Darryl Wilson Jr. – The Wedding Concierge/Global Marketing Director for Diann Valentine Living Well

Creating and bringing LOVE STORIES to life for couples of color around the globe.

After graduating high school and finishing up his freshman year of undergrad Darryl Wilson Jr. had his life mapped out. The plan was to follow in his fathers footsteps and join the Navy branch of the Armed Forces, serve 25 years and retire. But a special occasion altered the course of events and changed Wilson’s life forever.

“GOD had a different blueprint for me,” Wilson tells BE Modern Man. “It wasn’t until after planning my mother’s wedding to my step father 15 years ago that I realized the exceptional talent I had.” Talented but not yet confident, Wilson struggled to see how he could take his talent and craft a successful career in wedding planning. “At the time the wedding and event industry was predominately ran by females, and there were not many men of color in the limelight making strides in the wedding industry,” says Wilson. “As my confidence began to grow, my LIFE long goal has become to change the dynamics of the industry by planning one love story at a time!”

So what stirs and incites Wilson’s passion within to produce magical memories? Love. He says, “I am blessed to be a part of an industry that honors and celebrates love everyday.” Inspired everyday by opportunities and experiences, Wilson relishes his role in bringing love together. “Plus I’m blessed to work with beautiful women from around the world,” Wilson tells BE Modern Man. “What a lucky man am I [laughing]!”

Initially stepping foot into a billion-dollar industry and being a small fish in a big pond was intimidating for Wilson. But as his passion, talent and love for planning developed he learned a few things. “Be who you are, be wise and be smart,” Wilson tells BE Modern Man. “Don’t be afraid of failure, and be willing to showcase your individuality. I’ve become successful because I genuinely love what I do and I surround myself with peers and mentors from different backgrounds.” Spending days and many nights strategically planning how to continue to be a force in the industry, Wilson also encourages people to expose themselves to cultural experiences. “I would encourage any creative to travel outside of your city, state and country at one of the beautiful Hilton resorts and just wonder around the city and just allow the elements, people, and food inspire you.”

Blessed with an extraordinary gift of being a creative soul, Wilson believes that it is his intangible traits of being a honest spirit and having a daring mind that separates him from the rest. “Brides don’t just hire me to plan their weddings,” says Wilson. “I become a confidant, a fixer, and most importantly a friend. It is my normal to always give first class extraordinary Service.

Extraordinary service and passion eventually led Wilson to working alongside one of the best wedding creatives in the industry. In 2011 while watching a wedding reality TV show hosted by Diann Valentine, Wilson said to himself that he would one day be working with her. “I had no clue how, but I was going to do all in my power to make it happen,” Wilson tells BE Modern Man. “Almost immediately I sent an email to her company that I found through her website inquiring about a Master Class in Atlanta that she would be hosting. But the class was sold out.” A bit discouraged, Wilson did not give up. In June OF 2015, Diann released a new product to the bridal industry called the “Bridal Cuff” which is an alternative option for the bouquet for bridal and evening. “I was completely in aw so I emailed her again but my approach and style was completely different this time,” says Wilson. “I shared with her how I loved the new product and I wanted to share it with my clients and the world. I pitched a Houston, TX trunk show for her and the cuffs and I told her I would handle everything for the event. She responded back to my email and we had a phone call. To make a long story short the event was a major success and today I’m the Global Marketing Director for Diann Valentine Living Well and Wedding Producer for Diann Valentine Living Brides.”

Due to the lack of attention given to men of color in the wedding and events industry, Wilson feels a deep passion to use his platform to expose people from all over the world to the celebration of love. He says, “we are not celebrated for planning beautiful moments for black men and women.” “I get very excited when I see people of color my age show up into my office and both become involved in planning their special day. Those moments aren’t celebrated by mainstream media and this is why I’ve partnered with MunaLuchi Bridal Magazine, one of the foremost publications on ethnic weddings as their Global Brand Ambassador. Here I am able to showcase love stories in printed and social media.”

Wilson is a man that has always been proud of who he is and loves the skin he is in. Walking with a humble yet confident stride, he now has his eyes set on reframing the idea of what people in this industry look like. “I’ve broken the mold of what people thought a black male in my profession would look like or act like,” says Wilson. “People ask me all the time how did I arrive to this point and I simply reply that I haven’t yet. I’m still in the car but I’m on my way!”

For Wilson passion is strategically placed into every inch of planning that goes into making a clients wedding the magical experience they have dreamed of. “It is important that this industry is highlighted because my profession allows us to showcase our brothers and sisters celebrating  one of the most important days of their lives,” Wilson tells BE Modern Man. “the world needs to see beautiful people of color join as one in the most luxurious settings created by The Wedding Concierge.”

Following his dreams, and creating a personal mold for himself and his business has impacted his clients, and the various communities he works in. “Through my work I’ve become a role model for young men and women,” says Wilson. “My next goal is to plan life celebrations in London, Paris and Barcelona.”

Wilson wants nothing more than for the world to be aware of the men of color in the events profession. “Men like myself, titans in the Wedding Industry that produce the most wondrous weddings need this exposure. My goal is to honor us!”

Wilson’s career plan of action has undoubtedly changed from its initial conception of serving in the Navy, and he says “being a BE Modern Man to me means always being true to yourself. One that’s determined to create their own legacy and be a leader that empowers others by being extraordinary in their craft. The Wedding Concierge personifies a BE Modern Man!”

The BlackEnterprise.com team salutes Daryl Wilson for following his passion into an industry that was and still is predominantly run by women. Changing the stereotype of a traditional wedding planner, Wilson is opening many eyes to what the possibilities are within the industry. We look forward to seeing The Wedding Concierge continue to create magical moments that people will always remember.