Hey loves, I’m quite excited about this one! It’s been a long time coming, but finally a month ago I decided it was time to give a lovely aspiring planner the opportunity of jumping on board and be by my side for the next few months. We receive loads of applications every month, but on this occasion, instead of advertising for it, I asked my lovely UKAWP colleagues if they had any recommendations. The UKAWP directors and Dominique of Stylish Events (who runs an internship program) immediately notified their students and BOOM! the inbox was full!
Honestly, I saw the most incredible CVs – girls with amazing experience that to be honest I wondered why they’re not already running their own business. The talent out there is huge! But among the UKAWP students there was a girl that has a special place in my heart… Her name is Valentina. She’s not only my intern, but my client too, which makes things interesting, because Valentina is now aware of all ins and outs of wedding planning, so I can be brutally honest with her and her fiancé when it comes to anything pertaining their wedding day. Valentina is one of the brightest and kindest human beings I know. And in addition to that, she is a fellow Italian (but we speak to each other in English), and she only lives 10 mins from me, which means every now and again we get to work shoulder to shoulder, drink yummy Italian-style coffees and laugh a lot!So, without further ado, here’s the girl herself!
➳ Name? Valentina Squitieri
➳ Where do you come from originally? Italian by passport, but I grew up travelling between New York, Rome, and Brazil. I made a home in the UK just over 12 years ago (the longest I’ve ever stayed anywhere continuously!) – and I love it here.
➳ What’s your background? I received my Masters in Astrophysics (ed. when I’d heard this, I was like: “Say what?!) from Bristol University back in 2009, worked as a researcher in Observational Cosmology for a while, then ran away to the circus to be a trapeze artist – seriously! – earning me a foundation degree in Contemporary Circus and Physical Performance. Since then, I’ve indulged my creative side by working as a freelance circus performer, and my technical side working as a Researcher and Quantitative Analyst in an investment bank.
➳ Why have you decided to start interning with EW? I got engaged to my wonderful fiancé, James, just over two years ago, and we hired Elisabetta White to plan our wedding. The more we worked with her, the more I found myself unable to shake the feeling that there was something there, like the answer to a question I didn’t know I was asking. I started daydreaming that a career as a wedding planner might just be an unexpected and wonderful way to bring together my passion for creativity and aesthetics, my love for people, and my logistical pedantry and perfectionism. While still unsure about taking the leap, I attended the two wedding planning courses that UKAWP offers – and after that I lay awake buzzing with inspiration, excitement, and purpose. I’ve started working on building up my own brand and business since then, and when I found out that Elisabetta was looking for an intern, and that she had accepted my application, my heart JUMPED – I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to help her make people happy, while also learning from her as I transition to this new chapter of my life. She is an inspiration, a genuine and lovely person, and an incredible mentor – she just generally rocks 😀 (ed. blushing!)
➳ One short term goal in life and in business? In life – to make decisions that lead to doing more of what I love, and doing it with my whole heart and mind. In business – to start up my own wedding design business! I’m on my way, with an in-progress website, and a name: The Stars Inside. Watch this space…
➳ And one long term goal? My long term goal in life – and in business – is to look back and be proud to see that I’ve worked hard to make a difference in people’s lives, that I’ve been generous with my affection, brave with my choices, and adventurous with challenging myself. With this philosophy, I hope to take my business to exciting new heights, while staying true to myself and my values, and growing it into a company that inspires others.
➳ What’s the one thing about being a planner that makes you go “EEEEEK! THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!” Reaching the end of a wedding planning journey with a couple knowing that their story has been done justice, that their relationship has grown stronger and ready for the future, and – hopefully – that a friendship has blossomed with them along the way. I just can’t stop smiling at the thought of that!
➳ The best asset you’re bringing to the table? I’m an analytic maker-happener with a playful, wild imagination.
➳ What inspires you? Beauty, in all its weird and wonderful forms. And happy humans ☺
➳ Describe your dream clients’ wedding: I think the answer to this is – THEIR dream wedding. What excites me is bringing things to life, pulling together imaginative and beautiful events that people love hosting and love going to. Events where you don’t quite know where to look, interactive ones with large-scale breath-takers and small-scale, meaningful, exquisite details; weddings where I can play with designing unexpected ways of making the couple’s personalities shine through; weddings where we can be fearlessly creative; weddings that are Experiences with a capital E, for both the couple and their loved ones.
➳ The wildest thing you’d like to organise for a client? No limits on wildness!
➳ What is one of your favourite quotes? “Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”- C.S. Lewis
➳ One random thing about you only a few people know? I have a scar on my right hand from when a monkey bit me! I don’t blame her though – I was standing near her snack 🙂
➳ Why would you recommend an internship to others? An internship is a fantastic way of starting to make a difference, to both others and yourself. For me, it is the best of all worlds: the happiness that arises when helping others, the efficiency and enthusiasm of learning on the job, and the freedom to take a step towards the person you want to become.
Thank you so much Vale! You’ll see a bit more of Valentina and our adventures in my next Insta stories, but you gotta follow me on Instagram for that.
If you’re interested in an internship with us, all you need to do to be notified when we have a new opening is to subscribe to our newsletter, because that’s the only place we will advertise it in!
Baci e abbracci (aka xo),
Credits: Featured image courtesy of Chiara Pinna