I'm Elisabetta White your Destination
Elisabetta moved to London from Milan at a young age with the simple goal of learning English. Over 17 years later, she still lives in London with her husband and daughter, running her business as a Destination Wedding Consultant and International Wedding Planner.
After a couple of years in London, she decided to go to university, graduating with a 1st class BA Hons in Media and Communication. The degree gave her the opportunity to embark on a career in one of the biggest global media agency, planning and buying advertising campaigns for well known household & fashion brands and tourism agencies.
At the back of her mind was a constant desire to get into the wedding industry, so after training with The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners, she decided to start her journey into wedding planning.
Elisabetta became known as an international wedding planner and stylist with a specialism for Italy and Egypt.
She has planned destination weddings and shoots in bucket-list destinations, such as Tuscany, Venice and Puglia, in dream venues like the famous La Badia di Orvieto and the iconic Masseria Moroseta, and has been featured countless times on international wedding blogs and magazines, such as Elle.com, Junebug Weddings, Rock My Wedding, Brides, and You & Your Wedding magazine.
After years of offering her knowledge for free to support aspiring destination wedding planners and destination wedding venues, Elisabetta’s trained with a business coach that helped her package her knowledge of the international wedding planning landscape, as well as her experience in the communication and media industry, into consulting programs.
The aim is to empower and equip ambitious destination planners and venues around the world with the knowledge and practical know-how they need to take the leap, refine their destination wedding offering and be the best planner or venue any international couple could ever wish for.
as featured in
Sometime during 1996 or 1997:
DECIDED I WOULD BECOME A WEDDING PLANNER.
The first memory I have of me wanting to get in the wedding industry. But the internet was ridiculous at the time, so I couldn’t research the profession or find out if there were courses, so I parked that idea there and then. In hindsight, having a grandmother who was a very successful wedding dress designer might have had something to do with that first incoherent thought.
WENT STRAIGHT INTO WORK AFTER HIGH-SCHOOL
I was clear I didn’t want to study at university in Italy to end up with a degree that would have given me zero advantage over every other graduate. So I took the first job offer I was given: import / export & admin support for a media tapes distributor in Milan. Except… just over one year later I got ants in my pants...
MOVED TO THE UK
Tired of speaking mediocre English, I packed my bags and moved to London with a simple plan: making it to 2 years so I could master English. First rule: surround myself with English people only, and don’t work with Italians. Failed at both straight away. Less than a month later, I was doing market research, in Italian, surrounded exclusively by Italians. Little did I know it was actually a blessing in disguise, because my CV looked strong (no restaurant or shop on record was unusual for an Italian in London!), and it allowed me to progress to better jobs.
2002 – 2004:
Seriously, I did. I went from one job to the next while doing the odd courses, trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do. The longest gig was 1.5 years as a chair-side assistant in an orthodontic centre. I learnt that I loved the medical field, and became an ace orthodontic nurse. So much so I ended up with an all-expense-paid trip to Orlando to one of the biggest trade shows ever and came back with so much insight I wrote a manual for the practice. I left a legacy! But, something was missing...
2004 - 2007:
I WENT TO UNI
While “meditating” for 2 years I was devouring English books, spending the weekend reading Sunday newspapers, writing, and listening to the radio non-stop. I reached out to a famous Italian radio presenter and asked him: “What do I do to get into radio presenting?” He told me to get a media degree. I wanted it all. I wanted to get into journalism, communication and radio if possible. So I researched Media degrees and applied at Goldsmith, Greenwich and University of East London. Each and everyone of them offered me a place. I graduated in 2007 with a 1st class BA H Media, Culture and Communication, as one of the only two student in the class to come out with a 1st.
I GOT MARRIED & GOT A JOB
In April 2008 I got married. We had the most magical destination wedding in Milan. I still remember meeting the caterer at the venue. She looked at me and asked: “Are you a wedding planner?” Deja vu! Remember that 1996-7 thought?
Among the fear and uncertainty that 2007 and 2008 were, I still managed to get a job as a Digital Account Executive for one of the top global media agencies. Badly paid, but the training was unbelievable. I worked with some big names, like Philips, Panasonic, Pernod Ricard, Tourism Australia, and 20th Century Fox, planning communication and advertising campaigns across all media. I learnt how to negotiate, sell, speak publicly, train others. I managed complex financial tasks and how to dissect contracts to check for soundness. I gained invaluable experience. Except, I’m not made for the corporate world…
TRAINED WITH THE UKAWP
As I started feeling unhappy with the work environment, that 1996 thought (“wedding planning”), corroborated by a seasoned caterer thinking that I was indeed a wedding planner, popped up into my mind again. This time the internet was on my side! I found the UKAWP and booked up one of their courses, telling myself that the worst that could happen was realising wedding planning wasn’t for me. I walked away invigorated and determined to get into the wedding industry.
