- Wally & Frankie

At Claire Durán Weddings & Events, every member of our team is 
dedicated to your inimitable vision, blending the best of us to 
create celebrations that showcase the best of you.

“There is one word to describe Claire
and her team — AMAZING”

The best experiences are born
of true collaboration. 

Of course we’ll share our official bios, but what we do doesn’t fit into an easy box. Alongside planning, designing and producing, you can often find us acting as your …

Okay, now onto the "real" bios.

Claire Durán

Weddings were never the plan. But hear her out. Claire left her native Dominican Republic in 2008 to pursue a masters in international public policy from Stanford, and a Ph.D from University of Maryland soon followed. She began a career in Latin American democracy and development with names on her CV like the World Bank and Brookings Institution.

Yet she craved the creativity of her youth — ballet, piano and art. It was a giant pivot, but Claire decided to leave the public policy world for an industry where she could blend the technical rigor of her education with the artistry she adored. In 2014, Claire founded her namesake weddings and events company from her home base in Washington, D.C. with an eye toward creating unique, unforgettable affairs.

Since then, her work has been recognized in the pages of Vogue, Brides, Martha Stewart Weddings and more. The press is great, honestly, but what makes Claire really proud is the chance to be a diverse voice in an often homogenous industry, working to elevate others and celebrate diversity in her many couples.

President and Principal planner

Find her: Seeking out live performances — ballet, theater, concerts and musicals.

Maja Lama

Maja, based in Madrid, is CDWE’s ultimate troubleshooter, handling logistics with the sort of calm and charm that leaves the team in awe. When a crisis comes up — and in the world of global event design, crises can happen — you want Maja at your side. She’ll figure out a solution and probably make you laugh while she’s at it.

Being on-site for event weekends is Maja’s favorite part of the process. After the months of planning and hours of mental and physical work, the best payoff is seeing the joy on a client’s face. 

Beyond the logistical planning, Maja loves the opportunity to experience cultures around the world. We think you can see this love of travel and exploration in the way she crafts wedding experiences.

Before joining CDWE in 2015, Maja directed major PR campaigns for brands like Nestlé, L’bel and United Airlines. 


Nothing beats: A gin and tonic while lounging on a sunny terrace with friends.

Eli Bernabel

It was a chance meeting at one of Claire’s Masterclass events that brought Eli, based in the Dominican Republic, into the CDWE orbit. Before long, she officially joined the team, bringing with her the creative thinking and artistic eye of a talented designer.

Eli’s speciality is conceptual design and both permanent and ephemeral architectural design. She adores being able to listen to a client talk about their ideas and then interpret it visually. Whether it’s a small detail like the curve of a bow or a complex architectural piece, Eli strives to give everything the same deep care and attention.

She adores design form and details in everyday life, which is why when she’s out for a walk with friends, she’s the one in the back — walking slowly to observe all the features around her.


Obsessed with: Symmetry. If she finds a painting hanging crooked or a rug askew, she’s the one to quietly fix it (with love).

Rafa Milanese

Rafa, based in the Dominican Republic, added his unique background as an architect for a furniture and design studio to the CDWE team. 

He loves the challenge of designing large-scale architectural and ephemeral concepts for clients — blending their unique personalities and tastes within the environment of their venue. The intricate process of going from ideas to tangible pieces works his creative muscles and is especially rewarding to see CDWE clients experience his architectural designs for the first time.

Outwardly the most energetic of the group and always ready with a joke (if there’s a pun, you know it’s coming from Rafa), he’s secretly a perfectionist. Though after experiencing his large-scale, impeccable designs, perhaps it’s not so secret.

PRINCIPAL designer

Late nights: Listening to music, breaking into song and definitely dancing too. 

Michelle Arthur

Michi, who is based in Punta Cana, is our Jane of All Trades. You might find her blogging on a Monday, creating content on a Tuesday, and handling admin on a Wednesday. She’s even stepped in with her on-point calligraphy skills to rescue last-minute seating chart changes!

On wedding weekends, Michi morphs into an event execution master, buzzing from set-up to making sure the team is drinking water like they should. And most importantly, capturing every single detail of the behind-the-scenes making of the wedding, plus the results. If you’ve seen our social media and her great eye, you’ll understand why we love her so much!

Michi splits her time between CDWE and Well Within, a company she founded to promote and provide wellness services.


Positive vibes: Guided meditation and yoga classes are the key to Michi’s sunny personality. 

“Forever fans of Claire Durán and team! 

Planning for a wedding can feel so daunting and overwhelming, 
but working with Claire, Maja, Eli and the entire team … We were so lucky 
to not only have the most perfect wedding weekend, but the 
most amazing experience in planning it.”

- Amanda & Wyatt

on instagram


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