Thinking about eloping and looking for a photographer? If my work resonates with you, feel free to get in touch! You can contact me here. I would love to hear everything you’re dreaming up.


During this conversation, we’re going to do our best to help you decide if a planner is right for you. Instead of saying things like, “You need to hire a planner,” we’re going to lay out some of the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a wedding planner. And I have with me today Valentina, who is currently in London. She is going to help us out trying to decide if a planner is a good decision for your wedding or elopement. Before we get into that, Valentina I’d love if you could just introduce yourself and your business and the market that you serve.

Valentina: Of course. Thank you so much for having me, Katie. It’s wonderful to be here. So my name is Valentina, and my business is called The Stars Inside. I’m a wedding planner but I guess there are a lot of words that get used. I also use wedding stylist and I also use wedding designer, because I quite like the way it sort of encompasses all of the planning and the visual side. So it’s a word I quite like.

Valentina: I work with couples all over the world. I am based in the UK, but honestly I connect with couples that live abroad and that want to come to the UK or vice versa. Destination weddings are definitely a big part of what I do. I do have a focus on very intimate and heartfelt celebrations. As a result of that, I’ve tended to resonate with couples who are having smaller weddings than average. So kind of falling into that small intimate micro wedding category. And lately I’ve been doing more elopements, which I absolutely love and I’m definitely finding a niche that I am really excited about.

A Recent Elopement in Scotland

Katie: I love that you specialize in the smaller, intimate celebrations. And just from looking at your website and your Instagram, I can see that you’ve curated a really nice set of clients. I think your events, I should say your celebrations, have a very intimate but elegant feel – I think is how I would describe it. Do you have a recent wedding, intimate celebration or elopement that you really loved?

Valentina: Oh yes. I would love to chat about that. So I mean obviously at the moment, weddings are paused while the world goes through what it’s going through. But just before we started social distancing and the lockdown, I did a couple of weddings this year. The very first one I did this year was back in February, an elopement in Scotland. It was a wonderful couple who traveled over from the States to get married in Scotland. And we did a full day of all the stuff they were most excited about, which was eating nice food, having a private intimate ceremony, having a lovely dinner, and in the evening we went for a photo hike during the day. We also built in some time for just chilling, you know, and relaxing, which was really nice.

Valentina: We were at the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland. And honestly, it was an absolutely unforgettable experience to be a part of that. I think working with this wonderful couple really taught me a lot about where I stand in terms of my people and my style, my signature. I think when people say the word elopements, often they think of these very adventurous, boho, you know, not wearing any shoes or running around a field or a beautiful, breathtaking location or whatever it is.

Valentina: And I think where that really sweet, magical spot for me is couples who do love the wildness and the adventure, you know, have a beautiful natural location, but who also want to treat themselves to something that is quite luxurious for them. And obviously that has a different meaning for different couples, but this kind of meaningful, intentional luxury of treating themselves to things that they love and still making the wedding day a momentous occasion.

Valentina: Whether that’s having a little team of suppliers that you curate having a private dinner that’s been styled in a particular way. There’s a lot of intention, there’s a lot of purpose and quite a clear vision of sort of taking all their favorite things about weddings and then, you know, putting them together in this sort of miniature package. So that the date is exactly how they wanted. There’s none of the wedding stuff that they don’t want to do, but they’re still indulging in the wedding stuff that they do love. So for example, for this couple, we still had a wedding cake, but it was just small, it was beautiful. And we still styled the wedding tablescape. We still had stationary even though, you know, you might think for an elopement you kind of don’t need it. But these guys were really excited about keeping these pieces of stationary as heirlooms and treasuring them. And obviously investing in fantastic photography and treating themselves to things during the day that made it feel like this is an elopement day.

Katie: I love that. Was it truly just the couple or did they bring anyone along with them?

