Her natural people skills and warm personality led her to thrive in hospitality based roles however there came a time when she felt the desire to put down roots, seeking the home comforts of Spain, but with the cosmopolitan, international vibes of her previous career. Ibiza, it seemed, ticked all the boxes. After a few summers spent living as a self-described ‘hippy’, Natalia felt the urge to forge a career for herself in an industry where she could be creative while combining her language and organisational skills. Fate led her to Amante Ibiza in 2016, where the opportunity to become a wedding and event planner serendipitously presented itself just as she was questioning her life’s direction. Natalia rose to the challenge, and today now successfully designs and executes weddings and events in the iconic Sol d’en Serra venue and its all-new sister venue, Aiyanna Ibiza, opening on June 16.
Tell us about your first ever memory of a wedding? I think the first ever wedding I went to was my cousin, then my sister’s and the main thing I remember from both was just having a lot of fun. Weddings are all about fun. What led you to becoming a wedding planner? It wasn’t intentional. I spent five years working at Blue Marlin Ibiza, basically as the ‘right hand woman’ to the boss – involved in events and also reservations, and I had to be really organised. It got to be so busy and I felt the job was taking over my life, so I wanted a change, for my own good. I’d known David [Piccioni, Amante Ibiza and Aiyanna Ibiza owner] for a long time, and he suggested I speak to the manager at Amante Ibiza as there was an opportunity there he thought I’d be perfect for – the event manager was leaving. In the end, I think it was meant to be. I really feel like I have found the right job for me. What was the transition like, from party style events to weddings? The first two months were very intense and I learned a lot. Most people plan their weddings a year in advance, so I came in to work on events that had already been planned. It was challenging, but I felt comfortable. Amante Ibiza is a great place to work – the whole team is like a family. They enjoy working in the restaurant, and when it comes to wedding days, everyone makes such a great effort and it always pays off. We have even more fun working on weddings! What is it about Ibiza that makes it such a popular location for destination weddings? The island is so popular worldwide now – especially now with celebrities doing things here. People who didn’t know it before are even more exposed to it now, even more so with social media. But Ibiza also makes a great meeting point for couples who are from different parts of the world, or Europe. I’ve had couples where one person was from New York and the other Switzerland, but they’ve met in Ibiza and want to get married here. And it is just so beautiful – for people from the UK, it is not too far to travel.
What is it that makes Amante Ibiza so special as a wedding venue? [Gestures at her surroundings] Amante Ibiza is unique. The venue just sells itself. We are so secluded from everything. There is no other venue like it on the island. It’s not just popular for weddings – we do very exclusive events with high-end clients or corporate companies too. These people search the entire island for the perfect venue, and then when they come to us, it is like… ‘wow’. We only offer a very select amount of wedding dates at Amante Ibiza – ten per year – so we can preserve the restaurant for our existing customers and really make each wedding super special. This year, with the launch of Aiyanna Ibiza, we are able to open up a lot more dates for wedding availability. Tell us about Aiyanna Ibiza? How will the weddings be different to Amante? Aiyanna Ibiza will be very suited to the rustic chic, gypsy bohemian style weddings that are so popular at the moment. The style of décor of the venue really lends itself to that – think boho chic, feathers, dream catchers. Weddings here can also be much more casual, with barbecues and buffets rather than the formal fine dining sit-down dinners we do at Amante Ibiza. We can be more flexible there. I think each venue will attract different types of wedding clients. Tell us about the wedding planning process? Well, when I get to know the couples… I have no filter! Seriously – it’s like, I’m Natalia, you tell me who you are and what you want and I will be super honest and tell you what’s going to work best for you. You only get married once, but I get to see so many weddings so based on my experience, so I can really advise you on what will be the best way to achieve the wedding you want. I think this gives my couples confidence in my abilities. I want the best for them. What kind of packages do you offer clients? Our set-ups are very simple – we offer the venue as a base and allow the couple to do whatever they want in terms of style. Some like to stay simple, others want to go big! We will only ever recommend reputable suppliers that we know, however we give our clients the freedom to work with whoever they like. We offer set menus, but they have the flexibility to upgrade or change things – I work as the link between Amante, Aiyanna, the suppliers and the couples to make sure everything runs smoothly.
What is the process like on the day of a wedding? We are super organised. From 9am in the morning on event days, we have dedicated teams in place transforming the venues from the regular restaurant into a beautiful set-up for your family and friends. We have people dedicated to styling and plate settings, the kitchen are super preared and know what each person at each table is eating, and we’re all on the radios communicating each step that should be happening at every minute. I have a nine-page document that is like my wedding bible – I work with the couples on this to plan the way they’d like the day to run, and then we follow this so everything is perfect. Absolutely everyone is clear on their roles, from the cleaning ladies to the managers. The whole team combined really makes it happen. How do you stay up to date with weddings trends? Pinterest! It is such a great tool for inspiration and it’s always at your fingertips, on the phone or computer. What is the biggest challenge you face as a wedding planner? Working with the weather! Although Ibiza is usually always sunny, you have to be prepared for bad weather anyway and so we have a beautiful awning available for guests if bad weather comes. But we have to act quickly in these cases. What do you find most rewarding about your role as a wedding planner? Always the end of the day. There has never been a wedding where I didn’t get a big hug, a huge thanks for everything, the couple telling me it has been more than they expected, and being invited to join them on the dance floor. It is a beautiful moment.