Any Bride who takes utter joy in planning their own wedding (like me, although ask me again if I still enjoy it in a few months when I have to tackle the guest list again!) may start to seriously consider leaping into the world of wedding planning, as a new journey.
Alternatively those Brides who would rather not take on the overwhelming task and choose to have someone wonderful plan it for them will also enjoy this post and hopefully find some inspiration. 🙂
I was introduced to the lovely Seyi Olusanya of Cedar Events. Seyi, director and founder of Cedar Events has been an events and wedding planner for over ten years. It’s a privilege to have her share her world and some of her wisdom and feature on Nu Bride. Read on…
Nu Bride: So tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to create Cedar Events?
Seyi Olusanya: I started Cedar Events in 2002 after a 7 year career in the IT industry. I had gone to university, got myself 2 degrees and done everything a good Nigerian child is expected to do.
Preceeding starting Cedar Events I was always the go to person when family or friends needed help with organising a party or wedding. I am just a busy buzzy person and I can be quite tireless 🙂 I also found that I enjoyed working with my hands and doing anything creative, I always found time to enrol in cake making course, floral arrangement classes etc, even though I had a full-time job and studying part-time for a law degree.
I think my light bulb moment came in 1995 when I was busy studying for my law finals exam. I remember watching an episode of Oprah in 1995. I took some time out to give my brain a break and thought I’d watch some TV. Martha Stewart was a guest on the show and she put together a wedding, where the space was transformed into this beautiful, awe-inspiring, opulent event with lots of gold, ivory and beautiful flowers. I remember sitting there transfixed, wishing I could record the show and watch it over and over again.
I eventually got up and just started writing. Watching that show triggered something and it was on that day I knew I didn’t want to pursue a legal career. I however didn’t do anything about it until 2002.
Nu Bride; Well they do say the best things come to those that wait. 🙂
Nu Bride: Please tell us about Cedar Events?
Seyi Olusanya: Cedar Events specializes in weddings, birthday parties, life achievement celebrations and anniversaries. In the last 10 years, Cedar Events’ repertoire has included the weddings of daughters of ex-presidents and high-profile 50th Birthday celebrations in exotic destinations.
Cedar Events has designed events in private country houses, 5 star luxury hotels like Claridges, Mayfair – London; the Four Seasons Hotel, Park Lane – London; Country House like Micklefield Hall in Hertfordshire, Surrey; The Amwaj Rotana, Dubai; The Sheraton Hotel, Gambia; The Oriental Hotel, Lagos – Nigeria and many more
Our most recent event was held at the Luton Hoo Hotel, a classic & magnificent English Country Mansion, where HRH Queen Elizabeth spent part of her honeymoon.
We have got weddings booked in destinations such France, Cape Town, Nigeria this year.
Nu Bride: You have an interesting series of Wedding Planning Workshops coming up, starting on the 24th February. Who are these workshops aimed at?
Seyi Olusanya: Yes, we are so proud and thrilled to present The Inspire 101 Wedding & Special Events Workshops, we decided to launch the workshop after many years of requests from budding wedding and event planners. We also felt the time was right to pass on what only experience can teach you.
Nu Bride: What sort of things will be covered in these workshops?
Seyi Olusanya: We wanted the workshop to be a learning & inspiration experience.
The Inspire 101 Wedding and Special Events Workshop promises to be an insightful 3 days of candid discussions about the opportunities available to today’s wedding & events professional.
This is a 3 day Inspirational, Educational and Experiential program (IEE Program)
Attendees will leave with real skills to enable them grow their business and take things up to another level.
We will talk real business, cover topics on contracts, business coaching, funding your business idea, personal styling, vendor relations, design concepts and much more.
Nu Bride: Weddings, as I am sure you know (and I am finding out!) are a very expensive business. How do you convince a bride-to-be to invest in a Wedding Planner? What are the benefits?
