Mothers play such an important role in weddings that one wedding consultant actually went into business with her mom. "My mother and I had always loved to plan things, and we thought `Let's do this together,' " says Nichole McCammon-Link, owner of Exquisite Event Planning in Powell, Ohio. McCammon-Link, 28, and her mother, Clara McCammon, 47, started their business in August 1997, after McCammon-Link learned the ropes for 18 months as a volunteer apprentice to wedding consultants. The mother-daughter team attends all appointments together. "[On the day of a wedding,] she's usually at the reception and I'm usually at the ceremony," McCammon-Link says, "so [our company can] be two places at once."
Carol Marino started A Perfect Wedding Inc. in Fairfax, Virginia, in 1993, after volunteering for many years as an event planner for community and charitable functions. "That was a wonderful experience because it taught me how to meet deadlines, read contracts and deal with vendors," she says. Marino also coordinated weddings as a volunteer at a local historic church before starting her own service. A Perfect Wedding projects revenues of more than $50,000 this year, and Marino, 44, has hired an associate planner so the company can handle even more weddings.