Meet Elika Almeida
CEO and Certified Wedding and Event Planner
Where do I begin? I have planned weddings for over 15 years and have smiled and laughed with my couples and their families every step of the way. I truly enjoy what I do but it didn’t come easy at first. You see, I was married at the very young age of 18 years old and I did not know what I was doing back then. I was young and didn’t give enough credit to my talented mother. Back then (1991 yikes!!) wedding planners did not exist. If they did, they were not even mentioned in the wedding industry. My mom has a natural built-in talent, she is organized and that is one of the key trait a wedding planner must have. I didn’t know how much I took after my mom until after my wedding.
So, let’s get back to how I became a wedding and event planner. I had a whopping 16 bridesmaids and 16 groomsmen, 1 flower girl and ring bearer, Godmother and Godfather and my parents and my in-laws of course….that’s 40 total people who my mom had to coordinate with. Most of them were fresh out of High School like I was. My husband and I were married in September 1991. Back then, I didn’t really notice how much work went into planning my wedding. My mom was super stressed (I do remember this). Imagine having to contact everyone by house phone and not having a cell phone or social media to communicate. I give my mother so much credit now for being my ‘unofficial’ wedding planner. She even handmade my silk envelope holder and planned my bridal shower. It was a daunting task but she was born to plan.
I became intrigued with planning events when I began to work in the Corporate World after I had my two children. Though I worked as an administrative assistant for a while, I would plan board meetings, corporate events and retreats, holiday parties and any company event. I also helped plan family weddings and really dove into the wedding planning aspects in 1999. I realized I enjoyed it and started researching where I can get certified or got to school for it. Nothing really existed at this point. Then it happened!!! The movie, The Wedding Planner was released in 2001 and it was a huge hit. I loved that movie and then it just hit me….I could see myself planning weddings for a living.
I started to build my portfolio and interning and eventually started teaching for the Wedding Planning Institute where I became certified to plan weddings and soon after, I became a Mentor and Instructor through the Lovegevity Wedding Planning Institute. I now have a team of talented wedding and event planners and event designers who have been trained and certified as well. My business is growing and I really owe it all to my mother who I learned so much from. She was a tough cookie but she helped shape the person I am today. My dad played a huge role too. His kind and generous heart taught me to be kind to everyone and those qualities help me when I work with my clients. At the end of each wedding/each event, my clients are happy and we become friends. It is just inevitable and it’s one of the things I love about what I do…..enjoying life, meeting new people and building relationships and experiences and making memories that last a lifetime.