Hello, World! I would like to wish you all a warm “Howdy” from Unique Events in Tuscany’s newest addition, ME, Lisa Forehand. This is my first season working in wedding planning here in Tuscany (or for anywhere, for that matter) and I absolutely LOVE IT!
A little bit about me…
My husband and I relocated here to Tuscany in late 2019… just in time for Covid. We live in an amazing little village with so many wonderful people, because of the lockdown period, my Italian is definitely not where it needs to be, but I am trying. As the Italians say, “piano, piano” (kind of like “slowly, slowly” or “little by little”).
I am an east coast girl, hailing from North Carolina. My official background is in biology/ entomology and specifically biological control of pest insects. My Master’s degree and research found me specializing beneficial, microscopic wasps and the interactions between plants, pests and parasitoids. (So if you have any burning questions about insects or tritrophic interactions, ask away! Hahaha).
My research led me to an educational non-profit within the large land-grant university in Raleigh, in the area of organic/ sustainable agriculture and local food systems. I absolutely loved my job as their Extension and Outreach Coordinator. Their focus is on many aspects of organic and sustainable agriculture but also on the food system as a whole pretty much everything from Farm to Table.
There, I planned educational opportunities for farmers, Extension Agents, educators, gardeners, governmental employees, members of the general public, you name it! I organized field days, carnivals, an author series, a Sustainable Ag. Lecture series, internships, workshops, conferences, symposiums…. you get the picture. It was an amazing (nearly) 20-year run but I was ready for a change.
We had a small farm and a BIG house and two unsustainable work schedules. With our miniature donkeys, sheep, ducks, lots and lots of chickens, vegetable garden, pastures, rental property, AirBnB… it just became too much. We wanted to downsize, but the question was “where do we want to go”?
“How’d you wind up in Italy?”
I get this one A LOT!!!
In 2018, I teamed up with a colleague (originally from Torrita di Siena) at the university to organize an Agricultural and Gastronomic Tour of Italy. With the beautiful Tuscan backdrop and my background in food and agriculture, I didn’t want to leave Italy behind. So, my husband and I (literally) sold our farm, got rid of 95% of our possessions and picked up and moved to beautiful Tuscany.
The colleague mentioned above was actually a grade school friend on Alice’s. He introduced us and we immediately became fast friends. As Italy was emerging post-Covid, the wedding industry exploded, if you hadn’t noticed! With my background in event planning, Alice needed a little help and turns out we are a great fit! I agreed to jumped in headfirst, mid-season, and do what I could to help with this insanely complicated field. I struggled to keep my head above water for a bit but loved it from the minute I started. Everyone has been so kind and understanding of my terrible Italian. Thankfully!
I have had the wonderful fortune to meet some of the most amazing people along my journey this year – from nearly every point on the globe. It is such an amazing feeling to play such an integral part of the best day of a couple’s lives. The feelings, the energy, the beaming smiles, and stolen kisses… it is simply magical. And yes, I cry every single time. Haha
I feel so fortunate to have such an amazing friend and colleague in Alice. Those of you that know her, know her smile, sweetness and laughter are contagious. While I am thankful to be wrapping up the 2022 wedding season, we are already well into planning for 2023 as well as 2024! Thanks to everyone that has patiently sifted through emails and helped me along the way. I look forward to seeing and talking to you soon!