Rachel Stepanov Owner/Lead Specialist
My 'Once upon a time' started unexpectantly, which quite honestly is the theme to my Fairytale. My prince did not sweep me off my feet; he didn't even offer a 'Hello'. Instead the first thing my future husband ever said to me was, "Shut up! You're yelling in my ears!" Needless to say, it took us awhile to get from the to 'I do. After finally giving him a third chance, my husband did eventually sweep me off my feet by confiding in me. We became friends; very good friends and I fell in love with him while he talked about his then girlfriend. I couldn't believe the things that this man was saying about this very fortunate girl; about how much he cared for her and how loyal he was to her. I couldn't help, but think, "I need to find a guy like that!" So that's exactly what I did. He and his girlfriend split and shortly after that, we became inseparable.
After three years, we were married and it was my husband's idea for me to become a wedding planner, something I would have never expected for myself. He hit the nail on the head with that one. Soon after our wedding, I was working part time selling wedding dresses at David's Bridal while completing an internship with Barbara's Brides and going to school. After I became certified through Penn Foster, I became a Lead Wedding Planner for Austin Wedding Planners and later for Barbara's Brides. After a few years, I was ready to be on my own; I started my own wedding planning company and enjoyed early success, being featured in top wedding publications such as The Best of the Knot, Style me Pretty, and many more. I am Truly blessed to love my job and I can't image doing anything else. I was made to be a wedding planner and it shows.
I was happy, but there was still something missing. I wanted a child. After a year with no luck, we went off to the doctor, where I was given the heartbreaking news that I would
more than likely never have children of my own. After starting the grueling adoption process, we gave fertility one more try and after four years, I finally was pregnant. On April 1, 2011, I became a momma to three beautiful babies! Yes, when my husband and I planned to have only one child, we unexpectantly had triplets.
My Happily Ever After was complete after I decided to return to work after three years of staying at home with my triplets, founding my new company, The Fairytale Effect. I truly strive to 'Change Lives by Delivering Happily Ever After Weddings'. It's more than about wedding planning, but it's about caring for people and sharing my good fortune. Whether it's by delivering left over wedding flowers to the local nursing home, or planning a wedding for an extremely budgeted family for free, or cutting my prices in half and donating that amount to a charity, I make sure that ti's about giving back and creating as many Happily Ever Afters as I can!
Tanya Steinweld Lead Specialist
My happily ever after is really just in the beginning stages, but it all began when I met my husband nearly a decade ago. We were great friends, especially since I live in Los Angeles and he live in Las Vegas. Shortly after becoming friends, we realized how perfect we were for each other and we started dating long distance and quickly fell in love. A few years later, after having received a scholarship to attend the University of Nevada Las Vegas, I decided to make the move.
I had always been the social director in my personal life for friends and family, and once I learned planning events could be a career, my mind was set. During my time at UNLV, where I was studying special event management, I worked as a Senior Assistant in the Special Events Unit for the City of Las Vegas. I fell in love with everything even planning and have planned and executed everything from weddings to a 30th birthday bash to engagement parties.
Once we both graduated with our Bachelor degrees, we decided to move to Austin. After our move, I made the transition from non-profit events to weddings and got busy planning my own wedding that took place on June 7, 2014.
In my spare time, I love to work out, cook, and travel -- been to 17 countries and counting! It is a true blessing to be a part of one of the biggest days in someone's life. There is no greater pleasure for me than to see the million parts that go into an events, fall seamlessly into place, and see all the attendees enjoy every moment!
Kimberly Carrillo Lead Specialist
My "Once upon a time" kicked off in college, but my happily ever after is still being written. I've always been a big believer in dreaming big, never regretting anything, and holding on with all my might to this roller coaster we call life. If there is one thing I've known since I was younger, it is that I knew I disliked school, but I loved learning. I was constantly searching for the next step in my life. "What am I supposed to study in college? What am I going to do when I grow up?" These were the questions that would continually come across my mind. I knew I needed to figure out what my life path would be.
I attended Texas State University, and during that chapter in my life I discovered Student Event Planners Association (SEPA), and it changed my life. I finally found what I wanted to do and it was something I could make into a career. Unlike the town I grew up in, event planning was a big demand in cities like Austin and it was refreshing to discover there was something out there for me that didn't involve sitting in a cubicle. I started getting more involved in SEPA and managed to get myself out of my comfort zone. I started searching to internships and shortly after started with The Modern Jewish Mitzvah. I got a lot of opportunities and gained a lot of knowledge not only about the job, but about myself as well. This experience confirmed that I wanted to be an event coordinator and I continued to pursue my dream even further.
After my college graduation I was struggling to find a job in the industry. I continuously searched with no luck, until I attended the Bridal Extravaganza in Austin, Texas. There I met
Tanya, my current co-worker. Thankfully she saw something in me that made her pass along my information to Rachel, and so began my journey with The Fairytale Effect.
The Fairytale Effect started a new chapter in my life, and I am thankful every day for this opportunity. From high school to now, I have learned so much about myself and I now know how I want my happily ever after to end. Through the travling I've done, my family and friends, my dog Dean, and all the little things like music, movies, coffee, and TV shows, I know that I just want to be happy doing what I love. I want a family one day, but right now I am happy with what I have: living through my events and enjoying making others' day as happy as can be. I want to help others start their very own "Happily Ever After."