The Wedding Biz – 466 REVISIT RACHEL BIRTHISTLE: The Lake Como Wedding Planner and Creating a Wedding with Contrasting Events

 In All Network Episodes, Events, Planning, The Wedding Biz

Andy welcomes Rachel Birthistle to The Wedding Biz. Rachel is the Owner and CEO of The Lake Como Wedding Planner based in Como, Italy. In addition to her own events, she has worked with people like Lisa Vorce on Chrissy Tegan and John Legend’s wedding and many others. She says she is predominantly a wedding planner in a destination rather than a destination wedding planner.

Rachel’s father was in the fashion industry, and from a young age, she worked in his factory doing tasks like snipping thread and packing items. She found the place fascinating and knew that being in the fashion industry was where she wanted to be. She started making her own clothes in school even though her friends thought her fashion style was a little out there!

Rachel discusses going to design college, finding a job with a large retailer in London, traveling all over the world, and her decision to stay home. She speaks about going back to college for sports therapy and starting a clinic in her home. Her life took twists and turns but eventually led her to a position with a wedding planner and, ultimately, her decision to start her own extremely successful business.

Rachel strives to make each client’s wedding an event starting when they get off the plane for their first meeting with her. With an itinerary of possible venues in hand, she begins to analyze the client’s style, how they interact with each other, and begins the design process in her head. Creating a sequence of contrasting events for her clients is what she loves most.

What is your dream? If it’s to start your own business, what are you waiting for? You will never know if you can do it until you take a leap of faith and try. Rachel is someone who did just that; she found areas that were lacking in the wedding planning industry in Lake Como, Italy, and set out to change it. This is a learning experience for anyone with a dream, so sit back and listen to this very insightful episode.

This episode is sponsored by Zola, the fastest-growing wedding platform that connects today’s couples with the right planners and vendors. Zola gives wedding professionals more control, better exposure, and higher quality leads – all with competitive pricing and no annual commitment. Create your free listing at


Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don’t forget about Sean Low’s podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network.


Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute!

Show Highlights:

  • [00:00] – Today’s sponsor is Zola.
  • [01:03] – This episode is a revisit of Andy’s original interview with Rachel Birthistle.
  • [01:46] – Welcome to the show, Rachel!
  • [02:11] – She has a view of Lake Como from her office and says it’s hard to beat.
  • [02:59] – Rachel discusses her childhood and how she knew she was going to be in the fashion industry as a small child.
  • [03:45] – She didn’t know what part of the industry, but the design side fascinated her.
  • [04:21] – Did Rachel have a strong sense of what her style was?
  • [04:41] – Rachel started making her clothes because she didn’t have a lot of pocket money.
  • [05:40] – She went to school for design in London but didn’t finish because she left to have her daughter.
  • [07:13] – If you are positive when looking for opportunities, you can be successful.
  • [08:06] – Rachel started working for a retailer in London who focused on menswear and got to travel a lot.
  • [09:18] – Rachel explains the twists and turns she took from fashion into planning.
  • [11:00] – She got introduced to the wedding industry from a friend who needed help and moved from there into her own company.
  • [11:59] – She discovered that the wedding industry was missing various things and made it her mission to fill in the holes.
  • [13:45] – What was available to rent for weddings lacked style, so she started buying items to use.
  • [15:04] – Rachel interprets what clients want and puts ideas together for them.
  • [17:27] – She gives us her process for meeting a client, finding the venue, and understanding their style. She then can start thinking about the design.
  • [20:05] – Lake Como is unique, and her goal is to have contrast within the flow of events.
  • [23:38] – From the time her clients arrive at the airport, she puts together an itinerary for showing them locations and giving them an experience.
  • [25:45] – She also does planning with other agencies that need a local planner to support them.
  • [26:29] – Rachel reflects on her having worked with Colin Cowie.
  • [27:38] – Rachel talks about working with Lisa Vorce doing Crissy Tegan and John Legend’s wedding and the different people she has worked with.
  • [30:13] – Her reputation and weddings benefit the venues and get them exposure and business.
  • [33:01] – Having a mix of photographers through the various seasons allows her to have different types of photos for each wedding.
  • [34:47] – Rachel’s daughter works in the business and helps curate their library of images.
  • [38:01] – She is learning to delegate and put the right people in the right positions so she doesn’t have to be present every minute of each event. 
  • [40:46] – She has a team that knows many different languages, which helps her deal with vendors/creative partners and clients.
  • [41:48] – Where does Rachel want to be in five or ten years?
  • [42:48] – Rachel has also started a furniture rental business, which she is now allowing other companies to use.
  • [44:43] – Andy announces where Rachel can be found online.


Kristen & Zachary Wedding in Lake Como, Italy

Lauren & OJ – Marco Caputo – password: “amcaputo2019”

Joel & Shayne – Moon and Back

Neha & Sheryar

Find Rachel:

The Lake Como Wedding Planner


Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest


Lisa Vorce 

Colin Cowie Part 1 on The Wedding Biz

Colin Cowie Part 2 on The Wedding Biz

Robert Fountain on The Wedding Biz

Kiana Underwood on The Wedding Biz

Carrie Goldberg on The Wedding Biz


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Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment & Zola.

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