By Billy Corriher
Making dreams come true might seem like a tough job description, but that's exactly how Pam Daniels describes her occupation.
Daniels is a wedding planner, which means her job is to help the bride and groom pull off their ideal wedding without a hitch. "We're here to take their dreams and make them happen," she said.
Daniels, 35, said the first wedding she planned was for a friend of hers from college. She said her friend, who was frantic from trying to prepare for the wedding, asked her for help because she is a highly organized person.
After the wedding, her friend suggested she take up wedding planning as a career. Though Daniels did not take her advice at first, she continued to organize weddings for family and friends.
After more requests for her help came in, Daniels eventually decided on a career change and started Dream Makers Wedding and Event Planners in Jonesboro.
Daniels said she wanted her own business so she could have a flexible schedule and become more involved with school events with her twin 7-year-old daughters. And she chose wedding planning because she enjoyed helping couples prepare for one of the most important days of their lives.
"The best thing about it is you get to see it as somebody's dream and you're able to bring it to fruition," she said.
Daniels said that the most rewarding moment for her is the gasp from the audience when the bride first appears.
"For me, it's the best natural drug you can have," she said.
The most important part of organizing a successful wedding is taking care of the bride, Daniels said.
"No matter how much you get other things going, (the bride) still gets butterflies," she said. "My job is to eliminate the stress of the bride."
Daniels said that, like many brides, she was too busy to plan her own wedding last May. She was busy planning three other weddings the same month, so she brought in a friend to take on the task.
A wedding planner helps the couple organize everything from dresses and caterers to invitations and photographers, and Daniels even offers her brides a one-hour pre-wedding massage to completely minimize stress.
One of Daniels' brides, Kimberly Vigne of Morrow, said she had much less anxiety about her wedding with a planner at the helm.
"I knew I was in good hands," she said.
Daniels said a wedding planner does not try to establish a vision for the wedding, but helps the couple realize their own n no matter how unusual the request may be.
"We have some people that don't want the traditional wedding," she said. "I had one young lady who wanted to get married in a gymnasium at her old middle school."
The bride, Kimberly Jenkins of Jonesboro, met the groom at the Atlanta middle school when she was 14 years old, Daniels said. The couple even wanted to use some members of the middle school band in the ceremony.
"It turned out beautifully," she said.
Daniels said she is lucky to have a job that she loves.
"It makes a real difference when you're doing something you love to do and there's so much emotion involved," she said.
"I still cry when the doors open and the bride walks down the aisle," she said. "When I don't cry, I won't do it anymore."