Monday, September 29, 2008

Instructor Spotlight: Marissa Mortimer at Wagner College

Marissa Mortimer, creator of Lavish Occasions (, is one of the most sought after event planners in the New York Metropolitan Area. Marissa realized her calling to plan outrageous and extraordinary events back in the early 90’s when she sang for wedding ceremonies. At the young age of 30, she is known for her commitment to surpass her clients' expectations and for creating intimate weddings and extravagant upscale affairs for a long list of clients, including many of Staten Island's elite.

Marissa’s experience as a wedding singer was what first exposed her to this industry and the love affair has continued ever since. She was named one of the ‘Top Ten Entrepreneurs under 35’ in Staten Island-Central New Jersey area by Industry magazine in 2005. A recent achievement was being selected to teach the Wedding Planning Institute’s How to Become a Wedding Planner course ( at the prestigious Wagner College to help current and aspiring wedding planners to gain industry certification.

“When I was young, my grandfather told me that no matter what I decided to do in life, to always aim high and I would be successful no matter what. I asked how I would know that it was really the best choice. He told me to ask myself two questions and I would know that I made the right decision. Ask yourself what you truly love to do and what would you do for free. If you have a matched answer, you know that you have made the right choice. That was the best advice I ever received,” Marissa states.

Always having a knack for detail and a flair for drama, Marissa began her journey by working with florists, photographers, and banquet facilities. Through college she planned pro-bono events and was involved with several charities.

Marissa founded and operates Lavish Occasions with the goal to work with each client to create a perfectly planned event for guests to continue talking about for months after the “Day Of”. She teaches her employees and WPI certification students to guide clients, making the process pain free, fun, and relaxing while giving innovative ideas that will amaze guests as well as save clients money.

Candidates for the wedding planning certification course at Wagner College can register by calling Sharon Guinta at 718-390-3221 or by visiting the Wagner College website at The fall session begins on October 15, 2008 and will meet each Monday and Wednesday from 7:30pm to 10:00pm for ten weeks. Tuition is $895 and includes classroom instruction, textbook, six months online curriculum and support access, and post-graduate job placement assistance.

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