Behind the Scenes with Michelle Rago
You know when you meet someone and you automatically feel as if you're going to be fast friends? Well that's how I feel about Michelle Rago . Not only does she have the best job in the ENTIRE world (d...
You know when you meet someone and you automatically feel as if you're going to be fast friends? Well that's how I feel about Michelle Rago. Not only does she have the best job in the ENTIRE world (destination event planning? Hello!), she's also has style for days and a sense of humor to boot. Thanks to the girls at Belathee, we had the sheer pleasure of sneaking a behind the scenes peek at all things Michelle. Oh and here's lots more in the gallery if you need a bit more of your Rago-fix.
SMP: Destination event planning. What a dream job! How did you get into this line of work?

MR: There was no clear trajectory. I always knew I wanted to be in the hospitality/service industry. I truly think I shaped my goals and passions as the industry was evolving. It was a pretty organic process. And, the fact that destination weddings exploded as I was evolving, was truly dumb luck.
SMP: What's your favourite part of your job?

MR: My favorite part of the job is both the sales process and production. I equate the sales process to sculpting. It defines the relationship. And then when the party goes live - I absolutely love production.

SMP: So clearly you have a great sense for design. How would you describe your home aesthetic? Have your travels affected your design sensibilities?

MR: I am casual chic all the way. I love modern art and treasures from my travels surrounding me. I think a home should be tasteful and lovely but approachable and above all relaxing! Constant exposure to luxury has helped me to focus on the things I love and am most comfortable with to integrate into my day to day.

Such as... how I serve my tea or my love of linen towels. If you are a house guest, I always have a linen mat with slippers where your feet touch the ground after a good night's sleep!
SMP: If your house were to go up in flames, what are the three things you would grab on your way out (pets and family members not included!)

MR: I have all of my treasures from childhood that I value most on a vintage metal shelf next to my bed. I would probably grab a few things from there like family photos, a book of poetry from my grandmother and of course my passport!
SMP: The best meal you've ever had while traveling?

MR: I was in a very old café in Paris, big fireplace, stone walls, wood floors, lots of candles. Several meats were on a rotisserie in the fireplace with all of the renderings dripping into a big copper pan of potatoes and vegetables. We dined on pates, amazing bread, chocolate soufflé and stinky cheeses. Heaven.
SMP: If you could go to any place in the world, where would it be and why?

MR: I want to head to Corsica and float around on a big sailboat with a very handsome Italian sailing crew and lots and lots of Prosecco!

SMP: Yep. I think I could get on board with that! Any secret tips to planning a destination party we should know about?

1. The harder it is for guests to get there is really not such a bad thing. Guests relax much more quickly once they arrive if they have been tousled around a bit.

2. If you don't want too many people. DON'T SEND A DAVE THE DATE - if you invite someone well in advance, they will come.

3. Daytime parties rock.
SMP: Quick! You have to drink one cocktail for the rest of your life. What would it be?!

MR: I am a wine and champagne devotee BUT… I suppose a greyhound when push comes to shove (with fresh pink grapefruit juice of course).
SMP: If Abby and I showed up for dinner, what would you make for us?

MR: To Start:
A few yummy hors d'ouevres of sausage stuffed mushrooms, prosciutto wrapped asparagus and deviled quail eggs.

For the Main Course:
Grilled spatchcocked chicken with roasted yukon gold potatoes, green beans and herby greek yogurt. Plus, white asparagus with home made tarragon mayonnaise.

For the Salad Course:
Organic salad greens with balsamic vinaigrette and pickled shallots. Maison Kayser Bread.

To Finish:
Cheese, cheese, cheese...And lots of wine pairings! I am not a huge dessert fan but most likely something chocolate and salty.
SMP: And I'm officially inviting myself over! Lastly, just for fun: if you were given a million dollars and told you had one day to spend it all, what would you do?

MR: I would buy a vineyard in Provence with lots of guest rooms and a sexy pool. I would bottle my own wine (already have it scoped out!.) A vintage woody and a kick-ass sports car. I need goats to make cheese and chickens for my eggs. I would make sure all of the technology and equipment in my farmhouse was state of the art. Uh-oh I think I blew my budget!
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Photography: Belathee Photography | Interview: Michelle Rago