Valentina: It was just a couple. Oh it was wonderful. They got the legal part back in the States. So they didn’t need witnesses or anything on this end, which meant they were able to do it just the two of them. We did have a celebrant who joined us and do they handfasting ceremony with some of the traditions associated with Scottish heritage as well. And it was absolutely wonderful.

What Does a Wedding Planner Do, Exactly?

Katie: Some people might think that because it’s an elopement or it’s just the two of us, you know, maybe getting a planner or doing some of these other details is overkill. But what you just said is, it can be as special as you want it to be. There is something to be said about having some keepsakes that add to the photos and just the overall experience. I don’t think that it matters really how many people are there, if those things are important to you. So I might have to rewind just a little bit and kind of go back to maybe an obvious question, but what does a planner do exactly?

Valentina: Of course. Yeah. So the way I try to describe it to couples that I’m getting to know during a first consultation is that I basically slot myself in where they need it. I can do everything from fully planning and designing the entire wedding from A to Z. From the moment you’re engaged to the day you get married, every supplier, every detail, every single product. I can do all of that, you know, then there’s this range of support I can offer that basically picks from that what they need. So let’s say if they were a couple who was very admin focused, very practical, very budget minded, spreadsheet minded. Maybe they feel like they’ve got full control over the admin; they’re not worried about that. But they are a little bit stressed or worried about how the day’s going to look and feel and how it’s all going to run, and how it’s going to flow.

Valentina: And then in that case I might partner with them with a focus on the sort of styling side and coordination side. And leave them to do more of the logistical bit and vice versa. If they were really into the creative side and the aesthetic side, maybe the bride’s a designer or something, maybe she’s doing a lot of the aesthetics herself, or maybe she already has connections in the creative space so she doesn’t need a lot of help on that front, but they’re feeling a bit overwhelmed about the amount of emails, the amount of liaising, the amount of internet research, and figuring out value for money for everything, you know, all of the more practical bits. Then I would basically just insert myself there and partner with them more from a logistical perspective. And honestly being a planner, I treat it as a very comprehensive, all-inclusive kind of wholehearted thing. I come in and I try and create a situation where the couple can do more of what they love and less of what they don’t love. It’s really about the peace of mind of actually enjoying wedding planning, and that means very different things to different couples. So I’m going to be a different type of planner for every couple.

Katie: That’s nice. Sounds like you’re able to customize what the individual people need instead of just offering the same thing to everyone. So in that case, are you always involved like a month before the wedding…or you know, do you ever just do day of coordination? Or is it more of a process than just the day of?

Valentina: Well I offer every level of support. I don’t really like to use the word package, because I always feel it’s a little bit restrictive to the bespoke experience that I hope to give. So my website kind of vaguely describes three different things, which is full planning and then elopement planning. And then a third one, which is styling and coordination because that tends to be a very useful way of describing when I step in part way through the journey when a lot of the key suppliers have already been booked. A lot of the practical details are in place, but the couple is feeling a little bit like they’ve not put enough thought into how the day’s going to feel and how it’s going to look, and how it’s going to run, and so that’s sort of what I call styling and coordination.

Valentina: But the length of time of that support is completely up to the couple. If they want me for just a few months or if they just want someone for the last couple of weeks, I can sort of pick up the reigns and give them peace of mind of just enjoying the last few weeks or even just the day. I’m very happy to come in on the day. You just sort of follow the instructions of a bride and groom who feel like they were fully in control of the planning, but they really don’t want to be worrying about it on the day itself. My favorite way of partnering with couples is you know, full planning from the moment they’re engaged to the moment they get married. And that’s just because it allows me to get to know them really well, and it allows us to make all these fun decisions together. It also allows me to guide them in the decisions that are trickier for them.

