Rui Mota Pinto, wedding planner of international relevance, tells us about his remarkable achievements and his goals for the next year.
Your career in events and advertising business started at a very young age. How and why did you approach the wedding business?
I started very young, just 18 years old, with my own events and advertising business. At that time I was producing corporate events and also had weddings in the services to provide.
At some time a friend of mine asked me to create and produce his wedding, and I accepted with no hesitation. When the wedding ended I was sure about what my life and career would be from that day on. I felt kind of a “click”, a “calling” and I knew at that exact time that weddings were what I was supposed to do forever.
Time passed and I felt that it was not enough only to make weddings just like their where done in Portugal at that time. So I decided to take a specialization in Wedding Planning in NY at the age of 26 and I created my own brand Wedding Planner Rui Mota Pinto. Last year I rebranded to Wedding Tailor & Planner Rui Mota Pinto creating a brand that exactly represents what I am: a Wedding Creator.
During Love me in Italy’s Educational Tour in Liguria you presented your PopUp Weddings. This is something unconventional! How did the idea cross your mind and how do they work?
PopUp Weddings is indeed a very unique wedding project. Something that most people did not suppose would work in Portugal. But it ended to be a huge success and we are receiving couples from all over the world to make a PopUp Wedding.
The project itself, with the name PopUp Weddings, is an idea from my partner Nuno Palha Wedding Photographer. I was making this kind of weddings for a long time specially with Japanese couples and Nuno saw the PopUp Weddings concept in USA and bring the idea to Portugal. He talked to me and said «Rui you are perfect for this because you are already making this for a long time so we can make this as a concept, as a new idea, a new project». He invited also João Jonas the ceremonialist and the 3 of us are the “Pop Up Weddings Team” – 1 Wedding Planner, 1 Ceremonialist, 1 Photographer together to make dreams come to reality in a unique experience.
Basically it is a celebration of love. A small and rapid wedding in any place, even places that are normally not identified as “wedding venues”, with no restrictions, with no protocol or any “mandatory” things.
A celebration with the couple and at maximum 15 guests, a cake and a glass of champagne, a photo session after the ceremony and “ we all go home”. A two hour wedding where the main focus is to celebrate love in a beautiful ceremony in a different and unique place, and then take amazing pictures to keep the day for everlasting memories.
Tejo Weddings are a really peculiar experience on the Tejo river in Lisbon. Is it one of people’s favorite? What kind of people chooses this?
Tejo Weddings is a dream come true. I am passionate about Lisbon and about Tagus River. Also I am a sea lover and to be able to join the city, the river and a boat is something incredible.
The beauty of the city from the river point of view is unique and the experience of getting married in a sailing boat is something unforgettable. Of course it is needed that the couple understands that in a sailing boat we have some limitations regarding the space, the type of menus we can serve and regarding the animation that must be adapted to the a boat. But as you questioned, it is really a peculiar experience and one that you can only live in Lisbon and in this project.
It is a recent project so it is growing and for the couples that seeks the relation with the sea that Portugal can offer, this is simply perfect.
We are having a lot of search from outside couples and we are starting to make some partnerships with some travel agencies to offer not only Lisbon as a Destination, but this project as an unique way of getting married that can only happen in our city.
You organize weddings all around the world, but what are your favorite destinations?
I love to travel. I have a huge passion for NY city, but if I have to choose one location I really love Portugal and Lisbon city. Maybe because of my roots, maybe because I am very proud of my country, or maybe because Lisbon and Portugal are indeed simply beautiful.
The way Lisbon harmonize heritage, with modernity is unique and perfect. All the traditions, all the heritage, all the culture, landscapes that the city presents is overwhelming and adding the great food, the amazing people and a perfect weather all year is something you cannot find anywhere in the world.
Winning the Best Wedding Concept Awards and the Best Wedding Photo Awards made you the most internationally awarded Portuguese Wedding Planner ever. How do you feel about it? Could you imagine such results?
When we work with passion, with creativity and we create a unique signature and identity, we don´t work thinking on the awards we can or we cannot receive.
I work hard every day to deliver the best day ever to each couple, with full dedication and a lot of passion, more than everything. That is my goal and why I am so passionate about my work. That is what drives me each day to be better and better. And I truly believe that added with a great creativity it is the key for all the amazing things that I have achieved in my career, and that no one else in Portugal has achieved.
Being the most awarded Portuguese Wedding Planner ever is a mix feeling of honor, happiness and proudness.
Honor to represent my loved country all over the world and to be able to show that in Portugal we are indeed amazing in weddings. For me it is a huge honor to be representing Portugal and all our amazing professionals. I am of course happy to see all the my effort and of my incredible team and partners recognized between peers and worldwide. That is overwhelming.
