• Alumni
A planner's path to success: OM Ella Hartig invites us behind the scenes of her business, sharing insights as part of Futures Day at Millfield.

We sat down with award-winning wedding and events planner Ella Hartig, delving into her journey in the events world since leaving Millfield, where her passion for success earned her the title of Best Wedding Planner in the South Central Region. 

How did your experience at Millfield shape your personal and professional growth, specifically in preparing for your career? 

I was at Millfield from age 8 to 18, first at Millfield Prep and then on to the Senior School.  

I won’t lie in saying MPS was hard, I was young and missed home but I was thankful for the incredible opportunity being sent there gave me. I was incredibly dyslexic when I started MPS aged 8 and could barely read or write, but I went up to Senior School aged 13 having a reading age of 16, that was solely down to the incredible extra English team at MPS.  

Senior school was a lot of fun, I was lucky to call Martins my home and lived with such a great group of girls, many of whom I still see today. I am forever grateful to those friends, we share a sisterlike bond for life.   

Growing up in Millfield exposed me to a remarkable blend of individuals from diverse corners of the globe. This early exposure equipped me with valuable insights into other countries and cultures. Today, it greatly aids me in communicating with people from all walks of life around the world, especially when planning international events - not to mention the connections and friendship I now have globally that have opened doors across the world. 


Please can you share your post-Millfield journey and the experiences that followed your time here? 

Immediately after leaving Millfield, I went on to enjoy a gap year, travelling around South East Asia and Europe. I then went to the University of Leeds, studying management with marketing. I seemed to become social sec in most of my societies and was always the one arranging events, I even planned my first conference with Aiesec (a student run organisation) whilst at university. Whilst I really enjoyed events, I wasn’t considering a career in it at this stage, I thought I’d go into advertising and after another gap year (this time exploring India and more of South East Asia – I mean you’re only young once and never get this chance again so why not take two!) I went on to do an advertising internship with M&C Saatchi, then to work with Ipsos in Advertising research. I found I missed the buzz and creativity of events so quite quickly moved over to the world of hospitality, first starting in events within the IGH group and then moving across to The Ritz Hotel, where I learnt a great deal. I spent another couple of years working for The Wedding Gallery managing event planning there before setting up my own company in 2020!  


Can you describe a typical day in your current role and walk us through your daily responsibilities? 

There aren’t ever really two the same. I have to be really careful in managing my time between marketing for new clients, managing existing clients, sourcing suitable suppliers for them and designing their days but also still finding time to grow myself, see new venues and connect with new suppliers to stay on trend and up to date with what’s new. There's a lot of everything: from menu tastings and venue visits to design sessions with linen, candles and crockery samples to the more practical things like emails, accounts, admin and marketing. 

What aspect of being a wedding planner do you find most rewarding or enjoyable?  

The wedding day itself. There are so many hours that go into the planning, so many mood boards and expectations of what it will all look like, but actually seeing it all come together on the day and seeing the team of suppliers all working in clockwork to stick to timelines to bring the magic together for a couple is really rewarding. It’s a big production and the wedding day is performance day. I love seeing it all come together and witnessing the couple having the best day ever with their closest loved ones, it makes all the hard work worth it! 


How did it feel being awarded Best Wedding Planner in the South Central Region? 

Over the moon! My business had been going 3 years when I was awarded Best Wedding Planner in the South Central Region which was a huge achievement. To have started the business in the worst possible time for my industry (a global pandemic where weddings were not legally permitted to take place!) and to have worked so hard to get through that and thrive on the other side, it really felt like someone saw that and went well done, you’re doing a great job. It felt amazing to be recognised and even more so because it’s all based on passed clients feedback, so I really have to thank my clients for being so wonderful and for taking the time to nominate me. It shows they too valued me and that meant the world.  

What advice do you have for current students and OMs who aspire to pursue a career that resonates with their passion? 

Believe in yourself, work hard and you can achieve it! Also don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way, Millfield has an INCREDIBLE network of OMs, filled with multigenerational contacts each with amazing experiences. If there was a student out there that reached out to me asking for help or advise or even some shadowing experience, I’d always do my best to help them out because everything comes back around and I’m sure that’s the same thinking for most of us OM. That’s the power of the OM network and I’m forever grateful to that.  

View Ella’s website and services here: Wedding Planner - Ella Hartig - Award Winning Luxury Planner