Valentina: I really like being there from the beginning; bringing it to life from the very seed of their idea all the way to the realization on the day. That’s the most special and most rewarding way that I partner with couples. But I do try and tailor my support to what couples need. Sometimes the length of time left isn’t even the most relevant criteria for the amount of work left, because sometimes couples will go full steam ahead, immediately, do loads of booking immediately and have lots of suppliers sorted straight away. And then they might take a big pause. Maybe they’ve got stuff going on with work or personally and then they might pick up wedding planning closer to the day. Or some couples prefer to just leave it a little bit later, because they’re not sure what they want. They just want to see how they’re feeling a bit closer to the wedding.

Valentina: I can plan a full wedding in 3 months if I need to, if that’s what the couple needs and wants. I can also do it in 2 years. And depending on how much has already been done and how much time is left, I will help them kind of create a natural order for what’s left to do. That’s helping them source each of the suppliers remaining, helping them design a look, you know, creating a look book for them, a design concept, all the way to being there on the day and making sure fork in every knife is at 90 degrees.

Katie: So it sounds like there’s a lot of flexibility and not necessarily a right or wrong way or a timeline you have to adhere to. It’s kind of just whatever you need. I think that any good wedding planner is going to be pretty flexible and just help you however she can with whatever you need done. I’d love to talk about our main kind of heart of the episode: advantages and disadvantages and just trying to figure out if a wedding planner is right for you. So let’s start out with, let’s do the advantages first. I think that’s a nice place to start.

Advantages of Hiring an Elopement Wedding Planner

Valentina: Yeah, of course. Okay. I will always be very, very open and honest with my couples. I always say to them when we first meet, I’ll say, you know, ask me all the questions that come to mind. Let’s find out if we click, let’s find out if we get on, find out what your vision is, let’s find out what you’re looking for. And then I present a sort of proposal that explains how I will fit into the workflow and how I’ll fit into their lives with wedding planning. I think in terms of advantages, it does mean having a partner who is just as invested as you are, if not more, into your wedding at all times. So my couples can email me, call me, WhatsApp me, anything at any time of day, on any topic. I’m there for them if they have a random thought about their dress, if they have a thought about the suppliers, if they want to just send me a picture and say I love this stationary.

Valentina: Literally anything that comes to mind. So it’s kind of having this really dedicated BFF who just can’t get enough of talking about your wedding with you. It kind of depends if you’re a couple who feels like you would like to partner with someone in this way. It’s not right for everyone. It means having this kind of third person who’s involved in everything. And if you don’t like sharing that control or sharing that responsibility, if you feel like maybe you want to be in control of every single thing and you don’t see any advantage to having someone support you with that, a planner may not be right for you. But on the other side of that, the relationship is created. I take my cue from them. I’m never going to be overbearing or making them do anything they want or messaging them every day.

Valentina: I take my cue from how involved they are, how much time they have, the style of communication they have and everything. So advantage wise it’s having someone there to sign the check, to brainstorm, to bounce ideas off of any time. I love giving my couples that level of support but it’s not right for everyone. Some people might not like the idea of having that. Other advantages include if you are the kind of couple who loves spending hours and hours and hours on the Internet comparing things, then that’s something you might not find useful for a planner to do for you. But that is something that we do. When it comes to finding the right suppliers for each couple, it’s a kind of matchmaking process whereby I start from all the people that I know and trust, and then I widen my search to people who I feel fit their brief and fit their style, fit their budget for their location.

Valentina: I have a lot of criteria that I put in place to shortlist and narrow down the whole Internet to like 5 to 10 suppliers that I adore. Vetting them very carefully. I talk to colleagues who might’ve worked with them before. I get personal testimonials from people who’ve had experience with those suppliers, and I put together this pack that basically summarizes lots of great information about each of the suppliers that I’m recommending. If you like the idea of someone doing a lot of the hard work in terms of research for you, and maybe just giving you this kind of slightly narrowed down short list, then a planner can be very, very helpful. It saves you a lot of time and it gives you that peace of mind knowing that you’re working with trusted suppliers, you’re working with people who you know you can really believe in to be able to bring to life your vision.

