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Stefania Celardo on Crafting Intimate Wedding Experiences Across Europe

Stefania Celardo is the owner of Officiant Europe, a full-service wedding agency based mainly in Southern Europe. It offers to-be brides and grooms a personalized, intimate touch to their wedding or elopement. Celardo also models for bridal fashion photoshoots. We had the pleasure of speaking with Stefania to understand her philosophy behind organizing the perfect moment. 



LO’AMMI: Could you share with us the story of how you started your wedding agency, Stefania? We'd love to hear about your journey and what inspired you to pursue this career path.


Stefania Celardo: My business is called OFFICIANT EUROPE (www.officianteurope.com).

My agency was born a couple of years ago and focuses on organizing intimate weddings and elopements all around Europe.


My portfolio touches all the major European cities: Paris, Madrid, Seville, Rome, Florence, Venice, Lisbon, Santorini, Valencia, the French Riviera, Lake Como, and the Amalfi Coast. My international network of vendors is extensive.


I specialize in intimate weddings with few guests because I emphasize the concept of intimacy. Weddings must be memorable experiences in my couples' lives. I am also a wedding celebrant. I love writing, and my symbolic ceremonies are always customized according to my couples' love stories and personal needs.



For this reason, each ceremony is unique and touching. I am a very dynamic person, and I love to keep busy with different projects at the same time. I strongly believe in the strength of the network: combining my work as a wedding planner with modeling has allowed me to connect many professionals in the sector and create solid and stimulating collaborations that have benefited everyone.


L’A: What do you believe is the most enjoyable aspect of working in the wedding industry? 


SC: What I love most about my job is the chance to be an integral part of one of the most beautiful days in a couple's life. My job is to celebrate love. My agency is international, so I'm lucky enough to travel often, work in dream locations, and collaborate with suppliers from all over the world.


My clients come from all over the world, and it is extremely interesting to know the different cultures related to marriage; I have learned so much from an anthropological point of view in recent years. Every country has its own traditions and customs related to marriage, and it takes a lot of mental openness to be able to give life to their vision with respect and professionalism.



L’A: How do you balance running a successful business and working as a model? 


SC: My life is full of commitments and many beautiful people. I can say that I work concretely on my business every day, but it is fine for now, especially in this phase of my life. All this was born only two years ago, and if I think about the whole journey, I feel proud of what I've built. It is very hard to maintain a balanced life, especially working with destination weddings. 


In high season, I am constantly traveling around Europe, and it is difficult to maintain a healthy routine, but my luck lies in my family and in all those beautiful people who are part of my life. They support me and stand by me even from afar. I think the key is to surround yourself with people who inspire you to do your best, and if they are open-minded, they will support you in everything.


L’A:  How do you keep up with the latest trends and styles in the wedding industry?


SC: Through bridal magazines, Pinterest, and Instagram. My publications in bridal magazines as a wedding planner and officiant are proof that the style of my events is alternative and always updated on the new trends. The worlds of fashion and weddings communicate so much.



L’A: What advice do you have for couples looking to plan the wedding of their dreams?


SC: Everything starts with the choice of the destination. Some clients come up with confused ideas, as they have not yet chosen a country or a city in Europe. When we select the city, we go to the choice of the main location, which, in the case of elopements, can also be more than one. Also, the hotel often plays an important role because it can be well exploited for the preparations of the couple. After that, the real creative process begins: from the choice of the main color of the wedding to the flowers for the decorations, to the stationary and the details of the mise en place. My customers are always guided by my suggestions. 


They know my style and taste and trust my opinion. My elopements and weddings are very unconventional, surely far from the idea of traditional marriage. They focus on the experience, feelings, emotions, and intimacy of the couple. My job is organization. When it comes to destination weddings, the organization becomes even more methodical because it affects not only that day but the journey itself to the destination. It is certainly difficult to keep up with the hundreds of changes and demands that customers require until the day before the wedding. I feel like I've grown and improved a lot in this aspect.



L’A: How do you use your experience as a model to improve your services to couples planning a wedding? 


SC: I planned dozens and dozens of photo shoots in wedding dresses. Surely, as a wedding planner, I feel I can advise my brides on brands and dresses that can be ideal for their special day. This is one of the reasons why I try to follow the artistic direction of my photo shoots: I want to create content that is in line with the style of my weddings. From jewelry to dresses or flowers, everything must be in tune with my artistic vision, which is the one in which my type of clientele believes. 



L’A: Can you share some of the most memorable wedding moments you have organized? 


SC: One of my most memorable weddings was my last wedding in a prestigious Relais Chateaux, a few kilometers from Paris. The style was entirely old money, and the couple was from Saudi Arabia. I specialize in micro weddings and elopements, so even in these luxurious weddings, I like to preserve the concept of intimacy. There were only 30 guests, and the ceremony and dinner were held in the wonderful French garden of the chateaux.


The dinner was accompanied by a light show, dancers, and fireworks. It was art and performance at a wedding: exactly what I always try to create with my couples.


L’A: As a model, tell us your secret for promoting a wedding agency and attracting new clients. 


SC: Being able to collaborate and get to know different professionals at weddings or photo shoots allows me to create a network between artists. Together, we exchange ideas and life stories; we do business and create beauty around the world. I feel very lucky to have worked with such talented and inspiring professionals.


When designing a styled shoot or a wedding, all suppliers must collaborate with each other, following a timeline and creating an unforgettable experience for the customer. I am always happy to follow the suggestions or innovative ideas that a supplier offers me. There is always a lot to learn!



L’A: What are your future goals and dreams for your wedding agency and modeling career? 


SC: I want to expand my business outside Europe. I would like to start organizing weddings in increasingly exotic and alternative places like Africa, South America, and Asia. I would like to introduce more and more of the culture of elopements. My weddings are not traditional, and they are out of the ordinary. Elopements and micro weddings are much more focused on experiences, and they are intimate and unique. Often, with big weddings, the couple is stressed by the amount of things to schedule in order to make their guests happy.


The happiness of the couple is what matters to me, and during the elopements, I can always see them as carefree and fun. I want to leave a mark on the lives of the people I have known and worked with. Often, people describe me as a bubbly person, and I love to know that my energy and enthusiasm will be forever in their memories. I want to continue creating ART with my weddings and editorial projects.


I want to focus on increasingly important publications to spread my personal idea of art and my creativity. My desire to create art and inspire people with alternative and meaningful projects is the real goal of my career. 



L’A: What do you think is the primary trend ahead of the new wedding season?


SC: Ribbons are super trendy this year - candles with ribbons, dresses with big bows, and many pearls. I love pearls; my old money style goes very well with the latest trends in the wedding industry. Short dresses are becoming a trend, and they are perfect for my kind of elopement. Short dresses are more sexy and fun, and they are definitely comfortable clothes to wear around the city and take pictures. And they are dresses that can be embellished with many particular jewels and accessories.

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