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» 01 Feb 2008

Pia Mordaunt-Smith was born in Birmingham, England. After reading a BA (Hons.) in Business I.T, from Westminster University and a MSc. in Management Science & Computer Applications from Cranfield University, she took a graduate position with a college in London working in their press and publicity department.  A year later Pia moved to Hong Kong to work for a Marketing and Events agency where her clients included Motorola, Disney and Longines. Back to London she continued working in Marketing and Events for American Express, Standard Bank and RPS.  It was during these years that the enterprising Pia began to organise weddings privately and successfully during her spare time.

After dating for ten years Pia and her husband Damian got married at ‘Domaine Les Pailles’ in Mauritius in 2003. This was the starting block for ‘The Main Event’, it was at this time, whilst trying to organise her wedding from England that the idea of becoming a Wedding Planner in Mauritius began to take shape when she saw there was a niche for an  independent professional wedding planner on the island.

The Main Event
Two years after their adorable daughter, Amber, was born, the couple decided to move to Mauritius. Pia swiftly set up ‘The Main Event’ as a wedding planner and event organiser and began to get clients from England through word-of-mouth. She was already very familiar with the country since Damian had been visiting Mauritius every year since the mid 1980’s when his parents relocated here due to Damian’s father, Marcello Giobbe’s job as an hotelier. Currently working as a Consultant, Marcello has been actively supportive of Pia’s business and takes a great deal of interest in what she is doing.  Pia gratefully acknowledges that ‘his appraisal of my work and the advice he offers is invaluable in helping me to improve my service, after all, he has been welcoming guests successfully whilst running Le Tousserok Hotel, Le Shandrani Hotel, Le Grand Gaube Hotel (now Legends), and Le Domaine Les Pailles for over twenty years!’

Pia derives irreplaceable job satisfaction from an elated bride and groom telling her that she made their dream wedding come true. She believes people choose to get married in Mauritius because ‘it is viewed as an exclusive and romantic hideaway in the Indian Ocean.  The difficulty couples face from abroad is having someone physically in Mauritius to organise their wedding to their exact requirements. My job is to organise, plan and execute the wedding so the couple can relax and enjoy the run-up to the d-day and the day itself.’  

Her meticulous organisation skills ensure that even before her clients set foot in Mauritius, Pia already has a schedule in place of how the day’s events will unfold. Typically on the day of the wedding itself, she meets her clients in the morning and will be on hand from then on to deal with all the suppliers and guests. During the reception and meal, she often takes on the role of MC and steer the couple and guests through the speeches, toasts, cake cutting, etc. until they hit the dance floor, or view the finale firework display.

‘Hotels do offer a wedding co-ordination service as an extension of their hospitality department, however due to the sheer number of functions they organise, the ‘dream wedding’ envisaged by the client is often compromised or diluted’ says Pia.  Whereas her absolute dedication means that apart from striving to ensure the events of the day are seamless, she can also secure the perfect shade of orchids for the bouquet to match the brides dress.
Life in Mauritius
The wonderful thing about running her own business in Mauritius is that Pia gets to spend a lot of quality time with her three year old daughter.  According to Pia, ‘Amber has taken to Mauritius like a duck to water; the weather really suits her and she enjoys the wide open spaces, plus not only does she have one set of grandparents here, but since my sister moved here with her family six months ago, and Damian’s brother also moved here, she now has all her cousins to play with too.’   

The family has comfortably settled into Mauritian life with a little help from pleasant shopping centres with food-courts, well-stocked supermarkets selling marmite, and left-hand drive on the road!  It also helped the transition that Pia can communicate in English, French and Hindi, and she loves the strong Asian influence on the Mauritian culture. ‘All religions and cultures are not just tolerated here, they are actively celebrated and I don’t know many other countries in the world where Eid, Diwali and Christmas are celebrated with equal passion by all sections of the community’.      

Pia has always been driven by achieving happiness rather than success, wealth or fame. Meeting her, it is obvious that she is spot on in her achievement, as not only does she glow as a happy and fulfilled individual but she also shares this happiness with those around her – including family, friends and clients.  

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