What’s Your Story? Featuring Rick & Jennifer Tan



April 3, 2020

Running a small business is not for the faint at heart. Who can agree with me that running a small business is like being on a never-ending rollercoaster ride? One minute you’re cruising at a level pace, the next you’re at the highest of highs and then all of a sudden something happens and you feel like you are falling fast. Please tell me that it’s not just me that feels that way. Now, I know some times are better than others and it’s great when we get to a point where we are cruising at that level pace for a long time but even if your business is doing great you know that at any time things could change and even the little hiccups sometimes feel like you are crashing to the bottom. The thing is though, we stick with it, right? There has to be a reason behind the long hours, the stress, the decisions, the learning curve, the growing pains, and all the other craziness that small business owners endure. If it was just all about the money, it wouldn’t be worth it – we could go work for someone else and make a decent living, right? So, what is it? What’s your biz story? What is your why? 


I thought it would be fun to share my “why” as well as a few other awesome small business owners that have an amazing “why” as well. If you missed my story, check it out here and also be sure to check out Trena’s, Tracy’s, Ashlyn’s, Shay’s and Ashley’s stories as well. Today, I’m super excited to introduce Rick & Jeniffer Tan from Tan Weddings and Events to you as they share their story.


Feel free to comment here or share your story on social media as well, and tag us and use the hashtag #whatsyourbizstory


What motivated you to start your business?

“We were musicians in weddings ‘on the side’ over 20 years ago, then began officiating 16 years ago. We started offering elopement packages because we found that couples had a hard time putting together an elopement or small wedding. This began our journey into wedding planning, and we now plan weddings and events that host between 2-400 people! We both left our jobs in education 6 years ago to work on TWE full-time and have never looked back. We now have a team of 17 and offer planning, officiants, and musicians.”

How does your business look different today than when it first started?

“We mostly did weddings for people we knew, and referrals, in the beginning, averaging 5-10 weddings per year while Jennifer was a full-time school principal. Rick plays harp and piano and Jennifer plays the flute. It was just the two of us in the early years. We eventually shifted to Jennifer working weddings full-time and Rick teaching full-time and added on a few officiants, and now we both do weddings full-time with our amazing team of 17 which includes an operations manager, designer, social media specialist, inclusion specialist, event associates, and officiants. Our team handles 200+ weddings and events per year in Northern California, and we have created the Wedwordy app so that couples may create customized wedding ceremony words.”

What is the hardest part of running your small business?

“Keeping track of the financial end! That’s why we have you (thank goodness!). In January of each year, we analyze what went well the prior year and create goals for making the current year even more successful. We rely on HoneyBook, Aisleplanner, Asana, When I Work software programs, along with Steadfast keeping our books, to ensure that the financial and organizational end of our business is solid.”

What motivates you to keep your business going even when it gets tough?

“We are passionate about what we do — we love it, so much! We feel like we live and breathe weddings and events 24/7. The business is the perfect fit for us with our backgrounds. Our team is the most hard-working, joyful, positive group! We are able to combine our organization skills and artistry to create the most amazing day for couples.”

What is one piece of advice you’d give a new business owner?

“Hire a bookkeeper and CPA early on — always!”

If you would like to learn more about Rick & Jennifer and what they do, check out their website here!

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