Join us in this new episode of Ellwed Talks where we talk with Valentina Ring of The Stars Inside
Valentina is a Destination Wedding Planner and stylist based in London who loves working with couples all over the world!
She offers a comprehensive, international planning and design service, specialising in soulful elopements and unique, distinctive, intimate weddings. Celebrations that feel like home, no matter the size.
She prides herself in curating experiences that are heartfelt and authentic, where every detail is considered.
She is just as confident supporting couples with the logistical problem solving side as with their creative design. Which gives her a very comprehensive and holistic approach to wedding planning. Valentina is a strong believer in creating meaningful experiences. But also encourages her brides and grooms to be playful and to think outside the box in ways that are most personal to them.
She was featured in many of the world’s best wedding blogs. And even more excitingly, had her work published in print as well. She has contributed many expert advice pieces or expert opinion posts to many blogs and magazines. But mostly, Valentia wants to continue growing her brand while connecting with talented suppliers worldwide.
In this episode you can meet Valentina where she shares her unique inspirational story with us and what led her to become a destination wedding planner! We will also talk about Destination Weddings & Planning Tips for all couples.
Tell us a bit about your story, what lead you to your current career path?
I have a somewhat unusual background. And I love using everything I’ve learned over the years to serve my couples and colleagues in the wedding industry now. I actually started my professional life as an astrophysicist. Then trained to be a circus performer (a trapeze artist, to be precise!) and then was hired by one of the largest American investment banks as a stocks trader. During the time I was working at the bank, my husband proposed, and we started planning our wedding. We had the great joy and pleasure of working with a wedding planner. And I absolutely loved what she did for us. She helped us through so many difficulties. For instance, when our wedding venue went bankrupt and we had to start all over again with planning! She truly made it so we could enjoy and embrace the time we had, which was invaluable.
Her and I became friends and got to know each other quite well, and she was actually the one who first suggested I consider starting a business as a wedding planner. I remember so vividly the way that I felt – it was like everything just clicked! She was our rock throughout the whole wedding planning journey, and I wanted to be that person for other people. I loved the idea of supporting couples through this joyous and momentous period of their lives. Helping them grow stronger together, and also putting all my creative and analytical skills to use at the same time to bring to life new experiences.
I started doing work experience, training, preparing to launch a business. And right after our wedding, The Stars Inside was born! I quit my job at the bank and started doing this full-time. I absolutely adore what I do, and wouldn’t have it any other way now!
What inspires you in the business and daily life?
My relationship with my couples is at the very heart of the work I do, every single day. Their dreams, trust, and their stories are constantly inspiring and motivating me. It means so much to me to be invited to be a part of that. It’s an honour that I take very seriously, which is why I treat every wedding or elopement with utmost dedication and care.
I also love being inspired by my own interests! By connecting with couples and suppliers that are aligned with me, I find that very often my work can take inspiration by my favourite places, favourite books and movies, favourite genres of art, favourite colour combinations, and so on. I love being able to pay homage to beauty in all of these forms. And there is nothing more exciting than feeling that the person you’re speaking to totally “gets it”. I love looking to fashion, art, architecture, history, and pop culture when I’m brainstorming ideas.
Also, when I’m trying to recharge my brain, I like branching out to non-work related things. As I feel it gives me a fresh perspective on my inspiration. If I have some down-time, you’ll see me reaching for the latest fantasy series I’m reading. Or cozying up with my husband in our videogame cave. I use what spare time I have to nourish my creativity by travelling, visiting art and photography exhibits, creating with others, reading, and generally widening my horizons. Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unexpected of places!
What was your best experience as a wedding planner at The Stars Inside?
I wouldn’t be able to choose just one. But, invariably, my favourite moments of every wedding or elopement happen on the day itself. Seeing their faces light up when they walk into a room or atmosphere we’ve brought to life together always fills my heart so much. I also always cry when I hear them say their vows to one another!
What trend do you see picking up in the world of weddings?
