A Path To My Purpose: Tricia Stewart with Nouveau Wedding

In Brittany Strickland, Lola Shreveport, Tricia Stewart by Lola Magazine

Hello. My name is Tricia, and I’m an introverted event planner.” Set this fact aside, and we will come
back to it later. At age 43 I’ve dabbled in my fair share of careers and side projects.  In no particular
order, I’ve owned a maternity and children’s clothing store and a BBQ restaurant.  I’ve made jewelry,
arranged flowers, made pottery, and taught prenatal yoga. You might recognize me as the girl spinning
organic cotton candy at neighborhood festivals or selling produce at the Shreveport Farmer’s Market.
The most bizarre job I’ve ever had was in trucking logistics, which by the way, was where I learned that
I am not the least bit competitive. Lastly, I’ve been on every side of event planning possible, from venue
manager to florist, to catering director, to wedding planner. 
Every business venture sprung from passion and an overwhelming desire to be self-employed. I knew
at an early age that I thrived in a flexible environment that challenged me artistically. Unfortunately,
each business required me to sell something.  Let’s face it. If you’re not making money, it’s a hobby,
not a career. Little did I know, I was horrible at sales. 
So horrible that I would actually find myself talking customers out of purchasing whatever product I
was selling at the time. I can clearly remember guiding a potential customer to an online resale shop for
the exact same product I had on my shelves, simply because I knew they were available for half the
price. Another valuable lesson that I learned about myself is if you are under the age of 12 and you ask
me for something, chances are, I’ll give it to you. You try telling a precious, little four- year- old he or
she can’t have cotton candy for free.  However, above and beyond my weakness to sell a product, rose
my anxiety of dealing with the public. At the time I shrugged it off as being introverted, not quite as
comfortable in my own skin as I should be, which I was told was common in women in their 20’s. I also
had a lingering fear of failure, because let’s face it, I am the type to jump in with two feet and figure out
the rest as I go. I don’t know if this is courageous or down right idiotic, but it has served me well, and
I’ll continue to do it this way as long as it does. 
Fast forward 20 years and 20 jobs later, and I am enamored with event planning as much as I was in my
early twenties.  My career in event coordinating started at age 22 with a Certificate of Event Planning
that proved I knew what the heck I was doing. I launched my first Wedding planning business in Dallas,
Texas, and waited and waited. Then reality hit and I had to find a “real job”. I was lucky enough to find
someone who didn’t shy away from this 22- year – old kid who thought she knew the industry because
her certificate said so. This was truly an opportunity of a life time. I traveled all over the U.S. planning
events. I met some of my greatest mentors, and I was put into a position to sink or swim… which suits
me just fine. I currently hold three positions within the event planning industry which include the
following: Event Manager, The Remington Suite Hotel; Event Manager, Shreveport Aquarium; and most
recently, Owner and Creative Director of The Nouveau Wedding. If it sounds as if I’m bragging a bit, well
I am. Event planning is not for the weak. It means starting at 5:00 a.m. and finishing at 5:00 a.m. It
involves sleep deprivation for days on end.
It’s working in 95-degree heat or in the pouring rain and everything in between.
It’s heavy lifting, cuts, bruises, sunburns, climbing stairs, ladders, and trees.
It’s playing with flowers, fabrics, timber, and paint. It’s serving as a therapist, a surrogate mom, a
mentor, a motivator, and providing a shoulder to cry on. It’s what I live for and what I love. So, yes, I am
proud to have sustained a career in a field that challenges me in every way possible. Every sleepless
night is forgotten when the elevator opens, and I see the look on the mother of the bride’s face at the
start of the wedding reception. I wink and smile and she knows that I am there to take care of their
every need, because after seven to nine months of working together, I’ve been able to gain their trust
and friendship. 
After 16 years in the industry, I now feel that being introverted has enabled me to connect with my
clients on a much deeper level. The interest that I show in their personal life is authentic. It’s so
rewarding to witness the beauty that exists in genuine moments of connection between people and
their surroundings. The anxiety of being in the midst of chaos subsided years ago.
Granted, I feel like a hawk, scanning every square foot of the room in search of possible issues, but the
reason for the celebration and the beauty in the unity of the guests are not lost on me. The wedding industry
is constantly evolving, just as I am. If you are interested in learning more about my adventures in the
wedding world, visit my website at thenouveauwedding.com.