, creator and president of Lavish Occasions, is one of the most sought after planners in the New York metro area. Her career began at a young age when she sang professionally for wedding ceremonies. Playing this small role in a couple’s special day as she watched the procession, blessing of the rings, and reading of the vows, she began to see herself in the wedding industry. At 20 years old, Marissa began with planning fundraisers, New Year’s Eve galas and social events. Over the next few years she was commissioned by financial advisers to plan their seminars. Mastering the corporate spectrum, she starting to gather the knowledge of producing an event from start to finish. After building a strong foundation in the field of special events, Marissa incorporated Lavish Occasions, LLC in March of 2005.
As of 2015 and with over 350 events with 100% satisfaction under her belt, Marissa has become a Special Events expert. In 2006 she was named one of the ‘Top Ten Entrepreneurs under 35’ in the New York metropolitan area by Industry magazine. Another achievement was being selected to teach her craft at Wagner College to hopeful Wedding Planners. Since 2007, Marissa has trained hundreds of planners, designers and coordinators. Among her classes are the Certified Wedding and Event Planning, Professional Events Coordination and Preston Bailey’s Signature Wedding and Event Design courses. Marissa credits her own Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Sociology for her calming demeanor, intuition, smarts and good judge of character. Marissa has been a keynote speaker at several event conferences and will begin her own line of educational seminars and events in the Spring of 2015.
Marissa is a talented writer and among her works are articles such as “10 Great Places for your Lavish Occasion” boasting some of the best facilities in the NY/NJ Metro. She has been featured on NJ12, NY1 and is often quoted in the Staten Island Advance for expertise in planning, design and etiquette. She was involved in the planning of Preston Bailey’s Wedding as well as Dina Manzo’s (Real Housewives of New Jersey) launch of her new course “It’s my party and I’ll plan if I want to”. She also planned the weddings of local celebrities ‘Impractical Joker’ Joe and Action 6 anchor Alicia Vitarelli.
Philanthropy has always been a huge part of Marissa’s life and she chooses to donate her time and resources to charities and plan Pro-bono Events. As a planner, she will create one pro-bono wedding per year and plan from beginning to end completely free of charge. She gains her inspiration from travel, nature, fashion, theatre and her family and friends.
“When I was young my grandfather told me that no matter what, you should ‘aim high’ in all that you do, and you would always be successful. Also when deciding what to do with your life, to ask yourself two questions: ‘what do you truly love to do and what would you do for free’? When you have the answer to both questions, you will know that you have made the right choice. That was the best advice I ever received and from the best person I ever knew… and it has brought me great happiness and much success”. Marissa Mortimer