Q&A with Vanna Freeberg, Elope Mendocino

Happy Monday! I hope that your weekend was everything you wanted it to be, and more. If not, there’s always another one just five short days from today!

I am going to start a series of Q&As on my blog. They will be the same questions given to various wedding vendors in my area – a way for me, you and everyone else to get to know them just a little bit better. Because let’s be honest, your wedding day isn’t just another Saturday. It’s one of the biggest days of your life. And on this day you are trusting a lot of people to come together to create the vision you had in mind – the cake baker, the caterer, the photographer, the event planner and even your officiant.

Speaking of officiant. Let me introduce to you the first victim eh hem…wedding vendor who has volunteered to start my series off, Vanna Freeberg. She is the owner and proprietor of Elope Mendocino, and a doll.

Now onto the good stuff…

Q&A with Vanna Freeberg

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself, your company and how you got into planning elopements & officiating weddings?

After high school in the mid-west, I migrated to Northern California and attended UC Berkeley for my psychology degree, then obtained a dual Masters degree at John F. Kennedy University. During my time at UC Berkeley, I had the honor of working as a social coordinator at the Blake House – the official residence for UC Berkeley presidents. From there I moved into the competitive world of corporate biopharmaceuticals law as a senior paralegal. After years in the corporate pressure cooker, I moved to Mendocino’s north coast. There really is no other place on earth quite like it! I’m a true “people” person, and this unique and amazing coastal lifestyle, along with my love of fashion, design, the arts and nature’s wonders is what sparked my passion to start Elope Mendocino. It’s truly an honor to officiate at such joyous occasions.


Q. What is your favorite part of the Wedding day/preparation/process?

I enjoy writing wedding vows that reflect the true essence and spirit of the couples I am marrying. It gives me immeasurable joy and a great deal of personal satisfaction to join couples in marriage, using words I have chosen for their special union.


Q. What is the most awkward moment you’ve experience while on the job?

Because I am a very new business, fortunately there have not yet been any awkward moments – but they are coming, I’m sure. We learn from our mistakes, so I expect to grow and learn as I move forward.


Q. What is your favorite venue, and why?

While chapels, gardens, vineyards and the grounds at B&B’s can be magical locations, I personally love the quintessential beauty of the Pacific Ocean – to me, there is no place like it on planet earth.


Q. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding officiants/ elopement planners just getting started?

Listen closely and ask a lot of questions. Let your clients know that you are there to serve them and that you are eternally grateful to have been chosen for such an intimate and personal experience.


Q. If you could travel to any city in the world purely for the food, where would you go?

Paris was wonderful, although San Francisco is a close second!


 Q. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I have never felt more at home, or been more content than I am now living in the north coast community of Mendocino/Ft. Bragg.
Q. If you couldn’t be an elopement planner/officiant, what would you be?

I’d be a fashion designer – clothes and accessories spark a deep passion in me, and I absolutely adore ‘dressing up’.
Q. Chocolate or vanilla?


And that my friends, is a little bit more about Vanna.  You can find her website and all her information (including pricing) here. Also be sure to check out her facebook! If you’re on twitter, make sure to follow @ElopeMendocino

I promise to do a follow up post to this Q&A with a headshot. I promised Vanna a headshot to go along with the Q&A, but unfortunately we haven’t had the pleasure of seeing each other in about two weeks. When I do get it, I promise to post it! She really is stunning!



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