In 2008, Callie Murray started The Big Fake Wedding as a way to build her new business. She rallied her wedding industry friends together to create the ultimate wedding experience: a perfectly planned “wedding” where brides- and grooms-to-be could actually see vendors in action. Callie has since been joined by an amazing team of people who have helped bring The Big Fake Wedding to cities across the country.
After eight years of growing both the business and her family (they’ve welcomed three little girls in that time!), she has gracefully and humbly moved from her title as Owner to Founder. Callie is excited to pass The Big Fake Wedding along to the stewardship of our very own Jennifer Ammons and her husband, Brian, who will continue to expand upon its reach and effect. With their experience in growing and expanding business internationally, they make the perfect team to carry out our vision and mission.
To our faithful network of vendors and wedding friends across the country, we wanted to share with you more about how this is a great and exciting new chapter for the company.
In Callie’s own words:
Eight years ago, a woman from a radio station sat with me at our first ever fake wedding – then called The NotWedding – and told me that I was sitting on “a million dollar idea”. I laughed and told her that it was just a party.
I never would have guessed that 100 events, a few dozen employees, and an MBA’s worth of lessons later, this “party” would have grown from a single event – a quirky idea that came to life entirely by me and my family and any other random friends I could bribe with free drinks and dancing – to an actual, working business that lives and breathes aside from me.
I have experienced the highs of having your brainchild called “brilliant” on The TODAY Show to the lows of having it being shamed on a Facebook forum. I’ve let good people go, and I’ve had good people leave. I’ve accomplished goals I didn’t even know I had, and I’ve lost battles I didn’t even know I was fighting. More than anything, I’ve learned more in these eight years about business, God, community and myself than I honestly think most people learn in a lifetime. I am grateful, and I am better for it.
After eight years of growing both this business and my family (we’ve welcomed three little girls in that time!), I have moved from “owner” to my now-forever-title of “founder”. I officially sold the business on December 31, 2016 to a couple that I have the upmost respect and love for, a couple who has had The Big Fake Wedding woven into their story from the very beginning. We helped throw them their surprise wedding just a few years ago! What a gift to place something that has meant so much to me under the stewardship of such a killer team.
As for my next steps, I will begin working with an organization that has been vital to my growth as a business owner: Plywood People! With their mission to support a network of start-ups doing good, I will be able to connect small business and non-profit leaders to mentors and resources as they grow. It is the perfect way to maximize all that I’ve learned and experienced over the past decade, and I am thankful for this opportunity to remain in this community.
So here’s to learning, to building, to sharing, to stewarding, to feeling all the feels, to growing.
Here’s to community, to experiences, to change, to life’s humor, to perfect timing, to God’s good grace.
Here’s to 2017.
In Jennifer’s own words:
When I met Callie three years ago, I knew she was the coolest girl boss I had ever met, but didn’t know just how intertwined our lives would become. From the very beginning, we talked life, business and careers over Mexican food. She even planned and orchestrated my very own surprise wedding before my Husband and I jetted off to live in Tokyo! (talk about a generous friend!) We “pen-palled” off and on and eventually an opportunity on Callie’s team and God’s perfect timing intersected and I found myself working for this amazing woman from half way across the world. Callie’s vision and mission for The Big Fake Wedding always captivated me and the way she gracefully lead her team and forged meaningful ‘friendor’ relationships was something I always looked up to. It’s rare to find a leader that is so compassionate, selfless and encouraging while also being a leader that knows how to get stuff done! I am so honored to be entrusted with and supported by Callie’s 8 years of hard work, grit and resilience and will continue to grow her vision to inspire brides, support and strengthen small businesses, and encourage and lift up solid marriages. I am so passionate about growing our vision here at The Big Fake Wedding and continuing to add value to brides, grooms and vendors. Each of you are such a huge part of why we exist and in 2017 my personal goal is to grow and build relationships along side of you!
We’re excited for Callie’s continued support and mentorship and Jennifer’s new leadership. Cheers to another year of promoting small businesses, inspiring brides and grooms, and encouraging solid marriages.