THE RULES OF THE PERFECT WEDDING: HAPPINESS, FLOW AND ENTERTAINMENT. 完美婚礼方案：幸福、爱意、娱乐。
I got married in 2013 with a gorgeous wedding in Rome. I was happy, in love, excited and, among the others, exhausted. I organised everything while working full time, finishing my Ph.D. and flying back and forth between Beijing and Rome. I wish I had known Brenda.
Brenda Babcock, American, but definitely Italian by adoption, is a professional wedding planner who has been working in Rome for 15 years, putting together an impressive portfolio of events in Tuscany, Amalfi coast, Umbria and more. Her company, Italia Celebrations [www.italia-celebrations.com] has become a reference for destination weddings – couple from all over the world hire Brenda to help them organise the party of their dreams.
生在美国，长在意大利的妹子Brenda Babcock是一名职业婚礼策划人，已经在罗马工作了15年。作为著名Italia Celebration[www.italia-celebrations.com] 公司的策划师，Brenda的工作履历令人侧目，目的地包括了众多意大利旅游胜地，从托斯卡纳、阿马尔菲海岸到翁布里亚等等。她的客户也是五湖四海，世界各地都有，目前其所在公司已经成为众多旅游结婚的夫妇首选。
I met up with her during my short break in Rome, and she patiently answered all my questions about her job, her passion for well-planned weddings, and her Italian connection.
When did you fall in love with Rome?
Well – I guess somehow I’ve always been in love with the Eternal City! I’ve always loved fashion, and I knew this love would eventually bring me to Italy, the fashion mecca par excellence. Then in the first years of my career I actually ended up studying French, spending time in Paris and working at Christian Dior – but deep inside me I wanted to engage in a relationship with Italy, and with Rome in particular. I just didn’t know how yet.
Then you made a decision in 2000…
Back then I was working as a vice president at Vera Wang and was helping her building her domestic retail business. But I was unhappy – after so many successes with her, I was done with the job and looking forward to new projects. In 2000 I decided I would take a much-deserved break and I had no doubts about the destination: Italy! I actually never came back from that break! At the beginning I studied Italian and lived a very relaxed life in Tuscany. Only when I was recharged and ready for new challenges I moved to Rome, bought a motorino [motorbike] and found out how much I loved this city.
How did you end up working as a wedding planner?
Once in Rome, I started helping out an American lady who was in this field and when she left Italy I basically took over the business. I love it now because this work allows me to discover new places and be in touch with amazing people. And I really enjoy sharing my love for this country with people who know nothing about it. Every wedding that I organize is basically an ode to its beauty.
Why do you think more and more people nowadays hire a wedding planner?
I can tell you that people who hire me are coming to a country are not familiar with, they don’t know laws and traditions, they don’t speak the language. They need someone who can understand what they want and then pull it off. Effortlessly and smoothly. People can now see the value of a good wedding planner who can fit you in the perfect wedding, like it was the perfect shoe.
Why do you work with foreigners only?
It’s my personal choice, because I feel more qualified to have them as my customers. As much as I love Italy, I’ll never see it with Italian eyes – I am and will always be a guest here. This is why it’s easier for me, and more rewarding, to help people coming from abroad – I know what they want and what they like. Also, as you can imagine, they need me more and I love to feel useful and to add value to every project I’m involved with.
What makes the perfect wedding?
This question is easy! Only happiness can make the perfect wedding! Then of course you need logistics, the right flow, engaging entertainment. And an enjoyable setting for the couple and their guests. It’s not money that makes a difference – it’s the direction. The perfect wedding has to look effortless – and there is lot of planning behind this result!
What’s the last wedding you organized?
They were a couple from Memphis, great guys. We rented a small castle is Tuscany for their 40 guests. We organised a very Italian welcome dinner with a band signing classics like ‘O Sole Mio’ – foreigners love to get a taste of traditional Italia! The ceremony was extremely heart-felt as the gay couple went through a lot to get where they are. Decoration wise, we had literally millions of candles, as my clients didn’t want flowers as they feared the wedding would look too feminine – the effect was magical.
噢，这对恋人来自美国的孟菲斯市，人非常棒。当时，我们为婚礼租下了托斯卡纳的一座小型古堡，用来招待当时的四十多位宾客。当时组织了一次具有浓郁意大利风情的招待晚宴，我们请了乐队演奏了传统曲子O Sole Mio，他们非常喜欢。整个仪式非常打动人，这对恋人经历了很多最终走到一起。在布置方面，我们大概用掉了数不清的蜡烛，因为他们不太想用鲜花。
It seemed to me Brenda is the luckiest lady on earth: she has lovers all around, she spends her best days scouting new charming locations and she definitely lives in the most beautiful city in the world, Rome.
And by looking at the pictures she showed me I feel like organizing a whole new wedding for Giorgio and I. Will try to convince him too and keep you posted!
Le spose arrivano sempre al gran giorno sfinite e raramente riescono a godersi la festa – troppo spesso devono preoccuparsi anche della logistica, della musica, del cibo, degli invitati e di tutto il resto. Sono sicura che tutte le spose saranno d’accordo con me. Brenda e’ un angelo, venuto direttamente dagli Stati Uniti per aiutare tutti gli stranieri che sognano un matrimonio italiano.
For the pictures, special thanks t0 Brenda Babcock.
Translation by Jasmine Wang.