week, my husband and family are incredibly helpful and present, and The Big Fake Wedding staff is so trustworthy and hardworking. I have a business mentor that I meet with regularly who will share both practical advice and emotional support. And for me personally, I’ve learned that I have to find my worth and direction from God, and I rely so heavily on prayer and scripture. I’ve learned that as soon as I think it’s all up to me, that’s when I crumble. I know that I can’t do any of the things I am blessed to be able to do without the support of so many.
Carrie Tabb Photography
More from Callie: