Michelle Rago

Founder, Michelle Rago Destinations

Michelle’s greatest strength lies in interpreting her client’s preferences, assessing the possibilities, and translating them into a well-planned and well-designed affair. Her years of hands-on experience, superb sense of design, and mastery of logistics have served her well as she has navigated the complicated landscape of producing destination events. Michelle’s keen curiosity about the world and how aesthetics, cultures, and hospitality intertwine makes her weddings and events something to talk about.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
It’s important to assemble a strong team around you. Make sure you have a good accountant, a good attorney and mentors that you trust to give advice along the way. Life happens all around you and somehow in the middle of it all you have to build, grow and maintain your business as well as keep yourself intact. It takes people you trust.

Who’s your biggest inspiration and why?
My sister is my biggest inspiration. She ALWAYS strives to do the right thing and rarely puts herself first. She is the one person I listen to… full stop.

If you could create a slogan for your life, what would it be?
Travel far. Travel often. The mysterious unknown will give you perspective you just couldn’t achieve if you never leave home.

How do you define your purpose & mission in life?
My mission in life is to be happy and to not take anything for granted. I lead by example and do my level best to leave things in a better place than I found them.

Describe a moment that could’ve broken you, but didn’t. How did you get past the struggle?
My father did not survive rectal cancer and we were very, very close. When I look back, I am not quite sure how I managed to run my business and mend my heart. I am formidable by nature and don’t tend to back down from much. But grief is a different animal all together. You can’t muscle grief. It has its own cadence and it’s only with the passage of time and patience that your spirit circles back. I poured my heart into my business and for good or for bad… it saved me.