Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Featured Vendor: La Gioia Events

Ok ladies and gents, I am so excited to introduce you to our next featured vendor! La Gioia Events is a one stop shop in Vancouver for all of your an event coordinating, floral decor and linen and decor rental needs. I had the opportunity to interview Maria Di Antonio, owner of La Gioia Events and found out that her story was quite interesting. See how a family tradition and the Olympics made the dream La Gioia Events a reality. I truly believe that it is passion like her's that makes the wedding industry such a magical place. So, I hope you enjoy!

SB: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

LGE: My name is Maria Di Antonio, I'm the owner of La Gioia (joy-ya) Events.  I'm an Event Planner / Coordinator, Floral Designer and most recently Baker of yummy goodies.

SB: Name one fun fact about yourself.

LGE: I enjoy a good party.  I love to to entertain.  I love to travel and enjoy new cultural experiences.

SB: How long have you been in the event planning business?

LGE: I've been coordinating many types of events since 1993 in the retail industry, and weddings since 2007.

SB: How did you get started?

LGE: I began my event planning journey in 2003, actually probably a lot earlier than that.  Coming form an Italian family, we always entertained guests in our home and I always assisted my Mom with decorating the house and our dining table to wow our guests.  My training in coordinating began in 1993 in the retail industry.  After moving back to Canada from Italy in late 2002, I wasn't sure what to do with myself as the opportunities that I had in Europe were not available for me here in BC.  Vancouver was getting ready at the time for the 2010 Winter Olympics and my family suggested doing what I do best and that is coordinating events.  I decided to take a few courses at BCIT for Event Planning & Marketing, where I was introduced to Wedding Planning.  The courses introduced me to people in the industry and I fell in love instantly!  Shortly after I started La Gioia Events.

SB: What is event planning so important to you?

LGE: I believe it's important to do what you love to do and event planning is what I love to do.  I draw inspiration from everywhere and everyone.  I'm always looking for new ideas and am always wanting to try something new and event planning lets me do that.
SB: When did you turn your passion into a business?

LGE: La Gioia Events began in January of 2007, where I started event coordinating on a part-time basis.  In 2008, I began the floral decor service.  And as of January of this year, with the business growing through word of mouth taken it to full time, I added the linen and decor rental and coordinating on a full-time basis.

SB: What types of events do you specialize in?

LGE: Mainly weddings, but I also help create great Birthdays, Anniversaries, Bridal Showers and Baby Showers.

SB: What is your business motto?

LGE: I believe my business name says it all... "La Gioia" (pronounced "Joy-Ya") in Italian means "joy", and that is what I like to bring to every event. 

SB: What types of services does your company offer?

LGE: I'm like a one-stop shop. I provide Event Coordinating Services, Floral Design, Linen & Decor Rentals, Invitations, Favors and yummy baked goodies (cookies, cupcakes and cakes).

I offer 3 types of event coordinating services...

Day Of Coordination - you've already booked your venue, flowers, caterer and transportation and someone will be there for you on the Day Of to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

Putting the Dream Together Coordination - this package is for the couple who has all the logistics around their wedding day completed, but still need help putting the dream togther.  This service can be added to the Day-Of Coordination.  We can coordinate your booked vendors from the flowers, linens, and centrepieces to the small details, turning your dream into reality.

The Ultimate Dream Day Coordination - from the conception to the Big Day itself.  We will walk through the steps in creating your dream day.  This package is the ultimate stress-reliever for the Bride & Groom.  Using our conversations and current wedding trends as a guide, we will customize every detail of your day, making it unique to you.

SB: What is your favorite part about working in the wedding industry?

LGE: What I enjoy most about my job is that it doesn't feel like a job.  I love seeing all the smiles.  I love assisting people in creating beautiful memories and watching their dreams come true.  I treat every event as if it were my own and every client as if they were my family.

SB: What is your favorite moment at a wedding?

 LGE: I love it when at the end of the night my Brides come and give me a big hug and tell me that their wedding was even more than what they dreamed it would be.  Which is why my logo is "Turning your dreams into reality..."  

SB: How many weddings do you work with in a year?

LGE: As many as I can ;)  I'm currently at 15 spread throughout this year and am already booking for next year.

SB: Is there a specific type of wedding you like to work with?

LGE: I have to say that each wedding is unique.  In the past four years, I haven't had one wedding that has been the same as another.  What I can say is that my favourite kind of venue is outdoors.  There is just something romantic and peaceful about having a ceremony outside.  Especially with a warm breeze flowing through you.  However, living in a rainforest we always require a back plan, and we have many great tenting companies that can assist with that.  Tenting has come a long way.  It can be very elegant or very simple and even exotic depending on how you decorate it. 
SB: Any last words?

LDE: Some people think that wedding planning and coordination is an extra expense.  I believe that it is so worth it.  Planning a wedding can be like a full time job (and in my case it is).  If you have never planned a wedding or have had friends or family who have, there is so much to learn and not much time to do it all, especially with many venues that are booked a year in advance.  There are so many vendors in this great city of ours to research and interview.  Having someone who has contacts and has worked with vendors that they can trust to do the job, and to do it right, can save on time and money.  You could ask friends and family and friends to assist, but why not enjoy that time with them instead?  If you do like organizing, then by all means do book your venue, flowers, officiant, caterer and transportation...it is so worth having someone there to make sure that everything runs smoothly.  By hiring a coordinator, you can enjoy your day and create those special memories with your family and friends while someone else worries about all the behind the scenes action, so that you won't have to worry about them.  

Well let me just say that I find Maria's story fascinating! You can tell see really loves what she does and is in it for her passion and love of event planning. If you are interested in contacting Maria, or would just like more information about La Gioia Events there are several ways to connect. You can visit the La Gioia Events website or if you are searching for some of La Gioia's gifts you can click here. La Gioia Events also have Facebook and Twitter pages and love to get followers. So go stop by and say hello!

*The pictures shown on this post are courtesy of La Gioia Events.


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