photo by Charlotte Stringer/ originally published Summer 2018
Since 2015, Posh Design Shoppe in Clinton has been providing brides with custom paper products and wedding coordinating to make their special day even more memorable. But owner Rachel Curtis is not new to the wedding scene. With over 300 weddings under her belt, Curtis is celebrating 25 years as a professional wedding coordinator.
“My aunt was the one who introduced me to the art of hosting social events,” says Curtis. “I would attend the parties she threw, and she would make me read Emily Post’s guide to etiquette.”
After she married her husband Chad, Curtis helped plan her sister-in-law’s wedding in 1993. It was then that she fell in love with the whole process.
“I loved it,” she says. “I realized that this is a business and that this was something I could do.”
Curtis helped coordinate about 20 weddings free of charge to gain experience. Then she decided to earn her certificate from the Association of Bridal Consultants to become a professional bridal consultant.
“I wanted to do things correctly,” she says.
While she was growing her wedding coordinating business under the name “Events, LLC,” Curtis was also working as publications secretary and church hostess at First Baptist Raymond. The job allowed her to explore graphic design, as well as coordinate church weddings.
After her oldest daughter, Elizabeth, got married and her youngest daughter, Anna, graduated from high school, Curtis says she needed a change. Since she enjoyed working with brides, as well as graphic design, she thought, “Why not combine the two?”
Posh Design Shoppe, LLC, opened its doors in November 2015. Posh stands for Pursuing Our Savior’s Heart. “I wanted a name that was fun and sassy but also communicated what I stood for,” says Curtis.
From invitations and stationery, to journals and gifts, Posh carries an array of paper products to celebrate any occasion. In addition, they offer gift wrap, as well as digital and hand calligraphy. About once a month, they hold calligraphy classes at the shop.
But one of the biggest services Posh offers is wedding coordinating. Curtis’ first Posh wedding was in March 2016. In 2017, Posh coordinated 26 weddings, and this year, they have booked 23 and counting, with brides already scheduling into 2019.
“My job isn’t to plan everything,” says Curtis. “I believe the wedding belongs to the bride. I’m the person that pulls all of the bride’s plans together and makes them happen.”
“I see this as a mission field,” she adds. “It’s my way of serving.” Curtis says that while the party and celebration aspect of weddings is great, she believes that the spiritual commitment is what should be front and center. She says, “The most important guest at your wedding is Jesus.”
Curtis says her goal is to be a calming presence for her clients. “I want all my brides to have fun and to take a moment to stop and savor it,” she says. The morning of each wedding, Curtis takes time to pray for the couple. “I want them to start their day knowing they’ve been covered in prayer,” she says.
But with over two decades of wedding experience, Curtis has also seen her share of craziness that can happen on the wedding day. “You’ve got to roll with the punches,” she says. “There’s no such thing as a perfect wedding, but my job is to make sure that the bride sees it as perfect.”
She works hard behind the scenes so that the bride only has to focus on her fiancé and saying “I do.” “I’m their insurance policy,” she says.
Curtis has a great crew at Posh to help her. Her two daughters, Elizabeth Hall and Anna Curtis, have been helping her with weddings since they were young. And coworkers Patrice Queen and Robin Simpson help run the shop and assist with wedding details. Because she’s been in such high demand, Curtis also hired another assistant, Melinda Kennedy, who will begin directing weddings starting this Fall.
While she’s enjoyed coordinating a variety of weddings, Curtis says she tends to like the smaller, more intimate ceremonies. And each wedding never fails to make her emotional. “I cry at every one,” she says. “There’s something about seeing a bride in her dress and helping her step into her future with the love of her life, that is so beautiful and rewarding.”
Curtis says her favorite moment is when the bride and her father are getting ready to walk down the aisle. “It’s just the three of us waiting at the back, and I have the opportunity to whisper a few comforting and encouraging words to the bride,” she says.
But many of Curtis’ relationships with her clients continue beyond the wedding day. “The brides become part of my family,” says Curtis. She’s had couples she’s married come tell her they are expecting and ask her to design their baby announcements. There is a bride that calls her “Momma Rachel.” One of Curtis’ favorite memories was coordinating the weddings of three sisters and then getting to surprise the mom with a vow renewal and reception.
Whether it’s a wedding, birthday, baby shower, or retirement party, Posh is about celebrating the best of life. Like the sign that Curtis keeps above her desk: “Life is an event. Let’s make it a good one.”
Curtis says she’s had great support from the Clinton community and has made wonderful connections. “I’ve really seen the Lord’s hand in all of it,” she says. “I want everyone to leave our store feeling better.”
“She’s in it for the serving,” says Queen. “She does her best to give the bride what she needs, while keeping it uncomplicated for her.”
This summer, Curtis is hosting a reception to say thank you to the many brides, as well as the network of florists, caterers, and other vendors, who have made her 25 years in the business so rewarding.
But Curtis is just getting started with Posh, and she says she plans to continue as long as she still enjoys it. “The day I stop crying at weddings is the day I retire,” she says.
Posh Design Shoppe is located at 420 Monroe St., Suite D, in Clinton. Call 601.708.4815 or visit poshms.com for more information.