Have you ever wondered how those amazing weddings you see in magazines come about? We do – constantly! – and figured that talking with a seasoned wedding planner who has worked with royalty, A-list celebs, international sports figures and all sorts of VIPs in between – might provide an interesting perspective on image success at weddings.
We interviewed Federica Russo, one such wedding planner, in July and had a lot of fun learning about her fabulous (and challenging) job!
SP: Hi there, Frederica! What is your title, and how do you introduce yourself in a business setting?
Federica: The first question is already difficult! Sometimes I am defined as Event Manager and other times I am a Senior Event Organizer. The reality is that the company where I work, which organizes big events, is still a small team (we are 8 in total) and everyone works together closely to achieve success at every event.
SP: What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Federica: There are so many! Overall, I would say that helping to organize the most romantic day for a couple and then seeing their happiness is the best reward.
SP: How did you get started in wedding planning?
Federica: Honestly by coincidence! I studied law and worked in events such as conferences. Then I moved to London where I got in touch with the company where I work, and it was love at first sight. We grew up together doing wedding planning!
SP: How do you determine a shortlist of venues and spaces for your clients?
Federica: We meet the clients first to get to understand their style and interests, then move from there. We get to know a bit about them individually, what they are like as people and ask if they have a vision for their big day as well as any moods and styles they have in mind.
Throughout this process, we really get to know the clients, and from there we come up with personalized ideas for them.
SP: How do your client’s personal style and wedding theme influence your planning process?
Federica: Oh, tremendously! One of my favorite parts of the job is the decor – translating personality and tastes into the physical realm.
SP: What are some wedding style trends you’re seeing this year for grooms and best men?
Federica: Our weddings are all pretty unique, so I find it quite hard to think about a trend! I would say that recently the grooms in Europe have begun to wear the white jacket again, which I find very elegant.
SP: What are some wedding style trends you’re seeing this year for brides and bridesmaids?
Federica: If it was difficult to answer for the groom is even more difficult to find an answer for the brides! They tend to be one of a kind and therefore there is really not a “trend”.
Some themes this year are using colorful bouquets rather than white and green ones.
SP: If you could plan a wedding in any special place (exotic, traditional or adventurous), where would it be?
Federica: I would re-launch the Amalfi coast, which has been rather set aside in the last few years. I would hire an Island reachable by private boats or helicopter. I would then add some acrobatic artists to give a touch of “Cirque du Soleil meets burning man!”
SP: Are there any wedding etiquette tips that everyone should be aware of?
Federica: Yes! Regarding photos and videos during the ceremony and reception. All attendees should respect the bride and groom’s privacy. Mobile phones should be kept in pockets.
Taking photos and videos not only distract the guests from the ceremony itself but trying to get the best shot can ruin the one taken by the professional photographer!
SP: Any suggestions for a nervous bride or a groom-to-be?
Federica: The wedding day should be the best day of your life, so relax and make the most out of it, leave it to your wedding planner to think of everything else!
Federica Russo is a senior wedding planner. She works in London based event planning company, Lanza & Baucina Ltd. www.lanzabaucina.com