She’s overseen a record year for weddings at Maderas and looking to be even busier in 2016.
As San Diego increasingly is being discovered as a destination wedding hot spot, so is Maderas, with its scenic panoramic golf course views and unique amenities, such as its private bridal-ready suite La Casa.
In this Q & A, Laura shares her story about arriving at Maderas and what she enjoys about her job and helping couples plan their perfect special day.
Can you share with us a little about the eclectic career route that led you to working with weddings?
I kind of fell into it. I went to school for fashion design yet was hungry to see the world so I ended up traveling the world doing international volunteerism. I worked in Costa Rica and Nepal at orphanages teaching English and managing volunteers.
When I moved back to California, I was able to utilize my management skills and love for fashion by becoming the manager of Coach on Rodeo Drive. We did a lot of press events in Beverly Hills, and I learned quickly how to deal with a demanding clientele.
Soon my love of helping others surpassed my passion for fashion and I was able to create a career in non-profit event planning where I created and managed anything from seminars, to golf tournaments to galas. I was asked to assist a local wedding planner with a wedding and I loved it. It fit my experience, and I was good at the nurturing side of it – and weddings need a lot of nurturing.
But it was actually golf that introduced you to Maderas?
I brought a golf tournament here in 2012. I thought personally that Maderas was a hidden gem. It was known for golf but that put it on my radar as a wedding venue.
In meantime, Laura started her own company and worked with about 150 weddings before joining our staff.
What do you like in general about working with weddings?
Love is beautiful. You only have a handful of events where you celebrate your life changing direction. It’s worth the celebration.
Weddings are a billion-dollar business. In some cultures, people save their whole lives for that one day. People are always going to be getting married. The trends will change, but people will always celebrate these moments in their lives. I found a career that I love, I’m good at, and will always be in demand. That’s a big win in my book.
What does it mean to be a wedding specialist?
It’s like being a wedding concierge. I work with couples throughout the entire process. We don’t just save a date and then see you then. That’s a special benefit that you get here, having someone with you through the planning, from the catering to the design.
That day includes La Casa. How have brides liked that experience?
The biggest thing people can’t believe is that it isn’t extra. It’s just part of the package. It definitely gives the wedding an extra wow factor.
You might get your own suite or a comped room at a hotel at other places, but here you get your own private house that’s fully furnished and with incredible panoramic views.
How do you regard San Diego as a wedding destination?
It’s a hub for weddings. It’s a great destination wedding spot for people all over the country, especially if that place gets a little colder than California. When you look at San Diego as a destination spot, you’ve got beaches, mountains and a great weather pretty much 365 days a year.
Plus, San Diego tends to be more affordable than Hawaii. It’s the perfect destination for a wedding, especially if you’d like to make a vacation out of it.
You are, of course, booking weddings well into 2016. What are you seeing as the trends for the new year?
The DIY weddings, where you hold it on a ranch or some non-traditional venue, are on their way out. I think tastes are shifting back toward the elegant, classic wedding where an all-inclusive is wanted.
Also, with the economy improving, people are putting more money into their weddings. They’re being a little more lavish and are willing to splurge on the details, things like extra outdoor lighting and lounge furniture to make their wedding seem like more of an event.
(The Maderas wedding team of, from left, Nicole Ellis, Laura Magid and April Bacuetes)
Call 858.217.2564, ext. 1327 or email Laura at email@example.com to book your wedding at Maderas. You can also get a tour of La Casa on Tues. through Sat. There’s more information at www.maderasweddings.com.