I met Zaira several years ago during my wedding photo shoot on Lake Como. Zaira, you’re a wonderful mother of two beautiful girls as well a wedding planner, how do you manage to balance work and family? What is your daily routine?
I am not going to lie it can be quite challenging but it is all about organising oneself. Before Covid19 my oldest daughter was going to kinder-garden and my youngest was not born yet so I had plenty of time to work. My second child was born in December and I still had a great amount of time to do everything. The good thing when you work for yourself is that you don’t have to do it within office hours so I am always able to get work done. I created a little studio at home which is my happy place. I sit on my desk facing the gorgeous view of the lake while having my now youngest baby in her swing, stroller, bed etc…
I take lots of breaks throughout the day and never take a day off . I work on weekends and holidays as well and I communicate a lot with my couples on Whatsapp which is much easier and more personal. 90% of my couples are American and therefore the time difference allows me to call them at night time which works perfectly for both of us; I put my girls to sleep right before chatting to them. I then use the mornings to write emails to suppliers and organise logistics.
This balance however was altered when schools closed down and the lockdown began. Couples were waiting to see the situation before continuing to plan their wedding and most weddings have sadly been postponed to 2021. Whilst this wasn’t easy I had my amazing husband at home to help me take care of the kids as I worked. I only take a limited number of weddings per year so that I can concentrate fully on my couples and my family as well; so far this has proven to be very effective. As we are slowly going back to normality, I am really excited to resume planning weddings and focus on my other projects.
Studying at London College of Fashion whilst living in London, what brought you to wedding planning/event management? What’s your background?
My background is quite varied as I have a Bachelor degree in Mass Communication/Film as well as a Master in Fashion Buying and Merchandising. I always had a creative eye and always loved weddings and events; always organising my birthday parties and friends’ parties (engagements, baby showers etc…).
Although I used to work in London in fashion, my passion for weddings began when I started planning my own back in 2014. I completely fell in love with the idea of being a wedding planner and although my actual wedding did not go through, I took that as a chance to start all over again. I moved back to Italy in one of the most stunning locations to focus on my dream job – creating beautiful, bespoke weddings and make people happy. It was definitely the best decision I have ever made.
I opened I Do in Lake Como Wedding Planner, https://www.idoinlakecomoweddingplanner.com
met who is now my husband and have two beautiful baby girls. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and I strongly encourage everyone to quit what they don’t like and create the life they want because it is definitely possible. All you need is passion, hard work and consistency. Fear is definitely your biggest enemy and thankfully I have always been an ambitious and courageous person to get me through it.
Your website focuses on weddings in Lake Como as well as Sicily. What’s the reason behind this?
After a few years of being a planner in Lake Como, I decided to expand my business and offer also Sicily as a location for Destination Weddings. I believe it is a gorgeous place and a market that is not yet fully covered with lots of great potential. I only concentrate on one side of the island as I come from Palermo and therefore know that area very well. I would never offer a place that I don’t know well as I only offer my couples the best services and therefore need to be sure to know and trust all the venues and suppliers.
Last but not least, what is your biggest strength?
I believe my strength is definitely my personality and my background. As a child I have lived all over the world. I went to International schools so I am bilingual which is fundamental when organising a Destination Wedding in Italy. You need to be able to communicate with your couples as well as all the suppliers in a clear way, without any misunderstandings. Having lived in different places has made me understand different cultures, religions and traditions which is so essential when planning a wedding. In Lake Como we have couples coming from all over the world. We do Indian weddings, Jewish ceremonies, we have Russians as well as Middle Eastern couples, there’s a real diverse range of cultural ideologies.
You need to be able to understand your couples, their traditions and values in order to make their visions a reality. This also allows you to understand and get to know each couple at a more personal level; establishing a friendship as you work with them on their special day. I think it is so important to have that sort of relationship with your planner. It should be very personal as you are part of one of the most important days of their life.