Today, pros and planners, we’re so excited to take things international. Pack your bags, people—we’re sitting down with Nikolina Mujic da Silva, the owner of Splendida Weddings, a boutique wedding planning and design firm based in Portugal. (Psst…she also happens to be an International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning graduate.) From her passion for design at a young age to the Aisle Planner tools she and her couples can’t live without, we’re chatting all about Nikolina’s path to becoming a wedding pro. Read on for a healthy helping of international inspiration.
Tell us about your path to become a wedding professional:
Words can ́t describe how happy I feel to become a part of the wedding industry and help couples bring to life authentic celebrations of their love. I have always been driven by the idea of creating something new and meaningful while adding value during each step of the process. Since I was a little girl, everything about flowers, décor, wedding dresses, and table settings spoke to me and ultimately formed my truest passion. What started as planning and organizing family celebrations and gatherings has now turned into a 10-year professional career in marketing and corporate events in several countries.
Becoming a wedding planner and event designer didn’t happen overnight, though. It took me several years to gain relevant experience in managing projects and planning corporate events, as well as to obtain wedding industry knowledge. It took me almost a year to write a business plan, create my brand and start working with real couples.
What did it take to build your business/brand?
Even though I had very a strong marketing and management background, it took me a while to create a brand that could truly reflect the values and style I was aiming to offer and project.
During this challenging journey, I received a great amount of help from Portugal’s “Connect to Success” program, an effort that helps women in business, and from a local start-up agency that helped me work on the financial sustainability of the company I was creating. I also have to mention the support of family and friends as one of the key ingredients in building and pursuing my dream job and dream life!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from being a business owner?
Being an entrepreneur and creative business owner comes with endless responsibility. Sometimes it’s almost impossible to switch that side of you “off” and not think about design processes, upcoming weddings, your marketing strategy, costs that need to be paid, the list goes on. I’ve learned the importance of embracing every day as a new chance to make one extra step that will get you closer to the vision of your dream life. Never, never, never give up.
You got your certification from the Wedding Academy. How has attending the course impacted your business or process?
It was one of the best decisions I have ever made as it relates to my dream of becoming a wedding planner and business owner. Even though I had solid event management experience, the certification helped me understand the wedding/event industry in a way I hadn’t before. It taught me to approach every single wedding with a proven methodology in order to design truly authentic celebrations. I was given amazing advice and resources during the certification process.
Tell us about your process:
The wedding design and planning process at Splendida Weddings is composed of four phases: research, design, planning and production. Each phase has its own characteristics but the most crucial is the research. During this phase, we learn everything about our engaged couple—their lifestyle, their unique characteristics, their visual inspiration, etc. This allows us to create a couple’s profile that ultimately leads us to our one-of-a kind wedding design proposal.
Next comes planning, which involves selecting only the best vendors we know who can meet our demanding list of criteria. Finally, our production phase is where we whip out our magic wand and completely construct the event and its unique experiences.
How do you use Aisle Planner to collaborate on weddings and events?
Aisle Planner is a must-have tool when planning and managing multiple events. Our couples feel more comfortable and at ease when we keep all of their event details on a platform that is available 24/7. Many of them have very busy professional lives so it becomes very helpful to sync all of the calendar details, create reminders and use the especially helpful Guest Manager and Seating Plan tools! (Those tools are lifesavers when it comes to complex seating distributions.) The Checklist tool is extremely helpful as well—not only to us wedding planners, but also to couples who love to see all of the necessary planning steps and to-dos in advance. Another great feature is the Budget Management tool and the capability to invoice, add documents, and add payment reminders. Overall, it really is a one-of-a-kind platform that is worth the investment.
Anything you are particularly excited about working on this year?
This year, we are preparing the launch of our blog, where we will share helpful advice on planning destination weddings, reveal new wedding venues, and present look books for the upcoming season! Our entire team is excited about this new venture and can’t wait to share all of the amazing real weddings we had the chance to plan and design this year.
We are so thrilled to be part of the lives of our one-of-a-kind couples whose love is what motivates us the most – happy tears during the wedding day are our most valued award!
Splendida Weddings is a Wedding Design, Planning and Styling company based in Lisbon, Portugal who aim to create unique event experiences connecting couples’ true personalities with our sophisticated creativity while implementing experienced planning skills. We enjoy creating Romantic, Elegant and Delicate events fulfilled with emotional sensations that will last forever. Learn more about Nikolina and Splendida Weddings here!