And I am proud, because I feel not only my work is well done, not only that I achieve the most amazing thing we can dream of that is to make couples happy but also because as a creator I feel that people really understand me, and can connect with my concepts and creations.
The Best Concept awards are for me very special because they represent the essence of my work. When “you” as a concept wedding tailor and creator achieve to see a wedding recognized as “Best Concept” is simply perfect! It is indeed being awarded on your speciality on what you are as a professional and for what you work, produce and create every day. Finally I feel an enormous feeling of responsibility because I know I have to do each time better to achieve all that is actually expected from me, and because I represent my country.
Honestly I would never think on achieving so much on the past years.
Seeing my work recognized and awarded worldwide is something overwhelming and for sure I was not expecting so much. Of course I know my work, I know the quality and creativity I always deliver in each wedding I create. I never had that fear of showing myself to the world and comparing my weddings and my work to the best ones. I truly believe Portugal offers as many or even more quality that most of the destinations in the world for weddings and as the most experienced Wedding Planner in Portugal I always believed my work can be side by side with the best.
But that is what we as professionals believe about our own work. We never think that people all over the world will understand it as much as we do, and love it as much as we do. So we are always expecting to be recognized of course, but what happened to me in the last years is amazing and i really never expected to be so much.
More than the awards is the respect and admiration that other professionals that I am used to admire, have for my work. That is fantastic and makes me so honored and proud.
You are the only Portuguese Wedding Professional to be member of an international certification organization, the National Wedding Council in the United States. How did you reach such a prestigious position?
Being a member of the National Wedding Council is something that I am really proud of. Not for “only Portuguese Wedding Professional to be member of an international certification organization” but for the values that this organization represents and that I really believe are missing a lot in the wedding industry all over the world and in Portugal.
Having Ethics as a major reference is for me very important and being part of an organization that is proud to defend ethics in the industry, with a strong ethic code, and relation between vendors and couples is for me an honor.
The opportunity appears by invitation. I was certified by the NWC and some weeks after I received an invitation for an interview via Skype to know the possibility of being part of the NWC Council. I met Spencer Potter at the Skype talk and we immediately connect. He was already thinking on having a professional outside the US to made NWC more international and Europe was one of the “targets”. For some reason, that it is not for me to analyze, Spencer saw me as the perfect professional to represent Europe in this Council and to be the Ambassador outside US.
And for me it is a huge honor to be part of this Council with all the values it represents.
Your mottos are “It´s all about your happiness!” and “Make It Your Day… Your Way!”. How can you match people’s desires with your style?
I really believe that a wedding must not only be the reflection of the couples history and identity, that is for sure the most important side, but it also has to have the creator fingerprint.
When we think about a wedding for me we are thinking on a Past, a Present and a Future. Who those two people were, their routes. Who they are now as a couple that want to start a life together. And who they want to be in the future and how they want to tell their story in the Wedding day to their families and friends. And then I believe that if they choose me it is because they want me to be the person to tell their story in my own way and vision, with my creation.
When I first meet a couple I always try to understand if “ we make sense”, if “we connect”, if “we understand each other”. If we do not feel some kind of strong connection and if I do not “fall in love” with them and their story then I prefer not to make that wedding because I know it will not work and I will not be able to deliver “all of me” to them. If they do not want my creative side then it makes no sense.
When a couple seeks for a professional that is more than a planner and a coordinator when he is a creator, that couple seeks for his identity, his creative side, his ideas, his own vision of their story. When I feel that, and I fall in love with the story it is a very simple way. Because I know that I will create the perfect way to tell the story of that couple and they will trust me to make it in “their own way at my unique style”.
Your job is making other people’s dream come true. But what are your dreams and goals for the future?
2017 was one of the most amazing and emotional years ever.
Beginning in the Love Me in Liguria experience, to the amazing weddings I created, and ending in the end of the year with the “Mexican Experience” as I called it, with the incredible adventure of Belief Retreat and the launch of the amazing international project Two + Us to help couples in need to make their dream wedding come true, made 2017 a very Special year.
Also the “Mexican Experience” brought me something new and a “strange feeling” because I got engaged so I am now part of “the other side”!
So my dreams and goals for the future are to help the Two + Us project to grow and to bring it to Portugal in 2018, also to start planning my own wedding for 2019 with my Wedding Planners, and to keep on making what I love to do with my identity, with my “own way” and keep on believing that love can really change things for the best.
Also 2018 will be the year to launch a long time project. The Portuguese Wedding Ambassadors will be born and we will have news soon…