STARTED A WEDDING BLOG, QUIT THE CORPORATE JOB, STARTED WORKING IN A COMMUNICATION & DESIGN STUDIO
Realising that if I stayed at the media agency I’d never had the time to make it happen, I quit and started writing my own wedding blog while working freelance as a project manager for a communication and design studio. The free time allowed me to network with the media industry and start setting up as a wedding planner.
LINEN & SILK WEDDINGS WAS BORN
In 2012 I took the plunge. I invested some money into having the website / blog redesigned, attended an enlightening industry conference and by the end of the year I officially launched as a wedding planner.
JOINED THE UKAWP
The year I finally became a member of the UKAWP and started feeling truly legit.
2013 - 2015:
BOOKED WEDDINGS IN ITALY, UK AND EGYPT
What an epic few years they were! I ended up planning some incredibly intimate weddings, from a dinner on an Apulian rooftop directly on the sea, to a beach elopement in the Red Sea, to a London rock bash for the coolest couple, to a destination wedding in a medieval castle. Each and every wedding got featured on international and UK wedding media.
2016 - MAY:
PLANNED A COMMERCIAL SHOOT FOR JW MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA IN VENICE
A dream come true! This venue was on my bucket-list from the moment we heard they were opening a resort on a private island in Venice. When I finally made the right connection, everything fell into place. We had an epic 3 days shooting in Venice and to this day the pictures are still gracing the pages of their brochures!
LIFE GOT A BIT HARDER
My father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. All the traveling I was doing stopped for a while. I moved back home to be with my family and by my dad’s side when the inevitable happened. By the time I came back I was seeing life and work with completely different lenses. I realised that fame, money and all that jazz was worth nothing if you don’t have a balanced life and good health. I thought long and hard about the kind of business woman I wanted to be and started shaking things up - a renewed sense of purpose lead to me saying No more often so I could focus only on the things that truly made me happy.
Also, I launched The Words Lab, a translation, proofreading and copywriting service for wedding professionals whose first language isn’t English.
2017 - JULY:
FEATURED ON ELLE.IT
A milestone of my career was seeing my Venice shoot being picked up by Elle Italia! Little did I know it was going to happen again…
2017 - JULY:
ANOTHER COMMERCIAL JOB COMMISSIONED BY THE INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL DAVOS, SWITZERLAND
I got momentum off the back of the previous commercial shoot for the JW Marriott Venice, and with the same photographer and friend, we ended up booking another commercial shoot for a big name in the game. So with a team of international suppliers I delivered a two day shoot in the magical ICH Davos, in Switzerland. And once again, the output of this shoot is still being used by this venue to promote their wedding services.
2018 - MARCH:
I RUN MY FIRST “HOW TO BECOME A DESTINATION PLANNER” WORKSHOP
In collaboration with the UKAWP I run my first workshop for destination wedding planners. We fully booked and it was a huge success. That was the pivot point in my career path. Not only I found teaching really easy, but it was the moment I realised that helping other businesses made me feel a different kind of happiness and fulfillment.
2018 - MAY:
FEATURE ON ELLE
And once again, the Swiss shoot was featured on Elle Italia, as well as international wedding blog Wedding Chicks.
2018 - SEPTEMBER:
DELIVERED A WEDDING AT ONE OF ITALY’S MOST SOUGHT AFTER VENUES
La Badia of Orvieto is a wedding planner’s dream. Booking a multicultural wedding at that venue was a bucket-list experience!
2018 - OCTOBER:
I BECAME A MUM
Little Allegra came into my world. She completely rocked our world and I’ve been feeling like my heart is bursting ever since. But… 2 weeks after giving birth I was breastfeeding her while writing client emails. And despite being on maternity, I felt resentment that I couldn’t 100% stop. I started reevaluating life again and I realised that I had to make substantial changes. I decided in 2019 I would start working with more and more businesses. And that I would increase the number, but scale down the size of weddings I do, start working more in the UK, hire a couple of associate planners and focus on my consultancy services.
2019 - FEBRUARY:
RUN ANOTHER DESTINATION PLANNER WORKSHOP
Another successful day teaching other aspiring destination planners how to get into the international market. Feedback was amazing and it reinforced within me the desire to pursue this further.
