Leontine Lauffer, Owner of Il Matrimonio Italiano, was born in the Netherlands and moved to Italy many years ago to begin her journey as a fabulous wedding and event planner. As a former KLM flight attendant, flexibility is her middle name! When planning weddings, Leontine uses a combination of passion, experience, a lot of enthusiasm, and a great sense of style. Not only does she ensure that her clients' big day is arranged down to the very last detail, but as a wedding stylist, she also guarantees a beautiful and especially personal setting for the most spectacular day of their lives!
What inspired you to enter the wedding industry?
I wanted to show the nicest hidden spots in Italy to wedding couples because I was living in the middle of the beautiful rolling hills, north of the Marche region, and all the weddings I saw passing by were the same in style and a bit old fashioned. My hotel school background abroad, years of experience working on cruise ships, and being a business class flight attendant for over 13 years gave me the flexibility to work with any kind of couple in the most beautiful places! I was born in a hotel and restaurant family, so pampering guests was my second nature. My mother was the best in creating amazing table settings and a stylish atmosphere, and I'm lucky she gave this talent to me.
Why did you start Il Matrimonio Italiano?
I stopped flying as a cabin attendant for KLM after 13 years while living with my husband and children in Italy. When I stopped flying, I promised myself to do something I loved to do with all the knowledge I'd gathered. Years before I got married in Italy while I was still living in Holland. It was a struggle to get the right paperwork done, and the organization and planning from a distance was a big challenge. So, when I went live online with my business, I was hoping that just one person would book me. I needed that one couple to believe in me so I could show them their dream wedding in Italy.
When that one couple came, they had the best wedding ever! There were some hilarious moments behind the scenes to get it all done, but I pulled it off. And I'm still best friends with that couple today. Now, 10 years later, I can say that I'm still doing what I love! I become friends with many of my couples and I’m still in contact with them for birthdays, celebrations, and even to help them organize the baptism of their first borns. Being a part of these important moments in their lives gives me such a kick! I just love to surprise everybody with swoon-worthy settings and romantic moments that are impossible to forget!
If you could change one thing about the weddings and special events industry, what would it be?
Pricing! Oftentimes in Italy, certain regions such as Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast overcharge for the quality you're getting. I prefer to work in unknown places where you can still get the local food and service people are looking for.
How does using Aisle Planner help you deliver the client experience you want to?
Aisle Planner is the best tool for me and my clients that live abroad! It helps me be completely transparent and that works great on the work floor. I started to use AP in the middle of a hectic season, and it saved me so much time planning so I'm able to give more attention to my couples.
What's your favorite Aisle Planner feature?
The guest list! I always say, "No guest list. No wedding." It features all aspects of the most important moments of the wedding day/weekend. From email addresses, guest info, seating and layouts, I couldn’t live without this tool!
If you weren't the Owner of Il Matrimonio Italiano, what would you be doing instead, or what would your life be like?
I would want to own a venue. I dream of having a rustic and romantic old house with few rooms, a flourished garden, and amazing views of the surrounding hills for outside dinners. That’s what I love and I know that's exactly what clients look for when wanting to get married in Italy.
What are three things you never show up without on event day?
- Lighters are a must! We have too many candles to light.
- The guest list is the basis of the wedding. No guest list, no wedding!
- Heel savers. There are always ladies that have the most expensive heels that need to be saved.
What’s your personal philosophy on becoming a great wedding and event planner?
Stay focused, listen well, and always be honest about costs. Also, there's no plan A without plan B.
Is there anything you're particularly excited about working on this year?
I'm excited for an upcoming wedding where we have carte blanche! It's always nice to have good budget to do what clients asks for. Also, I'll be working as an external consult by setting up a complete "wedding department" for a beautiful wine resort in the Urbino area. They saw how organized I am with the help of Aisle Planner they contracted me to set up their wedding office from scratch.
Just for fun
Three things you wouldn't board a plane without?
Water, my MacBook Air, and pillow.
I’m dying to take a trip to...
I don't know! I've been almost everywhere, but Sicily is always a nice idea for good food and great beaches.
Dogs or cats?
Both! I have a dog Tom and cat Mimi.
If you owned a restaurant, what food would it serve?
Fish and loads of fresh veggies!
What skill would you like to master?
The complete ashtanga yoga poses.
Favorite book of all time?
Non work-related hobbies?
Ashtanga yoga, walking in nature, and cooking.
On my days off you can find me...
Walking in the woods.
If you catch me out and about, I’m always wearing...
Want to see more from Leontine? Check out her website ilmatrimonioitaliano.com!