May 26, 2017

The Greatest Adventure

Each of us is many things – one of the things I am, and am very proud to be, is a wedding planner. For the next two months and 3 days (!), I’m also a bride – and after that, I will be a new thing: a wife, and that will fill me with enormous and humbling joy, love, and pride.

Finding the person with whom a lifetime isn’t enough, and growing into the person you become when you are together as a couple and as a family, is the greatest adventure of all – and is at the core of why I’m a wedding planner now. But let’s backtrack a little.

On April 18th of 2015, after 10 years of best-friendship and 6 of being inseparably together, my now-fiance’ rocked my world by proposing to me (with a London-wide treasure hunt of epic proportions! But that’s a story for another time…). Late that night we sat looking out at the twinkling London skyline, tired and happy, and asked ourselves – Italy or UK? The sheer size of his family versus mine, and the fact that, although Italian by passport, I felt very proud to show off this place I have made my home, we chose the latter. Professional qualifications and hoop-jumps loomed ahead, so we started aiming for setting the date in either summer or winter of 2017 – giving ourselves plenty of time to pause wedding planning when we knew we’d need to. Visiting beautiful venues in the English countryside became our weekend pastime – leisurely enjoying the sights and the friendly staff, not rushing into any decisions, and designing more and more fun, intricate venue scoring spreadsheets (when two perfectionist physics graduates gather evidence, it’s no half-hearted feat!). January 2016 came along, and we had two finalists: a safe, beautiful, luxurious country house hotel in the South West where everything would be taken care of, or a wildcard, dry-hire (i.e. fill-it-yourself), breathtakingly gorgeous manor house in Devon. The Devon house won our hearts in the end, for the freedom, beauty, and possibilities that 4 days in that property offered. No packages, no schedules, oodles of space, a relaxed property owner, and one rule: don’t set fire to it. But as we thought ahead at our 14-hour workdays (myself working in an investment bank at the time, and my fiancé training to be a patent attorney), and we came to grips with the complexity of organising a 200 person, 3 day, literary-themed immersive wedding weekend (we’d started letting our imaginations loose!), we realised we’d need help.

We started working with wedding planner Elisabetta White shortly after that, and it was the best decision we ever made. She has been our rock – never more so than when, in October 2016, we were notified that our painstakingly chosen wedding venue had gone bankrupt. In the midst of personal and professional turmoil, receiving this news really did break our hearts, and set us into a frantic race to figure out the financial and logistical consequences. The wedding insurance we had taken out with little thought spared to it (little did we know!) allowed us to recuperate most of the large sums of money already outputted; but did little to fix the fact that almost all suppliers had already been booked, save the dates had been sent, summer availability had all but vanished in our plan B choices, and, most importantly, we had fallen in love with the day that had begun to take shape. But I’m very glad to say there is a happy ending here: within a few months, with Elisabetta’s tireless help, we’d embarked on a whole new adventure: a beautiful, peaceful farmhouse surrounded by the olive groves and rolling hills of Tuscany, in Italy. Our wedding day has changed: it’s smaller, warmer, and sooner. And so have we: the emotional journey has had its plot twists, but I know without a doubt that we are stronger for it. As for me, I learned one of the most unexpected, exciting lessons of all.

I look back and I know – this is who I choose to be. I’m not a wedding planner because my particular combination of analytical and creative skills (and the fact that I love weddings!) makes this the perfect job for me – that’s HOW I am a wedding planner. The Why is you: your story, your love, and the time you have in this life together, in the precious, delicate formation of you as a family. I want to be your rock.

If you want to brainstorm some ideas, just chat, or would like some help in styling or planning your wedding, get in touch – I’m here for you ♡

Yours,

Valentina