Seyi Olusanya: I am finding it less and less necessary now to convince a bride-to-be to use my services. Most of the couples that I work with recognise their need for an expert to work alongside them to guide them through the wedding planning process.
It was a lot more difficult in the early days when wedding planning was an unknown service. For a bride to invest in a wedding planner she needs to see the value in the service and expertise the planner will be bringing on board, the broad range of knowledge about all things wedding, a good wedding planner needs to be knowledgeable about a variety of things (a master of all really) you need to understand the process of wedding planning, wedding etiquette, menu selection, know about food, production process, length of time it takes. Be knowledgeable about wine, champagne, liquor, know the latest trends, know about flowers, in season and out of season. Know about what things cost, realistically. I am finding that as one of the issues that keep coming up with new wedding planners.
Nu Bride: How do you help clients stick to realistic budgets?
Seyi Olusanya: I always tell my brides you can’t really have everything you want, unless of course you have an open cheque. You do need to decide what is important to you. Is it the look and feel of the room? Is it the hospitality? Is it the cake for instance? The operative word here is always compromise and I must add a good word to get used to when getting into marriage.
You also have to be realistic about how much things cost and a good wedding planner should be able to guide you with that.
Image Copyright: Jide Alakiji – Alakiji Photography
Nu Bride: How do you continue to find new inspiration for planning an event?
Seyi Olusanya: My clients are my ultimate source of inspiration, their stories of love, life and achievement enable me to create something unique and fresh each time. I also find inspiration from so many different things, nature, design books and Covent Garden Market, I could stay there all day!
Seyi Olusanya: Not yet! I really don’t believe in Bridezillas, underneath that Bridezilla facade is a young woman who just desperately wants her dream to become a reality and with good people management & interpersonal skills her planner should be able to work with her to realise her dream without “zilla” moments
Nu Bride: Perfect answer Seyi! ;o)
Nu Bride: Do you have a preferred set of suppliers you work with?
Seyi Olusanya: Yes I do. However I like to source the best for my client. My events are really as good as the team around me.
Nu Bride: What is the most bizarre task / project you have been asked to do?
Seyi Olusanya: I really can’t think of any now! Discretion is so important to me and the clientele I work with so I am keeping quiet 🙂
Nu Bride: What is your favourite thing about being a wedding planner working in the UK?
Seyi Olusanya: So many……….
The amazing venues, level of professionalism amongst service providers and above all the geographical location which affords me the opportunity to work globally… So for instance I could have a bride who lives in the UK but wanted to get married in the Gambia, a US based bride/groom who wanted to have their wedding in London and had guest coming from different parts of the world or a client based in Nigeria who wants to have a party of a lifetime in Dubai.
I really do love my job and the opportunity to create “magic” for my clients and above all the different cultures that I have had the pleasure to work with:
American Gentleman & His English Rose
The English Gentleman & His Nigerian Princess
The Romanian Gentleman & His Caribbean Lady
East African beauty and her West African Prince
South African Warrior and His English beauty
And so much more………………… I really do love my job and most importantly I love people
Nu Bride; How wonderful. What a true privilege you have Seyi. :o)
Nu Bride: Anything else to add?
Seyi Olusanya: Brides – look out for our exclusive bridal workshop to be announced soon…………. 🙂
Due to popular demand we have opened up the evening sessions of our Inspire 101 Workshop, *yay* (Nu Bride: double Yay! )
For the discerning brides and grooms we have the champagne reception in the luxurious setting of the Iconic Harrods, London on Friday 24th Feb where all our VIP speakers & other wedding professionals will be present. The evening will end with a show around the bridal spots in Harrods like Pronovia, Gift Registry……..
Nu Bride: Fantastic Seyi, – Thank you very much. ;o)
Beautiful readers – if you would like further information on Cedar Events wedding planning service, or their upcoming Inspired 101 workshop, please use the following details to make contact:http://www.cedar-events.co.uk/ Mobile: 07958 527 176 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org © Nu Bride 2012