Katie: Maybe this is coming up in your list of advantages, but I’m wondering if that’s particularly helpful for couples who are coming in from out of the country and are starting from zero in terms of contacts because they’re not from the area?

Valentina: Yeah, for sure. I mean working with a planner who is local to the country you want to get married in is an a kind of extra little bonus because they are always going to have a framework of context that they can either dip into directly or rely on for additional recommendations. So 100% that is a massive advantage. I very happily invest a lot of time in creating a nurturing relationship with suppliers. And that’s something that I love being able to then pass on to my couples and, and I know that I don’t need to micromanage these suppliers because I trust them to do their job, you know?

Valentina: Obviously I do work on destination weddings and I will very often work in places that I’ve never worked before. So from that point of view, you might think the planner is at a similar disadvantage. But honestly, the experience of finding suppliers, the red flags that we know to look out for, the people that we know to contact. Just the process of getting in touch with suppliers, getting quotes, extracting information from them and knowing what to ask. I mean all of that is stuff that is intrinsic to the way we work and that we will replicate, whether it’s a local supplier or whether it’s someone in a country we’ve never been. That ability to find the best suppliers for you is something that we perfect and hone. Every single wedding we do is more experience in finding the right teams for people.

Valentina: Hopefully that’s something that will always be an advantage that couples feel when working with a planner. Then from a financial perspective, obviously paying for a planner will be a portion of the couple’s budget and that’s a decision that they need to make. If they’re happy to invest that.

Then from the point of view of all the other money you’re spending, doing so with the guidance of a planner means that you will more likely pay for things that you actually want. And by that I mean that I spend a lot of time really getting to know couple’s priorities and their values and what they want out of the day. That allows me to help them break down the budget in a smart way that allocates money to the things that matter to them. I can also say with the experience I have, you know what guys, if this isn’t that important to you, let’s put the money over here cause this is going to have more impact on this particular element of your day.

Valentina: Knowing those smarter ways of moving the money around so that it has the most impact is a skill that we develop over time with experience. Sometimes people think, Oh are we paying more because of commissions and things like that. It’s a tricky thing and it’s a conversation that needs to be had very openly with your planner. Some planners do take commission just because that’s how they operate. What that means is, they will recommend vendors and if the couple chooses that vendor, there’s a commission passed to the planner for a finder’s fee, as it were. But many planners don’t. The ones that don’t will often be offered a discount from suppliers to work with that planner.

Valentina: I know a of suppliers whom over time I’ve built a relationship with and have said to me, You know what Val, if you ever have a couple looking for this particular service, I would love to give you 10% commission. And because I don’t take commission, that 10% goes straight to the couple as a discount. So in a way, by leveraging these relationships of trust and experience that we have, we are able to get couples some really great value for money.

Even beyond that, taking a step further, one of the biggest advantages of working with a planner is education. Because I think sometimes the most stressful part of outputting money for your wedding is not really understanding why it’s so expensive.

Valentina: What we can do as planners is every step of the way explain to couples, okay, this is how florists price their services. The price of their services includes the price of the flowers and the training the florist has had all year. It includes the premises of being able to hold your flowers for however long. It includes the time that goes into conditioning them. It includes getting up at 5:00 AM and staying up until 2:00 AM the next day. You know, just really breaking it down so that when it comes to investing in those elements, that will be part of your wedding. You understand it and you’re happy to pay for it because you know what you’re getting for it. So it’s kind of the process of maybe we can save you money, we will always try to, we will always try to help you spend money in intelligent ways. But even you’re not working with a planner just to get discounts. That’s not what I’m saying. Sometimes discounts arise just as a result of the relationships built. I’d like to think that the money is spent in a more mindful and considerate way, because couples have the opportunity to learn about what it is that they’re investing in.

