Event Planner Spotlight: Viva Bella Events

Nicole SteegerContributor

Viva bella events is a fabulous event planning company based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. This successful company is led by owner, Dora Manuel. We had the pleasure of speaking with Dora so we could learn more about the party planning force that is Viva bella. Let’s get to know Dora and her company…

GM: How did you get started as a professional event planner? DM: After ten years in sales and marketing for Fortune 500 companies, I was ready for a change. I began to ask myself what I really wanted to do. Viva bella was born out of my love of collaborating with others and believing every experience should be unique and beautiful. 

Photo Credit: KortneeKate.com

GM: What event planning services do you offer? DM: We offer Wedding Planning services and Corporate Event services. Our wedding planning services are broken down into four packages: Coordinate, Create, Consult and Design. These levels range from helping you along with your budget and timeline to full on design services for every detail of the day. For our corporate clients, we create custom proposals on an individual basis after we have discussed the company’s culture and vision for the event.

GM: What types of events do you typically plan? DM: We produce local, national, and international events for Fortune 500 companies, private individuals, and everything in between!  Weddings, corporate meetings, social galas, employee appreciation banquets, award shows, themed events, holiday parties, grand openings…anything to fulfill our clients’ visions! 

Photo Credit: Blink of an Eye Photography

GM: What sets you apart from other event planners? DM: We genuinely love getting to know our clients and their needs, wants, and dreams. Our events cater specifically to each client’s style and represent who they are. We also have such a privilege to work with amazing local and national vendor partners. Seriously, the best in the biz!

GM: What is your favorite part about being a professional event planner? DM: Our team receives real satisfaction from exceeding clients’ expectations.  Whether we are making a bride’s wedding day vision into reality or creatively interpreting a corporate client’s brand in a way they’ve never thought of…we just love to “wow” our clients!

GM: How does entertainment fit into the events that you plan? DM: We use entertainment in all of our events! From booking a band/DJ combo for a reception, to hunting down a blues band for a jazz themed event in Chicago or a French band for a Riviera party in Cincinnati, to finding Turkish belly dancers for a recent event in Istanbul, we are always on the look out for great entertainment! 

Photo Credit: KortneeKate.com

GM: Why do you use GigMasters for finding entertainment? DM: We chose to work with GigMasters because of the variety of bands and entertainment choices available. In addition, the website provides easy access to video clips and reviews from past clients. We have had great success working with GigMasters. It has been a very helpful resource when looking for a unique band to fit our event themes. We found the French band and the Blues band both through GigMasters and both turned out to be perfect for the event.

Photo Credit: KortneeKate.com

GM: What’s the biggest misconception people have about event planners? DM: I believe one of the biggest misconceptions is that event planners want to take over the planning process. We are simply here to guide the bride or business into staying within their budget, keeping up with a timeline, organizing vendors, and making design and style decisions, etc. We are in the business of collaboration!

GM: What’s the one thing you wish people knew before they hired you? DM: The most important thing we want our clients to know is that we want their wedding to be a reflection of them or their corporate event to be an extension of their brand.  Our goal is to be in the background making sure all of the moving parts are in the right place at the right time. I like to say, “we are there to help everyone know where to be, when to be, and how to be.” 

Photo Credit: KortneeKate.com

GM: What’s the biggest mistake people make when planning a big event on their own? DM: Underestimating the time AND the expenses involved. Consulting the advice of a professional planner can really help plan out a timeline and budget. Most people have no idea how much things cost!

GM: Can you tell a story about a disaster averted? DM: This past spring, we had a venue setup and ready to go just hours before a wedding, when the water main broke for the entire city block! So, we called one of our awesome vendor friends, Camargo Rental who got their luxury restroom trailer (with self-supporting water supply) out of storage, un-winterized it and rushed it to the venue without a minute to spare! We had no water, a blaring fire alarm, flashing lights, but thanks to the fire department and Carmargo Rental, the party went on!

GM: What’s the one piece of advice you’d offer anyone about finding a planner? DM: Don’t be afraid to shop around and find a planner who you really “click” with. Your event is important enough to make sure you have the right team behind you.

GM: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer anyone planning a party on their own? DM: Keep your budget and timeframe in mind at all times…both can quickly get away from you! - If you are interested in working with Viva bella events you can contact them at 513-871-0077 or at info@vivabellaevents.com. You can also learn more about this wonderful company on their website or Facebook page.  

Have you worked with Viva bella events? If so, share your experience in the comments below.