Thank God I didn’t miss that train, because being a wedding planner was written in my destiny!
After graduating in Art, Photography and Design I spent a couple of years traveling around Europe with the purpose of discovering the beauties of our old continent and deepening my studies. This included a long stop in the lovely city of London where I lived for more than one year. When I came back home it was 1995, I was a young lady with lots of creativity and dreams, I was looking for the perfect job, not a profession that makes you earn some money but a way to turn my passion and devotion into a job! I was wondering how to find the perfect occupation where I could incorporate my artistic skills, my creativity, curiosity, knowledge of foreign languages and the enormous love I have for my country and gastronomy…
It happened during one of my numerous trips coming back from home, that train I took changed my life completely!
Two American ladies seating in front of me couldn’t understand what the ticket collector was asking them, so I decided to help them and acted as an interpreter, translating what that man was saying. From that moment on we started talking about different subjects, they were visiting Italy as tourists and their next destination was Udine, where a friend of theirs was living. What a coincidence!!! I told them that I was from that region too. They became curious and wanted to know something more about me. I told them that after graduating, traveling around Europe and taking some courses on tourism I was looking for a job. They told me that they had a friend living close to my town who was looking for an assistant and that maybe I was the person she was looking for. Oh Yes! I was the Right Person! They gave me her business card and before saying goodbye they told me “Laura, don’t forget to call her!”.
I called her a couple of days later and set-up an appointment for an interview. This American lady explained to me that she was running a company specialized in customized honeymoons and tours and she needed someone exactly like me, full of enthusiasm, charisma and good taste, someone who would help her in dealing with her clients. Needless to say that the day after I was working next to her desk!
I learned a lot thanks to that experience. Creating personalized tours for sophisticated clients is quite a challenging task. It was right among those difficult requests that some couples started asking me to organize not just their honeymoons but their wedding ceremonies in Italy too! Where to start when in Italy no one had the idea of what a “Wedding planner” was? The first step to be done was a very extensive search and site inspection to find out the best venues available in our country. I traveled extensively throughout Italy for about 3 months and visited about 200 venues. I started with Venice then Tuscany and Rome, to continue my search in the Amalfi Coast, Capri, and the Italian Riviera. I had a notebook with me where I wrote down every single peculiarity of the town halls visited as well as churches, villas and castles, top-class restaurants and so on. What a hard job! It was hard but worthwhile doing. When I came back to my office I had so many exciting locations to recommend, but that was also the beginning of the hardest part of my task: I had to explain to several registry offices the right procedures to allow a foreigner to get married in Italy, an exhausting job! I am talking about certain destinations that nowadays have become very popular and requested, but you have to know that in 1995 they had no idea about what a destination wedding was: POSITANO, RAVELLO, LAKE ORTA, PORTOVENERE, some popular villages in TUSCANY…
In just 3 years destination weddings in Italy became a very popular desire and I ended up planning over 50 weddings a year. Though I was really grateful to that American lady for introducing me to the world of customized “creations”, I felt that her points of view and ways of dealing with clients were too ordinary for me and that I had too much experience with weddings to be just a simple assistant.
In 1999 I founded a travel agency together with a close friend of mine and thanks to my extensive know-how in destination weddings I could teach him and our staff many precious secrets about this business. During 4 years together in this business, we learned very much from each other but there was a time when we both agreed that taking our own ways was the best thing to do to unconditionally express our skills, follow our ambitions and reach our goals separately. If someone asked me now to narrow down a list of the most serious wedding planners in Italy, I would definitely mention them.
2004 was the year when I founded EXCLUSIVE ITALY WEDDINGS. My firstborn baby! In Italy, we say that you need to build 2 houses to be able to create the perfect one for you! Well, I think I can tell the same when you create two wedding planning agencies! When I created my own company I put so much love, passion, devotion and time in it that I really feel this is like my first child. During the project of the website, I worked more than 10 hours a day to create its perfect layout. I worked close to a talented graphic designer to make sure that every single detail reflected my immense love for this profession and my meticulousness… I selected carefully every little single image cause I wanted to communicate how much I am into details, my good taste, and my passion for the finest things. It took over one year for my website to come out online and when this happened it was clearly one of the most intriguing, captivating, distinctive and informative websites available online.
The work behind the scenes was not just creating the right ”façade” for my company, but also selecting a net of finest and trusted providers able to satisfy the high standard of services I wanted to offer to my future clients. Nothing is left to fate, all the events I create are studied to reflect the couple’s personality and their tastes!