Katie: That’s interesting. I’ve actually never thought of it like that, but it makes a lot of sense. Understanding that all of these vendors are most likely small businesses and everyone’s trying to price themselves fairly to also still stay in business. But I love that you are breaking it down and trying to educate a little bit. I’m already convinced that it’s the way to go, but is there anything that’s a disadvantage?

Disadvantages to Consider

Valentina: There is something that I think is worth saying. Even the most laid back elopement, even the most relaxed wedding, when there’s a planner involved, inevitably the planner is there to make sure the day goes seamlessly for you to create that sense of complete, laid backness and relaxation. Actually a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to make sure that everything is flowing and there are no problems, you know, it’s just all flowing beautifully. A lot of that work goes on behind the scenes and a planner can do that. A planner does need to create a little bit of a framework. By that I mean even when planning the tiniest, mostly laid back elopement, I use a project management platform and I keep contact details for everybody and I will have a timeline for the day. Even if it’s just a guide.

Valentina: Even if it says, aim to start the ceremony at 1:00, like even if it’s literally just the two of them and they say we don’t care what time it starts, I am still there to make sure that the day can feel as relaxed as they want it to be. So that means, telling the florist what time she needs to be there and telling the caterer what time the food needs to be warm and all of that. I will always aim to be that little ninja behind the scenes, and making these things happen without making them feel any of that. But inevitably it does require a fairly sort of a logical process and that doesn’t work for all couples. I suppose a wedding that’s run by a wedding planner has more background framework to it than one that isn’t. To me that’s a great thing because I’m a planner, and I love that lots of things have been thought about ahead of time.

Valentina: Everything’s been put into place, everyone knows who everyone else is. I do a lot of liaising. I over communicate over email. I love making sure everyone knows who I am. Everyone knows everyone’s contact details. I read those emergency plans, contingency plans. I put all of this in place so that if ever it were needed, it can happen seamlessly without causing any stress to the bride and groom. But in a way it might feel less spontaneous than if a couple was thinking, Oh we just want to have a really chilled shindig with 15 people. They may not like the process of having someone guide them in this kind of methodical way. So that’s a disadvantage. I think that depends a lot on the personality of the couple, especially if you’re having an elopement. You might think, why do we need a planner?

Valentina: It kind of goes back to those advantages of like making the wedding planning journey more fun, more educated, smoother and just generally something that you can actually enjoy giving you back the time to do the wedding planning you want to do and taking away from you the stuff that is stressful. But in order to do that, all of it is sort of works within a a process, you know, and that’s just not necessarily the way all couples think or, or want to think. Does that make sense?

Katie: That does make sense for sure. Anything else?

Valentina: Something that I’ve come across a little bit working with destination weddings is that the role of the wedding planner isn’t always fully understood by everyone. And sometimes there might be venues who have their own coordinators who don’t have a great opinion of wedding planners. It can create friction when the venue already has someone on site who feels like the planner is just coming in to take over their job. Obviously that’s absolutely not true. I love working with venues that have their own coordinators because we compliment each other. They know their venue inside out, back to front. I know the rest of the couple’s wedding back to front, inside out. Together we make sure the day is absolutely seamless and awesome and beautiful. So I love working with coordinators. And I suspect what’s happened in the past is maybe coordinators have had negative experiences with planners, and and that’s led to a bit of a preconception that the planner is just there to make their job harder. Which is hopefully never true. But I have encountered it where sometimes couples have to deal with a little bit of friction from venues when they already have a planner.

Valentina: So that is I guess a possible disadvantage, but it’s really just down to education and communication and just making sure everyone knows that we’re all on the same side. We’re all here to make the day amazing, and it’s something that can be very easily overcome by just communicating honestly.

Variables That Affect Wedding Planner Rates

Katie: My next question is, what variables affect the pricing and the budget of hiring a planner? I’m sure people want to know how much you charge or how much they can expect to pay for a planner. But I think that it varies depending on so many things. I’d love to hear about from your perspective.

