Pulling it togetherWedding, event planner deals with stress, details
Kevin Smith, Staff Writer
GLENDORA - Few events can generate as much stress as a wedding.
The thought of hiring a caterer, getting the invitations out on time, securing the entertainment and coordinating all of the other details can seem daunting to just about anyone.
But Mary Dann-McNamee does it all - without breaking a sweat.
As the owner of Mary Dann Wedding and Party Coordinators in Glendora, Dann-McNamee is used to coordinating everything from intimate gatherings to upscale weddings, parties and other events that demand great attention to detail.
"Wedding planning is all about teamwork," the Glendora entrepreneur explained. "All of these people have to perform for you - the photographer, the caterer, the baker, the invitation people, the florist, the entertainment and the lighting people. And the more elaborate the wedding gets, the more you have that has to fall into place."
Dann-McNamee knows of what she speaks.
She's been a contributing writer for "Inside Weddings" magazine, "Ceremony" magazine and an on-air talent for nationally syndicated TV shows, including the Style Network's "Whose Wedding is it Anyway?" and "Married Away," among others.
As one of the most sought-after event coordinators in Southern California, Dann-McNamee and her team of wedding and party coordinators have done event planning and creative party consultation for corporations and families throughout the country since 1991.
The business even coordinates memorial services.
"That's one of my other specialties," she said. "I love to be able to capture the essence of someone's life. And memorial services happen so quickly. You have to have confidence in your skills to represent the family."
Dann-McNamee enjoys her work. And along the way, she's worked with some well known clients.
"Locally, we did Kobe Bryant's wedding," she said. "I had to do so much in such a short time, but I couldn't tell anyone. I had to pick people and sign off on everything. And you'll never see a wedding picture because we had to control all of that."
The guest list at another event included singer Frank Sinatra. "He had to have a bottle of vodka at his table - chilled," she said.
Jennifer Jo can attest to Dann-McNamee's abilities. Dann-McNamee served as her wedding planner when Jo appeared on an episode of "Whose Wedding is it Anyway?" "It was excellent," Jo said. "We were kind of leery about it at first - we thought a wedding planner would be like Attila the Hun. But she was completely the opposite. We didn't worry about anything because of her."
Dann-McNamee used to work as a catering sales manager and corporate group sales manager for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. She also holds a master's degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy. "I feel like my life's work prepared me for what I'm doing now," she said. "I waitressed through college. That helped me a lot with the idea of making people happy and making sure that things happen in a timely way."
For more information, call 626-963-1212, or log onto www.marydann.com
626-962-8811, Ext. 2701