Who is a Destination Wedding Planner? What does he or she do?

My diary from the live class of the Destination Wedding Planner course in Milano, 2018.

These are just two of the most frequently asked questions in the past year since the term destination wedding planner came into common usage.

I don’t remember exactly when I found out I was called a Destination Wedding Planner, I think a few years ago, while talking to a tourism flow expert in one of the very first lectures I was asked to do at University in Italy.

I remember being happy to be able to give a technical definition to the question, “What do you do?”. For many years the standard answer was: “I organize weddings for foreigners in Sardinia and Italy.”

“That is, there are people who decide to get married in faraway places? What an extravagance!”

And there to explain that it was not an extravagance, that since the opening of my business in 2008, I had started working with foreigners precisely because the Wedding Planner profession, on the Italian public, was still not perceived as a job but as a naive pastime. With very few, far-sighted exceptions, from the very beginning I understood that all my energies had to go to understanding, intercepting and studying the desires and motivations of those couples who dreamed of getting married in Sardinia, my island, and later in Italy.

It was for me, and still is, a natural expression of who I am and of that innovation that – then unknowingly – I was bringing to the profession in 2008.

A few years ago, Komax Training School proudly chose me to be the first teacher in their Destination Wedding course. The result was a one-day introduction to the profession following their classic course for W.P., to bring enthusiasts and start-ups closer to this new emerging market.

Many people had been asking me for some time to add a specific training course to my Academy, and three years ago the Advanced Course for Destination Wedding Planner started in Rome, four to six days dedicated not to those who are now approaching this profession, but to those who are already professionals and need to understand and train themselves better in order to broaden their background and business. Now, my famous course is fully available online HERE.

Before you can be a DWP you have to be an EXCELLENT Wedding Planner.

To become an excellent Destination Wedding Planner one cannot sit still, in one’s bedroom, with a Pc and a cell phone. You have to travel, delve into other cultures, look at the world through your eyes.

For my fourth live edition in February 2018, we landed in Milan.

Elisa Mocci Events | Destination Wedding Planner Academy

With a very strong desire to be consistent with my philosophy and subject matter, and innovative at the same time, I made a risky choice by taking my students to a location – to say the least – unusual for the world of courses in general.

Not a hotel, not a convention hall, much less a luxury location.

When I saw Spazio Nour, I fell in love with those two rooms: one white, aseptic, one warm covered with red bricks from the barrel vault. Then I read its story.

Created by an Iranian artist, Mahmoud Saleh Mohammadi this space is his home and the “home” of many cultural initiatives of international contemporary art. It stands in the forecourt of a Milanese place that remained degraded for years, Bligny 42, recently redeveloped thanks to the contribution of big names, such as Cattelan and Antonio Marras, who have chosen these spaces for Exhibitions, Fashion Weeks and Personals, and have made it one of the symbols of artistic rebirth, of the ultilization of space to tell, host, describe, constantly hovering between parallel worlds, ethnicities, cultures, smells.

It wasn’t what I expected to choose, but the more I thought about it, the more I looked at the classic carpeted, big-screen, pencil-and-water-mineral-included rooms of some large hotels and the less comfortable I felt with those environments, the more the idea grew within me to get a strong message across, to my students: Destination Wedding is, first and foremost, about knowing CULTURES.

Being able to get in touch with those who were born and raised in other places, with those who have experienced contaminations and influences, is a precious gift to understand the motivations that push foreign brides and grooms to choose Italy for their wedding.

At so many events and conferences lately, it is fashionable to gush about the economic data related to this specific tourist flow, emphasizing how much this slice of the market affects Italy, and enticing so many to “jump” within this segment to the wild hashtag of #destinationweddingplanneritaly, perhaps to find the success (or economic gratification) that they cannot find by performing classic weddings.

#Destinationweddingplanner is the NEW #luxuryweddingplanner that has been so fashionable in the last couple of years, fueling the belief that through a generic hashtag a millionaire bride can land in your office (perhaps by private jet ahaha).

But in short, we have been fighting for 15 years or more to introduce Italians to the Wedding Planner profession, and now that we are finally succeeding everyone wants to ditch it in favor of foreign brides and grooms? With the ERRED belief that they are “easier to manage”?

Destination Wedding in Italy is, today, not only a new trend but also and above all a fascinating and complex subject to be known and handled with care.