Valentina: Pricing wise. Okay. Working with a planner is definitely an investment. It’s not cheap and it kind of shouldn’t be, because if a planner is adding as much value as she should be, a lot goes into that. Hopefully what happens during the first consultation is we can explain to you exactly what you’re getting for that money that you’re investing. And if it aligns with your needs, then that money’s worth spending. In terms of the valuables, the way planners tend to charge for full planning, you know, from the beginning to the end, planning everything is they will either charge a fixed fee, which they decided ahead of time, or they’ll charge as a percentage of your total budget. And the reason planners do that is that with higher budgets typically come higher complexities of the wedding, they tend to be larger teams, more demanding event logistics. There are a lot of reasons why higher budget weddings tend to involve more commitment, more effort.

Valentina: Which again, planners are happy to give, but the reason they tend to have this sort of proportionate percentage situation is that, they also tend to have a minimum fee. And the reason for that is if your budget were to be on the lower side, it just protects them from being paid like two pounds an hour. So there’s a minimum fee, which basically says like, I know I’m going to put at least this amount of work into your wedding. And by having a minimum fee, I’m kind of setting how much money I’m making on an hourly or yearly basis or however you decide to price it.

Valentina: So when you go to planners’ websites, that’s what you’ll see. For me personally, I have a minimum fee for large weddings. I will work to a budget if there are a lot of variables that are still uncertain when the couple first comes to me. If they can give me enough information about their wedding, I try to do it as a fixed fee because I feel that it helps them understand where I’ll fit into the budget. I feel like there’s a little bit of a conflict of interest sometimes. If I said, Oh my gosh, I love this photographer. He’s a little bit above your budget. I think you’ll love him. They have a look at his website and then they decide to book him.

Valentina: They might think, Oh well we’ve spent more and now we have to pay Val more. That’s why she recommended him. You know what I mean? It’s a bit of a roundabout thing. If I can calculate it well enough with all the information given to me, I tried to give fixed fees. For elopements specifically, I always do fixed fees because there’s fewer variables. I tend to know what the workload is, and then I will price bespokely for more specific things like partial planning on the day, month of…

The main variables are how much is left to do versus how much has already been done, how large the wedding is, number of guests and number of suppliers, and is it a location that I know well and I’m comfortable with?

Valentina: You’ll also see experience factoring into how much a planner charges. More experienced planners with a lot more weddings under their belts will be charging more as a result of that. Whereas newer planners, receiving images and testimonials and experience is so valuable to them that they often are willing to start off by charging a little bit lash to balance that out. I do price everything bespokely, so it would be hard to give a range to listeners. In the UK, a typical minimum fee for a planner who’s fully planning A to Z, for a large wedding, a minimum fee tends to be from about £4,000 upwards.

Valentina: But to give you a little bit of context for that, a planner can put in anywhere from 200 hours to 600 hours planning a wedding. And that’s a huge range because weddings vary so much. But if you think, £4,000 divided by 400 hours, it’s not actually that much. It’s more about giving people a sense of like how much work you do behind the scenes and how much value you add to try and explain why. Obviously more experienced planners might be charging £10,000…£15,000. So it’s, there is a huge range.

Katie: Is it fair to say that couples will most likely need to get on the phone with a planner and do some kind of intake questionnaire? Or how do people figure out what the budget is going to be for the planner?

Valentina: That’s a very good question. The way I tend to work is if I receive an inquiry that’s full of information and lots of details, I tend to be able to give couples a ballpark even from the very first email. And the reason I try to do that is just because I don’t want to waste their time. I want them to continue the conversation with me if I do align with the budget that they’ve set aside for a planner. More often than not, I will recommend getting on a video call or phone call or meeting up for a coffee (Covid permitting) and just getting to know each other, so that I have a much better sense of what their vision is. I do try and give ballparks because my website for example says, full day minimum fee from £5,000 upwards. And elopements from £1000 upwards.

