Christy Whitehead Photography » North Florida photographer and graphic designer

Vendor Spotlight: Tatum Pettrey, owner of Make My Day Wedding & Event Planning

My kids are out of school for the summer and my grandmother hasn’t been doing well, so I’m hitting the road for Oklahoma to see family. But while I’m gone, I figured I’d feature a newer wedding planner in the area, Tatum Pettrey, (who is also from Oklahoma) owner of Make My Day Wedding & Event Planning. We recently did lunch over at Hawkers in Five Points (YUM!) and I took a couple of fun photos of her just talking and being goofy.


How long have you been in Business?

I started my business in March of 2016

Did you do this in Oklahoma?

Not as a business. It wasn’t until I moved to Jacksonville that I took a wedding planning certification course and started my business.

Howdid you get interested in Wedding planning?

I have always been a really creative person, I did apparel and interior design and loved it, I got a degree in Journalism and love writing, but I was that person who loved a lot of creative things but couldn’t figure out what I had enough passion for to do as a career. I got married and it was when we decided to move to Jacksonville that I decided I wanted to take a wedding planning certification course and I absolutely fell in love with the entire process and knew that I found a way to utilize all of my creative and organizational skills.

What brought you to Jacksonville of all places?

My husband and I knew we wanted to live on the beach after we got married – we talked about moving and I had been to Jacksonville once before and loved that it was a big city, like our hometown, Tulsa, but had a beach. So, I told Luke about it and he applied for an internship and spent the summer before our wedding here, he loved it and so he accepted a job and after we got married and he finished his Master’s we moved!

What is the biggest different between here and there?

The beach, obviously. The opportunities my husband and I have been given here I think are far greater than we would have had there. I say that because we were forced to put ourselves out there more coming to a city where we didn’t know anyone and had just got married. I took a leap of faith and started a business and I have learned and grown so much and have made some wonderful friends because of that, people who share common interests and Luke worked for a company that he adored and led to really amazing opportunities. We did something out of our comfort zone and we are extremely happy with the group of friends we have and the success we have had since moving here. BUT Oklahoma has our families and we are super attached to our families and because of that Oklahoma will always have a huge part of our hearts, we miss our family everyday!

What’s your favorite part of Jacksonville?

It is hard to nail down one thing that is our favorite. We love the beach, we love how friendly everyone is, we love that there are so many new things – we are always encountering new experiences. I love how it is growing, I am always in the St. Johns Town Center for meetings, lunches, shopping or whatever I can think of and it is crazy how much it is growing. I love having a professional football team. I don’t know what my favorite part is, I feel comfortable and at home here.

What’s the best part about being a business owner?

The best part of being a business owner is that I wake up and get to do something that I love to do everyday and that I am challenged to constantly learn, grow and be creative. Owning a business is hard, but I love being able to have an idea and implement it the way I want to.

Who are your ideal brides?

My ideal bride is someone who truly values my work and my expertise. I don’t have a specific style, because it is my job as a wedding planner to bring my bride’s vision to life, no matter what style they want, but it is important for my brides to have trust in me and give me creative freedom and trust my recommendations. I love getting to know my couples and often times I stay in touch with them after their wedding so I really love when my brides are eager to form a deeper relationship than just professional and client. It is because of that connection that I often find myself emotional at their weddings listening to toasts and watching the father, daughter dances. I also love couples who like to try new ideas and aren’t just mimicking what they find on Pinterest.

What are your favorite kind of weddings to plan?

I love all weddings for different reasons. I really love to plan small, intimate weddings because you know that everyone invited is extra extra special to the bride and groom and those weddings are always so touching. I love planning weddings for the larger crowds who stay out on the dance floor all night and the bride and groom are really intentional on making sure their guests have fun, and I love planning weddings for detail oriented brides, because the beauty is in the details and the details are what can truly differentiate one wedding from another.


What’s the worst part of a wedding?

The way my feet feel the next day. I have so much adrenaline on the day of a wedding and I am always running around doing everything that I don’t realize how badly my feet hurt until I sit in my car to go home afterward.

Have you ever had anything crazy happen on a wedding day?

I haven’t had anything too too crazy. Weather has caused some stress and craziness, but always turn out so beautiful. I have had a caterer show up a little late and I had to switch the timeline up and stall, but no one noticed and it was perfect. Recently had the son of the groom decide to jump in the pool in his attire after the wedding, that was pretty crazy I suppose, but it gave everyone a good laugh!

Anything ever make you cry?

I have been teary eyed during more than one toast and during father daughter dances before. I am so sensitive so I try to keep it together.

You and me both sister, you and me both!


So, I didn’t want to just take a head shot of Tatum. Especially since the whole thing was sooo informal. But she was a fantastic sport and we had a ton of fun getting these personality photos. Thank you Tatum for rolling with the flow, don’t know if I would have been soo nice about it! LOL.

These are kind of like the bloopers, but I love them!


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