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Meet Nellie Mun of Pleasant Surprise Events and RSVP Event Space in Fullerton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nellie Mun.

Nellie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My father was a pastor of a small Korean church. When some of the young people of the congregation were getting married not long after I did, my dad asked me to offer them my help for vendor referrals and other tips from my own experience. As the years went by, my Sunday school kids were old enough to get married and they asked me to coordinate their weddings. I visited the venues, called the vendors, made timelines and took care of everything that needed to be taken care of. After a few weddings, people told me I should consider doing this as a business. I took some classes, applied for a DBA, joined an association and created Pleasant Surprise Events.

After working at so many different venues, I thought it would be so great to own my own venue, where I could make the rules and people would come to me. I started dreaming about it, creating diagrams of my ideal space that would be a wonderful space to host events, but also be designed for ease of use for the vendor. My husband and I realized this was not a cheap dream, so we shelved it as something we would visit when he retired and we had a little more money for something like this. One year ago, my husband’s co-worker had extra Laker tickets and so I planned to take the train to LA from Fullerton. My son was going to drive me to the train station but only had time 2 hours too early, so to kill time, I decided to walk and shop around the cute downtown stores. I walked into the space that I had rented for my son’s graduation party 3 years earlier and had always thought was a great space for intimate events. I struck up a conversation with the owner and she revealed to me that she planned on moving after her lease was up in the next few months. The wheels in my head began to turn and I started making phone calls and emailing people to see if I could make it work as an event venue. This one was not as easy as applying for a DBA and getting business cards. I needed to go through the city, obtain permits, hire an architect and contractors, order tables and chairs, and so much more to make this dream into a reality. The grand opening of RSVP Event Space will be my dream come true.

Has it been a smooth road?
I have a BA in Liberal Studies, my career plan was to be a teacher. I don’t have a business background and I’m terrible at promoting myself, so it hasn’t been the easiest road when it came to generating leads. I didn’t hustle but I was blessed to have a business almost solely based on referrals. When I would go to networking events and would meet other planners who were doing much higher end weddings and getting a lot more business, I would get discouraged. I would try to do what they were doing, but it was not genuine and it didn’t work for me because it didn’t feel natural to me. Whenever I focused too much on the business as a business, I didn’t get much business. I realized after a few years that the best thing I could bring to the table was just me, my experience as a wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, mother and friend, and of course my incredible team of coordinators.

I’m still in the building process of RSVP. Most of my struggle has been having to wait on others and trust the process. Because every step was a new experience, it has been hard to try to wrap my brain around why some things take so long, or why it costs so much money. One of the hardest things that I think about is, what if we don’t book enough events, I still have payments that need to go out every month. However, every person I’ve come in contact with has been so helpful and encouraging and so positive, I look to the future of RSVP with great hope and excitement.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Pleasant Surprise Events and RSVP Event Space – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Pleasant Surprise Events is a full service wedding and event coordinating company, specializing in weddings. I’ve been told that my life stage and age puts me at an advantage because I’m like and older sister to the brides and because I’m older, parents appreciate my experience. Our younger coordinators can relate to the couples and the culture, so it’s a win win for everyone. One thing that I do that is special is I invite my couples to my home to share a meal with my family. We release all the tensions and stresses that come with planning a wedding and we just connect as people. We share stories and get to know each other on a non-business level which helps my couples relax and trust me more on the wedding day. When distance and schedules don’t allow for a meal at my home, I still try to meet with them over a meal. There’s just something about breaking bread together that I find so personal and I love that. I’m proud of the fact that I stay connected with most of my couples. They become friends of the family. They know my children and I get to help celebrate theirs. Some brides have even become my coordinators. I’m also proud of my team, we have a special bond and I love each one of them so much and it’s evident to our clients.

RSVP is an intimate gathering space in the heart of Downtown Fullerton. People have always asked me for recommendations for spaces where they can hold their bridal or baby showers, or private dinner parties and there really isn’t too many places like ours that allow clients to personalize the space with decor and food. We are a blank slate with a cool vibe. We’re also open to meetings, workshops, pop up shops, maker’s malls. We look forward to meeting many future friends, providing a space where they can gather and celebrate. Even though it’s a separate company, we plan to bring the same level of service from Pleasant Surprise Events to our RSVP clients.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Fullerton is full of creative, energetic, genuine, compassionate, purposeful people. I love that it’s a small town where everyone knows each other, encourages each other and helps each other succeed. I love the mom and pop shops and the individual flavor each business has.

Fullerton also has a lot of homeless people and people who live with difficult circumstances. But if they want help, there are a lot of local organizations with great resources.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jen Disney Photography
Brandon Kidd Photography
Carla Gates Photography
PerPixel Photography
Margarrete Sia Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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