Spotlight on Jenny Smith, Event Partner

August 29, 2023

At the annual fundraiser, The Gala, on May 25, we were fortunate to have Jenny Smith, Owner and Lead Decorator of Wedding Perfect, donate the exquisite décor pieces. Jenny and the team of about 10 decorators help make events come true throughout the community. In the cozy atmosphere of Wedding Perfect’s studio, created by the business’ beautiful décor, Jenny and I sat down and talked about her relationship with the Fox Cities P.A.C. and her events management career.

I wanted to partner with the Fox Cities P.A.C. and donate the décor to The Gala because it was my way of giving back to the Center that gave me so much.
Jenny Smith – Wedding Perfect Owner/Lead Decorator

Jenny, who owns Wedding Perfect and is an Annual Business Partner of the Center, was thrilled to be back at Fox Cities P.A.C., where she began her career in events. She started as the concessions manager and eventually became the event services manager during the Center’s early years. Although she had been a part of previous annual galas at the Center, this one held a special significance for Jenny. “The stage in Thrivent Hall looked stunning, and the lights created an unbelievably breathtaking setting. It’s difficult to put into words, but everything came together beautifully.” Jenny had a great time catching up and chatting with her former co-workers. They reminisced about their time at the Center and how it was where Jenny discovered her passion for events.

Jenny worked at a local restaurant in 2002 when she met the lead project manager involved in building the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. He told her that the Center was looking to hire a concessions manager and believed that Jenny would be a great fit for the role. An interview was scheduled, and she was later hired for the position during the “hard hat” stage of the construction in 2002 when the building was still being built. Despite the competition of over 200 applicants, Jenny was selected to oversee the food and beverage department and valet service.

Even though the building was not yet completed, you could already feel the energy, and being involved was amazing! I felt fortunate to have been part of the groundbreaking phase of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Everyone was committed to their craft, and the Center’s vision and mission making it a truly magical place to be.
Jenny Smith – Wedding Perfect Owner/Lead Decorator

Jenny fondly remembered her time working at the Center’s Opening Night Gala, which took place on November 25, 2002, where Tony Bennett delighted more than 1,500 guests with his legendary voice. According to Jenny, Tony Bennett was not only one of her favorite performers, but also a very kind and humble person. She recounted a special moment when he had visited the staff at Victoria’s Italian Cuisine where she was enjoying dinner. When asked to sing a song, he sang “I Left My Heart in *Appleton, *Wisconsin.” Jenny shared with a laugh. She also noted this unique experience with Tony Bennett was made possible because the Fox Cities P.A.C. brought him to the area.

The arrival of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in 2002 was very exciting for our community. It allowed us to appreciate the magic of the arts and to have access right in our own backyard.
Jenny Smith – Wedding Perfect Owner/Lead Decorator

Jenny served on both the décor and experience committee and the food and beverage committee for The Lion King Extravaganza Evening on the Safari. This event welcomed Disney’s The Lion King as a Wisconsin premiere in the summer of 2007 and was the Fox Cities P.A.C.’s longest-running show to date, attracting over 88,000 patrons.

Positively raving about her experience working at the Fox Cities P.A.C – Jenny explained “It was the best job I’ve ever had, aside from Wedding Perfect of course.” During her time here, she developed an interest in expanding the events hosted at the Center and initiated the wedding program.

Jenny recalled, “I have had the pleasure of coordinating numerous beautiful weddings and witnessing countless brides and their fathers walking down the stunning grand staircase. It was during these moments that I discovered my lifelong passion for event management, for which I am eternally grateful.” She was eager to learn all she could during her time at the Fox Cities P.A.C. “Soaking it all in!”

I learned so much during my tenure at the Center; it was a place where you could be the best version of yourself. I realized that coordinating, managing, and decorating events is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Jenny Smith – Wedding Perfect Owner/Lead Decorator

While at the Fox Cities P.A.C. and beyond, Jenny referred many clients and couples to Wedding Perfect to utilize the business’ decorating services, loving their willingness to be innovative and creative. After leaving the Center and developing her events management career, Jenny continued in the events and décor industry, which led her to pursue her dream of owning her own business.

Jenny took the leap and started her own wedding planning business, Smith Event Professionals, in the spring of 2020. Shortly after, she was presented with the opportunity to purchase Wedding Perfect – a dream come true for her. With enthusiasm, Jenny fully embraced the opportunity and has since rebranded and expanded the business. She has implemented new procedures and styles, enhanced the website and social media presence, and turned Wedding Perfect and Smith Event Professionals into sister companies.

Jenny mentioned that holiday parties are once again in full swing. They feel grateful to have repeat clients from many large corporations in the area. Additionally, they offer décor services for grand openings of new businesses, open houses for venues, and provide backdrops for local military functions.

Jenny expressed the benefits of collaborating with different communities. She finds it fulfilling to contribute to the decoration team for significant non-profit organizations like JDRF Wisconsin, which they work with annually. Additionally, Jenny mentioned the strong bond they have formed with the local Hmong community by decorating exquisite cultural celebrations of life ceremonies. The wedding and event decorating business is highly in demand, so much so that Travel Wisconsin has chosen them to design and decorate their annual social media experience featuring three events over two days, showcasing the best of Wisconsin.

Jenny has some useful advice for individuals who want to decorate their special event or wedding. She suggests talking with a professional decorator before purchasing unique items. This can help save money, as buying often comes with the added hassle of storing or reselling items. As a full-service decorating company, she takes pride in making the entire process stress-free for couples and venues. By working closely with both, she ensures that everything is taken care of from start to take-down. Her goal is to do the work so that her clients can fully enjoy their special day.

Wedding Perfect
Wedding Perfect is a full-service wedding and event decorating company that was started nearly 25 years ago as one of the original wedding decorating businesses in the Fox Valley area where it grew into a very well respected and prominent business. “I was always Wedding Perfect’s biggest fan,” Jenny said with a laugh. “They were doing things that other event decorating companies weren’t doing, and I loved that. We’ve always had a good relationship, so wherever I went in my career, I referred them to clients as often as possible. And today, I always strive to do my best to honor and appreciate the women who founded this exceptional company.”

Wedding Perfect specializes in creating unique ceiling designs, beautiful backdrops, Chiavari chairs, trending furniture options, a variety of arches and wooden arbors, and many other decorative items such as neon signs, Trending centerpieces, premium table numbers, and seating charts. Their services can elevate any special event, including weddings, bridal and baby showers, significant birthdays, and corporate events. While weddings are the primary focus, they are happy to decorate other social and corporate events as well.

Written by Philomena Dorobek, Brand Storyteller
Fox Cities Performing Arts Center