Today we meet Bernadine Osei-Kwabena, founder and Lead Event Designer of B-You-Nique Events. In 2011 Bernadine decided to follow her passion for event design by starting her own company. She and her team specialize in event design, decor, and wedding planning. With their top priority being client satisfaction, Bernadine and her team serve clients throughout Toronto and Ontario, Canada. Read on to find out more about how Bernadine and her team have grown and developed to hone their creativity and present their clients with a unique event and wedding planning experience.
What inspired you to enter the wedding industry?
I always knew that I loved events. I never really considered weddings, until a friend of mine suggested it to me. She advised me to look into a wedding planning course that was being offered. I did that, took the course, and I loved it! At that moment, I knew that the wedding industry is where I needed to be!
What inspired you to start B-You-Nique Events?
I was working at a job that I did not particularly like. I knew I had to do more with my life. I knew that I had to be happier. I spent long hours looking into careers that were associated with my degree which is Communications. The event industry came up several times, and I was drawn to it. At that time I truly enjoyed attending events. Going to parties, mingling, listening to music, and eating, so I knew I was headed in the right direction. I always admired entrepreneurs, so I decided that I was going to start my own event design and planning business. I wanted a business name that had my first initial in it, and I wanted my events to be unique. That’s how I came up with the name, “B-You-Nique!”
If you could change one thing about the weddings and special events industry, what would it be?
I would make it more unique. I’m constantly working on trying to bring more unique design elements to the industry. I find that the Toronto industry likes to keep things 'safe'. They don’t step out of the box as much as I see in other countries.
How does using Aisle Planner help you deliver the client experience you want?
Aisle Planner is just simply amazing! It’s one expense that I will never get rid of. I love the way it gives me a professional look, it makes transactions such as contract signing, and invoice payments seamless. It also keeps me very organized.
What is your favorite Aisle Planner feature?
My favorite Aisle Planner feature is the design studio. Many clients are visual. This helps me to convey my visions much easier than if I were to try to describe them in written form.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming a wedding and event planner?
I would tell them to do it! It's one of the most fun, rewarding career paths!
What do you think will change about the weddings and special events space over the next five years?
I think over the next 5 years, wedding and event spaces will have more guidelines pertaining to Covid-19.
What’s your personal philosophy on becoming a great wedding and event planner?
My personal philosophy is to really pay attention to your client’s wants and needs. Listen to them. Clients want to be listened to and understood. The more you get to know your clients, the better you will become at executing their visions.
What lights your creative fire?
Looking at the work of other creatives, as well as just simply looking at nature, contemplating day to day things around us, or just by stepping outside. All of this helps motivate me to think of ways to add my own twist on things.
Is there anything you are particularly excited about working on this year?
I’m particularly excited about working on several business ideas that have been floating in my head. I haven’t been able to execute them yet, as I’ve been really busy this past summer, however, they're coming!
Just for fun
What’s the most used tool in your emergency kit?
Zip tags! I love me some zip tags!
I’m dying to design a wedding or event in…
Los Angeles! I think Los Angeles is such an exciting and creative city!
If you could plan any celebrity’s wedding, who would it be?
If I could plan any celebrity event, it would be for Cardi B. She’s creative and laid back. I can picture her telling me to, “Do My Thang!”
What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever created for a wedding or event?
One of the coolest things I ever created for a wedding or event was a huge floral wall, with a custom monogram and custom wood frame. It was one of the biggest floral backdrops you could ever see.
During your time as a wedding and event professional, what’s the biggest mistake you made and how did you recover from it?
One of the biggest mistakes that I made was back in 2012 when I was just getting started. I did a wedding that involved a whole bunch of balloons. I filled the balloons with a whole bunch of high float the night before, and on the day of the wedding, the majority of the balloons were falling. It was a disaster. I was so sad and embarrassed. I know the clients were disappointed too, but they forgave me, thank goodness. I recovered by learning the proper way of distributing high float in balloons.
Hero image courtesy of Big Fish Photography.
Want to find out more about Bernadine and how she creates unique event experiences? Visit her website here: www.byounique.ca