2019 - APRIL:
I HIRED A BUSINESS COACH
I didn’t want to be just another coach. I wanted to learn how to be the best destination wedding consultant out there. So I hired an incredibly successful business coach, Chanelle Segerious Bruce, to help me shape my consultancy services leveraging my experience as a destination wedding planner and communication specialist, creating a profitable business helping other aspiring international planners and destination wedding venues achieve greatness.
Also, this was the time I closed The Words Lab and refined the target clients and weddings I wanted to do going forward. Realising I can’t be a mother, a wife, a wedding planner, a business consultant and a copywriter all at once, I decided something had to give. Now I only focus on the things, the people and the tasks that truly matter.
Life and business are not about staying still. They’re about journeying to bigger things that enrich us and are good for our soul.
As an entrepreneur I’m constantly evolving, looking for ways to better myself and grow. Staying still for me equals to stagnating. And stagnating equals to mediocrity.
Just carrying on doing my job, or doing my job well feels like I’m stagnating. Everyone can do their job well. What’s special about that? What sets me apart from everyone else? Nothing.
If you do your job and you don’t do it well, you might as well not do it at all.
And yet, so many couples encounter planners, venues and suppliers who are in the game for the money & fame only. Those who make so much money from kickbacks unbeknown to the couple, recommending suppliers based on personal gain and not suitability to the client; venues who clearly have zero passion for weddings, charge the moon for mediocre service and don’t see the bigger picture, aka word of mouth. Doing your job like this is not worth it.
Achieving our full potential is going above & beyond. Even when it gets tough. And then, grow and aim higher and better.
It’s with this in mind that I approach my consulting services.
It’s about helping others see that bigger picture; achieve greatness without the mistakes that make others decide to either quit or continue doing what they’re doing half-heartedly, for the profit only and never for the passion.
When passion is first, the desire to be better, to refine the service so you can give your clients 200% is a natural conversion. When you do this with confidence, the profit follows.
Time to shake it up a little, help each other to get better, create excellence, and then go higher. As a consultant for aspiring international planners and destination wedding venues, mediocrity is the one thing I am determined to help them fight. I am here to empower my customers to grow, shine and succeed.
2017 ended up being the hardest year of my life. In 2016 I had incredible work opportunities that saw me planning a bucket-list wedding in Italy, design and style a commercial shoot for one of the most exclusive venues in Venice and sign a new 5 star venue client in Switzerland. Just as I was really on a high suddenly I got a call from my mum telling me my father was in hospital. Cancer had knocked on our family's door. You never think one day it will be you having to deal with loss and fear…
2016 quickly went from being the most promising year of my career to darkest. I had no idea of how things would pan out. We had hope, lots of hope. And because I didn't want my father to think that the situation was serious, I tried to carry on working.
As 2017 started I found myself doing consultations without any enthusiasm.
The truth is, I knew my dad was terminal but I kept telling myself there was time. And yet, at the back of my mind I knew the doctors were right. We only had weeks, not months with my dad. For that reason I found myself not being able to commit to work.
A few weeks into 2017 dad left us. Within a week I was traveling to central Italy for a tasting, telling myself that if I kept busy I would have survived the grief. Except... by the time I got back to London I felt like quitting.
I looked at Instagram posts of people celebrating being published, and felt sick at the thought that a person's success is measured by such ephemeral moments of glory. I booked weddings, but felt uninspired.
Something was missing…
When the UKAWP's Director asked me to commit to running a workshop for them to train aspiring destination wedding planners, I suddenly felt joy. When that day came, I questioned my ability to deliver. By the end of it attendees were buzzing. Reading emails thanking me for the inspiring day made feel happy and accomplished.
This was what was missing. Being able to give to others, make them feel confident and empowered.
This was what was missing. Being able to give to others, make them feel confident and empowered.
We decided to run another workshop in 2019 which brought more amazing testimonials. Meanwhile more and more venues approached me to ask feedback on how to reach destination clients and book better weddings. As soon as I delivered the second workshop I knew I had to take action.
I looked far and wide for a coach that would help me unlock my potential, understood my challenge as a new mother and would give me the training to help me translate my knowledge into perfectly structured training that would allow me to offer a consultancy service to other aspiring destination wedding planners and stunning destination wedding venues.
Today I still plan intimate weddings with the most perfect couples, and I also understand the ins and outs of the destination wedding industry and pass that knowledge on to aspiring international planners and destination wedding venues that want to grow into the best version of themselves.