Valentina: That’s it. You know, that’s a very big difference of an elopement to a big wedding. I always want couples to know that I will take everything they tell me into consideration when pricing. If they’re eloping they shouldn’t be worried that the full planning package applies to them in the same way as it does for a 200 person wedding. I always try and explain to them the differences between the different types of weddings and the different types of pricing. I have a kind of informal questionnaire that I can send if I feel like there’s more information that I need after the conversation. But usually it’s just a conversation where we get to know each other, see if we click, and have some fun talking about their wedding, find out more details. Then I’ll send them a sort of more official quote. If it was two people coming to London having just an afternoon ceremony and only needed a handful of things from me in a city I know like the back of my hand, and there wasn’t really a lot that I necessarily needed to commit to when it comes to planning new day, that could be £700. It’s a very bespoke pricing system, which depends entirely on the level of support they need. I never want to charge them for more than they need, so I’m very careful to try and figure out how I can help and what their wedding is going to look like.

Katie: Okay. Thank you. That helps a lot. I’ve learned so much in this little chat actually! Is there anything else before we wrap up that you’d like to add or share?

Valentina: Oh, thank you. Well, I would love to say from an elopement perspective, it’s something that I’m learning very much myself. Every elopement I do teaches me very, very much. And I think that the role of the planner for elopements is so much more than the sum of the parts of the actual tasks that we do. Because there aren’t guests there to fill your day with memories.

So for example, this amazing Scotland elopement we did, the people on the site that were there all day: myself and the photographer and the florist and stuff. We spent loads of time with the couple. We were a completely integral part of their day, because we were always around them, joking around with them, making them feel good, relieving their nerves if they were nervous or making them laugh. Then at the end of the long day, we were all tired. We all sat down and had cake together, the two of them and the supplier team.

Valentina: Because I’m specializing more in elopements, I’ve come to a place where I treat my role as so much more than just, you know, a logistics person or a stylist. I’m so invested in their day, I’m so in it with them. I ride that roller coaster of emotions with them. I cry when I’m listening to the vows. I’m absolutely in it. I think many planners have that outlook. From an elopement perspective, I would definitely say don’t think of a planner as just someone who helps with spreadsheets. Especially when it comes to a very tight knit, intimate relationship. If that sounds like something you would enjoy, sharing that joy with someone, then working with planner is definitely something you should consider.

Katie: Good point. Absolutely. Well I’ve already decided during this conversation that I’m going to hire you when I get married. A Europe elopement or small kind of thing would be my dream. First I have to find a boyfriend! That’s step one. Then maybe in a few years I’ll find you.

Valentina: I’ll be waiting Katie!

Katie: How how can people find you online?

Valentina: The place I hang out most on social media is definitely Instagram. You can find me @thestarsinside. I’m there a lot, but if you wanted a more official overview of who I am and what I do and how I can help, then my website is definitely the best place: I also have a blog and am starting a podcast soon. Definitely come by my website, see what I’m up to, and definitely get in touch. is where you can email me directly.

Katie: Awesome. That’s perfect. This was really helpful and I’m sure a lot of people will find value listening and tuning in. Thank you so much.

Closing Remarks

Katie: Loved this conversation with Valentina so much. What I love about her is I can just tell how passionate she is about what she does. If you visit her website,, you’ll just see how much she totally loves doing this. Obviously I’m a fan of the fact that she specializes in elopements and really intimate celebrations. I think that she has a wonderful eye for detail. And she just cares and that’s a great quality to have in someone who’s going to be such an integral part of your wedding day, if this is the route that you decide to choose.

To wrap things up, I don’t think there’s necessarily a right or wrong answer in terms of if you need an elopement wedding planner, I hope that just hearing us chat about some of the advantages and disadvantages will help you decide if it’s right for you. I encourage you to find me on Instagram! Say hello, I would love to hear from you.


Katie photographs elopements for modern, discerning couples. Based in Los Angeles and available worldwide.