During the first year of business, I planned 40 events throughout Italy. The year after I had almost 70 weddings already booked in November and this was a clue I needed extra staff to help me, so I contacted 3 talented and experienced event planners to assist me with the creation of my destination weddings. Now my team counts 5 experienced event planners able to organize refined weddings all over the country.
In 2007 my agency counted over 300 successfully planned events and many fabulous articles published on famous international wedding magazines such as COSMOPOLITAN BRIDE, INSTYLE, WEDDINGS & HONEYMOONS, TIME, HERALD TRIBUNE, ISLAND & WEDDINGS, and many others. Among my clients, I can list celebrities such as Patricia Arquette & Tom Jane who got married in Venice, James Baker IV (son of the former secretary of state of USA), Miss Ireland 2010, the British pop-star Paul Weller, and David Hasselhoff… I mentioned these names but for me, every client is a VIP, every couple deserves the most perfect and unforgettable experience, a wedding that they can remember for a lifetime. The phone in the office rings: it’s another journalist asking for information about weddings in Italy to write an article… I can also add that I am proud of being a model for Italian event planners that admire the way I work and how spectacular and meticulously planned my events are.
Many venues recommend my company to couples looking for an experienced wedding planner. The reason why they recommend my services is simply because they know that when a couple plans a wedding with EIW they are in the hands of one of the most experienced and talented wedding planners in Italy. This because we give outstanding service, we treat the couple like Royalty and because we enjoy and love what we do! Yes, I adore what I do, and so do my staff! I am so lucky to be surrounded by marvelous people who work with so much passion and enthusiasm. We are like a family.
The passion for my job and my perseverance was clearly shown to all the people I worked with when in April 2008 I gave birth to my first child (well the second I would say, after EIW). Annamaria came into this world after a wonderful pregnancy and a winter dedicated to finalizing many luxurious events! I planned weddings until the last day of pregnancy! And 5 days after her birth I was seating in front of my laptop again! I had a big wedding the month after! So back at work, obviously from home, but sooo happy with my little girl and my wonderful job. Today, I have 3 wonderful daughters and this is how the living room of my house looks like on a Sunday morning! My eldest daughter is so curious about my profession… when I play videos of the weddings I create she is very fascinated by the “lady dressed in white”. Maybe she is a future event planner, who knows!
I guess that you may be also wondering if I am married! Yes, also wedding planners find the time to get married, but believe me, planning my own wedding was one of the most challenging experiences of my life cause I decided to get married in the full wedding planning season! Yes, I wanted a wonderful sunny day like every bride deserves so I decided to do it in June! The busiest month of the year. Crazy idea, yes, you are right! I got married in June 2010 with a wonderful jazz musician I met while I was coordinating a wedding in Southern Italy.
Today, in 2017, my agency has planned Italian weddings for over 1.000 couples coming from all around the world. Many touching and romantic Civil, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Symbolic, Vows renewals ceremonies… and spectacular wedding reception in many renowned venues of our country such as:
- Hotel Cipriani, Venezia
- Villa S. Michele, Firenze
- Hotel Splendido, Portofino
- Hotel Caruso, Ravello
- Hotel Villa Cimbrone, Ravello
- Hotel Sirenuse, Positano
- Hotel Capri Palace, Capri
- Castello Monaci, Puglia
- Hotel De Russie, Roma
- Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento
- Hotel Hassler, Roma
- Castello di Vincigliata, Fiesole
- Palazzo Pisani Moretta, Venezia
- Palazzo Contarini, Venezia
- Hotel Bauer, Venezia
- Villa La Vedetta, Firenze
- Palazzo Brancaccio, Roma
- Castello Odescalchi, Roma
- Villa Gallici Deciani, Friuli
- Castello di Spaltenna, Tuscany
- Castello di Meleto, Tuscany
- Villa Mangiacane, Tuscany
- Hotel S. Caterina, Amalfi
And many other fabulous events in less-known but equally beautiful venues throughout Italy. Large events but also small ones…
Outdoor Wedding in country chic style
Luxury Lebanese wedding on the Amalfi Coast
The images contained on this page are just some of the numerous pictures we have in the archive of my company! I hope that you enjoyed reading something more about who I am and how much I LOVE being an event planner, an Italian wedding planner that every day struggles to create unique and unforgettable memories for all couples choosing to plan their wedding in Italy with my agency… but at the same time being a loving mother, a caring wife, a lucky woman with a wonderful life. I thank God for the wonderful gift of allowing me to wake-up happy, healthy and say hello to a new day with a happy smile on my face.