Today we introduce you to Ashley Lang Events’ co-owner Mallory Lester.
Hi Mallory, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
Jordan (Scarleski) and I have been close friends since we can remember – in middle school, and high school, we both chose to go to college at the University of Alabama, lived together for a summer in Boulder, Colorado, then moved back home to Memphis the same year to begin our careers.
Jordan took off in fundraising and development at Ronald McDonald House of Memphis and went on to do fundraising and events for schools around town (Bodine School, Christian Brothers University, St. George’s Independent School, etc.).
I put my graphic design to work for Malco Theatres and also did some freelance design work. Jordan called me one day and said she was interested in doing events on the side and wanted me to partner on the planning and also bring in my graphic design as a unique package deal for clients. Ashley Lang Events was born (our names we dropped when we got married “Ashley” Jordan Proctor and Mallory “Lang” Lightman).
We have loved doing upscale, large weddings and events. We love meeting so many interesting clients who are eager to share celebrations with the people most important to them, to get to know them, and then deliver their wants and dreams.
Fast forward some – and one day, a bride of ours (Sara Hill, now Sara Dollar) was selling her COVID-era picnic business, Bluff City Picnics. She began the business with her friend Rebecca during COVID to keep themselves busy while their teaching jobs were on hold due to the pandemic.
Once school resumed, they didn’t have the time. We were thrilled to scoop up the business as an add-on to Ashley Lang Events and have an outlet to focus on the small, cozy, meaningful gatherings we don’t see as much since we’ve been so focused on weddings. We’ve been doing lots of proposals, which NEVER gets old!
We love both sides of our business as they offer totally different experiences – yet all focus on such thoughtful moments in our clients’ lives.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has! Jordan and I have known each other for so long, we know how the other works and feels, how to read each other, and we know when things are too much.
Unlike some other business partners, we haven’t had to take time to learn these things about each other, they’re already in our arsenal and we’re able to hit the ground running. Our personalities mesh well together and our talents fit together like a puzzle.
Every business has its learning experiences, of course. We are continuing to learn as we go – we often talk about how much we’ve grown since Day 1 and are full of pride over it. In the event industry, no event is the same, no day is the same.
That’s what keeps us invested and that’s what keeps us going.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
What sets us apart from other planners in town is that we offer the Planning side, but we also offer the Paper side. We help a client through vendor booking, contracts, scheduling, timelines, you name it – but we are also there to offer graphic design of the event invitations, envelopes, menus, logos, koozies, signage, etc.
With all of this done in-house, we help keep the ‘brand’ of a client’s wedding or event cohesive. While we’re discussing colors or flowers or linens with them and their vendors, we’re also making sure those same colors, theme, and style are reflected in their printed products.
A detail about Ashley Lang Events that we’re proud of – in addition to the above Paper inclusion – is our promise that when you arrive at your wedding/event day, you’re getting Jordan & Mallory. You’re not walking into someone who has been given all of the notes and expected to deliver what’s on paper.
It’s us there, who have been in the meetings, had the conversations, and know exactly how your day is to unfold.
How can people work with you, collaborate with you, or support you?
People can join us by following our Instagram feed and stories @ashleylangevents and @bluffcitypicnics. We are always available there for any questions or comments and love interacting with our followers.
For wedding/event inquiries, a quick form can be submitted on ashleylangevents.com/contact.
For fellow industry vendors, we are always open to collaborations, styled shoots, and giveaways!
- Website: www.ashleylangevents.com
- Instagram: @ashleylangevents and @bluffcitypicnics
- Facebook: ashleylangevents
- Other: ashleylangevents.com/picnics (website)
Persuasion Photography, Annabella Charles Photography, Kristyn Hogan Photography, Taylor Square Photography, and Snap Happy Photography