Successful partnerships require work. That’s true when it comes to personal couplings as well as professional ones. And when you are partners in both love and work, even more communication and empathy is required—something that couple Jessica Williams and Lauren Smith, founders of EventSmith Productions, seem to have mastered on a whole new level.
The happily married couple has been running their business together since its inception in 2019, when they merged two previous companies into one. They do it all—from corporate branding and social-media management to company events and training videos. And when it comes to weddings, Smith does the planning and design logistics while Williams serves as the event photographer.
“As a wedding photographer and video person, I’ve worked with many planners who I would never want to work with again,” Williams admits. “From day one, I have loved working with Lauren. She is fun, yet is still a badass who gets shit done.”
“As a planner, I see Jessica having the most fun while working efficiently, and everyone just loves working with her,” Smith adds.
Of course, the lines are not so distinctly drawn as they work together on a project. Although Williams is on the production and photography side while Smith does most of the planning, the two have been known to cross the line into each other’s specialties. “We get a little competitive, in-house,” Williams admits.
But overall, their greatest accomplishment has been their success at building up a brand with an excellent reputation over the past 15 years. “We’ve created and photographed over 1,000 weddings and endless corporate events while establishing and maintaining amazing relationships with vendors and [corporate clients],” Williams notes.
The two met at a wedding in July 2016, back when they were both in relationships. But they reconnected at a second wedding in 2017 and began dating shortly thereafter.
“Although Jess thought she had the flirting part down, I never even realized that was happening, even when Jess stuck her head out of a window and said, ‘Oh, hey there!’” Smith recalls. The two talked constantly from that moment on, had their first date three days later, and have been together ever since.
Williams’ plan for a surprise proposal on December 7, 2018, was naturally a logistical tour de force. “Jessica had to out-plan the planner!” Smith says with a laugh. The day included a 10-hour scavenger hunt, limo rides, help from many of their friends, a shopping spree at The Galleria, hair and makeup sessions, an unforgettable setting for the proposal, a private moment for just the two of them, a surprise appearance by Smith’s father, and an evening dinner with their closest friends and family members.
The two originally eloped early in 2019 before finally having a wedding ceremony on November 19, 2021 at Iron Manor in Montgomery, Texas.
“We had the most gorgeous flowers everywhere, at Jessica’s request. Danny Ray and the Atlantic Street Band had one hell of an entrance at the reception,” Smith recalls. The dinner stations included many of their favorite foods. And they had a candy bar, a dessert bar, and a late-night pretzel bar with fresh donuts. The evening even included llamas and an aerialist performing for their guests.
Santa Fe, Texas, native Williams, 36, holds an associate’s degree in media arts from Monroe College in Rochester, New York, and a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Smith, 44, is from Dallas and began her academic career at Collin County Community College in North Dallas. She then graduated with honors from the University of Houston-Downtown with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. The couple currently resides in Santa Fe.
The best part about working together, the two say, is that they are always there to support one another, allowing them to get through any situation. “Sometimes it’s Lauren calming the moment,” Williams begins. “And sometimes it’s Jessica lightening the mood and helping it all come together in the final hour,” Smith adds. “When you spend every waking moment together, that poses quite a challenge. Luckily for us, we can get through [the rough spots] quickly and get back on track.”
Their advice to other couples looking to follow in their footsteps with a professional partnership? Put your partner’s needs first, and work to understand what those needs are. And when the going gets tough, they say, “Boss up to get it done.”
For more information, visit eventsmithproductions.com.