THE CLICHES on Destination Wedding in Italy.

  • The couple that chooses Destination Wedding is rich, or on a higher budget than Italian couples for the same services required. As if the definition of Target did not exist for this strand as well!
  • Foreign couples come to Italy ALL dreaming of an Italian-style wedding.
  • It is not necessary to know all cultures, traditions and ceremonies, just find the right suppliers, put them together in a “package” et…voila, the wedding is served! NO.
  • Foreign brides and grooms who choose Italy all dream of a setup with red and white checkered placemats, lemons, and as a wedding favor a bottle of oil.
  • Foreign brides and grooms choose only the most well-known Destinations, such as Venice, Florence, Lake Como.
  • If you are based in Marche, Umbria, Molise or Valle d’Aosta or other less popular places you have no hope of doing business in this area. Nothing could be more wrong! An excellent Destination Wedding Planner in Italy knows how to fortify itself through its own talent and experience the more it itself will be a promoter of the beauties, excellences and peculiarities of its own destination. All the more so if this is less mainstream than others. There are couples who are looking for a unique experience in unique places that have not yet been published a hundred thousand times by Blogs.
  • You don’t speak English but you have an intern or assistant answering emails for you. Forget about it. Or study, but seriously!
  • If you are a DWP the locations will host you for free in exchange for visibility. It’s not like we are travel bloggers…

These and other clichés have been demolished in the last week here in Milan, running through structured, coherent arguments dense with experience and meaning.

Promo of the full Destination Wedding Planner course by Elisa Mocci – EMEX Academy. Discover More.

From budgeting to cultural implications, from energy management (because those who choose the DWP profession must prepare to travel a lot, sleep little and schedule Skype at the most unthinkable time zones) to legal protections to be prepared and informed.

Above all, this week has been about growth and co-working.

I have never hidden the fact that, for me, the Academy-particularly the Destination Academy-is the most exhausting endeavor of the year. My Staff and I are away from home, for a full week, totally focused on giving our all to those who go through this journey. It is a totalizing journey that draws out from each of the students experiences, doubts and in many cases uncertainties, which we try to dissolve or sometimes stimulate.

It was an honor for me to have as many as 20 professionals from all over Italy in front of me this time, with different characters and backgrounds but united by one big goal: quality education.

And to them I wish to carry high the flag of DWP professionals, those who have a culture of this work and respect it, develop it, HONOR it.

To all of you, have a dreamy journey!

Some testimonials from our Destination Wedding Course Students in Milan – 2018

Elisa Mocci Events Destination Wedding in Italy Academy Milano Roma Sardegna

“Elisa in 3 words? Professionalism, availability and an incredible charm! At this course there are multiple opportunities that impressed me, because in a professional course you have the opportunity to meet other people with a different mindset and with whom you have the opportunity to network, as well as learn things that no one, in any other course, teaches you.” Marina

“I don’t want to dwell on the professionalism, the skill, the charisma of Elisa and her wonderful team that made this course really, but really, unique and memorable.
But I do want to dwell on an emotion that every time I meet Elisa, I have the pleasure of feeling: often in our work, we feel like a drop in a sea that is always stormy, and it is not so easy to emerge, to breathe or even just to stay afloat in tranquility. Elisa is able to know how to enhance all these drops, she is able to bring out the best in each of us, she knows how to make you love this work like no other. And I’m sure that all this you don’t learn in classes or books, it’s part of you.” Benedetta

“So far I have worked in corporate events. I took this course because I thought it was useful to train myself in destination wedding though I had 20 years of experience and indeed, for this very reason, for me a course must be important. Elisa Mocci’s course was instructive, comprehensive but above all very varied: it touched on topics that I did not expect and instead are very useful despite my experience.” Simona

“Elisa’s experience, as told by her words, opened our eyes to the truths and difficulties of this world. Thanks to her and her team of lecturers who in an insightful way educated us during a stimulating, rich and professional course.” Emilia

“Inspiring, fabulous and very truthful: the only course that really gives you the tools to be able to work professionally.” Maria Laura

“It is the top of the industry. There can be no criticism.” Cinzia


Do you want to learn about the Elisa Mocci Events Academy (EMEX ACADEMY) programming, read the course schedule, and start on your path to becoming a wedding professional or implement your own business? Click here and start the journey to become a Destination Wedding Planner now.