I generally encourage my couples to try to step outside of trends and think about most excites them. But of course it’s also very fun to see the way ideas in fashion and design make their way into the wedding industry. And how visual inspiration has been reinventing year after year. For me the main trend at the moment is wedding days that are more intentional and curated. Couples want to do what’s right for them. They want their wedding to fit in with their values and their identities. For example, I’m seeing more and more brides turn to this new generation of bridal designers who offer looks that aren’t traditionally “bridal”. Also, wanting to wow their guests in multiple looks throughout the day.
Similarly the hair and make-up looks that my brides are choosing are natural and lighter, which I absolutely love! This paring-back is also affecting the food and flowers: couples want ingredients and florals that are locally-grown, seasonal, and sustainable. When it comes to decor, brides and grooms want personalised, experiential, and immersive options that are more about atmosphere than they are about tradition. It’s about meaningful luxuries. For me, this has meant more attention to lighting, more bespoke commissions from local artisans, and smaller guest lists that allow more attention to be focusing on each guest’s experience.
Is there one question that almost every client asks you about their wedding? What is it and what is your answer?
I’d say there are two things that I discuss with almost all my couples. The first is how much each element of their wedding costs, and why. When we first start working together, I draft a generic budget breakdown based on the couple’s initial vision and their estimated guest numbers. We will then go through this together to highlight any areas that they want to prioritise or de-prioritise. Which informs me on how best to allocate the investments into each category. I am always on hand to give them realistic and expert advice on what to expect, and how to get the best value for money. All while focusing on the things that matter most to them. It’s really important to me to be respectful of their goals, while also educating them on the value of the services they choose to invest in.
The other question I almost always get asked is: “Do we have to have/do…[insert wedding tradition here]”. Couples often worry that their wedding needs to fit certain expectations or preconceptions and will often think certain traditions have to be included. The truth is, your wedding can be whatever is right for YOU. You can choose which traditions to adopt, which ones to let go of, and which ones to reinvent in your own personal way. There are no rules, and the most important thing is that the day reflects your story and your values.
Which is your favourite location for a destination wedding in Greece and why?
I’ve had the joy of working in Oia, Santorini, and absolutely adored it! The scents, the light, the food – absolutely fantastic. I also loved the way the island was so different on the two sides. Offering such unique landscapes and photography opportunities at every turn.
Tell us a bit more about what you are currently working on at The Stars Inside?
I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few months reflecting on my brand story and my business. So I actually have a few new things I’m super excited about! I’ve just launched The Stars Inside podcast , which I had been wanting to do for AGES. And the response has been awesome. Then I’ve refreshed my website and logo. And I worked with 315 Press to create some magical new graphics and business cards for me, which I love. I’m also in the process of creating some helpful digital assets that couples can download, and also designing some mindful, organic gifts for my e-shop – cute tees and totes coming soon! I’ve also just released a magical new IG filter which I’m really excited about! Lots of little bits to modernise and grow my brand in a way that I can be proud of! 🙂
And for the last question, what advice would you give to all couples who want to have a destination wedding?
There are three main things I’d mention to anyone thinking of having a destination wedding:
- There will be elements that are great value for money, but definitely don’t expect it to necessarily be cheaper. The investment will depend on what you prioritise, and also how much of your guests’ costs you want to cover yourself;
- There may be more challenges involved in planning a destination wedding, but it’s 100% worth it!
- Working with local, expert teams is extra important – and a wedding planner can help you navigate all the additional logistics and make sure you’re making the most of this wonderful adventure.
If someone wants to get in touch with you, where can they find you?
You can find me everywhere under The Stars Inside. The best places to connect with me and start getting to know me would be my website at and my Instagram profile. You can always reach me at my email address too, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to find out more about me and what I do, I would LOVE to hear from you!
Did you enjoy meeting Valentina of The Stars Inside? Check out more vendors on our podcast bellow or follow us on your favourite podcast platform!
If you are a bride or a pro and have a story to share, feel free get in touch at ellwed.com/podcast and we can schedule your own Ellwed Talks episode!
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