Kizito Eyu: On Meeting The Needs Of Brides
Tell me about your work. What exactly do you do as a wedding organiser?
I run a lifestyle brand that caters for event and interior needs of individuals and corporate bodies. Well, the job of a wedding planner changes with each and every client, depending on what is decided. It sometimes concerns pre-wedding details such as proposing (to the family, the wedding proper) and the honey moon.
How does the process begin, leading to the wedding?
Typically, in our culture, you get a call shortly after the proposal from the bride most of the times. After she has scouted for the ideal planner whom she would like to work with, a consultation meeting is held to get an idea of the client’s vision for the day. This is very important because this directs the whole planning process and aids creativity.
What are the most important things for a successful wedding ceremony?
Having a successful wedding ceremony is pretty simple: get an efficient planner at least six months before the date, decide and finalise on the vision for the day and, finally, begin to lock down vendors.
What makes a wedding a success? Is it the money splashed or it’s in the small details?
I would say it’s the little details. Because you might have a very tight budget that allows you little or no extras but creativity and attention to details will make it very unique.
Which weddings have been most satisfying for you?
Wow! That’s a tough one because my aim is to make sure that any event produced by Kex Services is unique to it and reflects the personalities of my clients. But my favourites would be that of Temi and Tomiwa (#TNT2015), destination wedding we did for Funmi and Toyosi (#FT2015) and that of Geraldine and Otas (#Geritas2016).
What can go wrong and can it be quickly resolved and still have a good wedding?
Truth is, anything can go wrong at a wedding for a lot of reasons but as an efficient planner, it is your duty to make sure it is resolved as quickly as possible. For example, last October, a few hours to the engagement ceremony, we couldn’t get through to the cake designer even after we had concluded arrival time for all vendors at the vendors’ meeting. Everyone thought she was running late but we didn’t take that for granted. We quickly got our plan “B” in motion. An hour to the ceremony, when she hadn’t arrived, we got our back-up plan to send us a cake and the day went as if nothing had happened.
Make a checklist – on a scale of 1-10, what are the most crucial things to do for that once-in-a-life-time event?
1. Set a budget and stick to the budget.
2. Highlight important details of the wedding in line with your vision for the day and begin to work on them as soon as possible; e.g. date, venue, apparels, vendors, etc.
3. Create a time line and specify due dates for wedding details on your calendar.
4. Contact vendors.
5. Book a client-vendor meeting/presentation to discuss wedding details.
6. Make financial commitments to vendors.
7. Meet with the client to go over approved wedding details and their due dates.
8. Tidy up financial commitments.
9. Have a final meeting with all vendors and key individuals as chosen by the bride at the venue.
10. Have an action plan for the main event and stick to it.
What makes you happy or gives you satisfaction after an event?
A lot of things make me happy and give me satisfaction at an event. Great ambiance, good food, fantastic service, satisfied guests, a happy couple and recommendations… Lol!
You recently established a bridal showcase. Tell us about that.
The bridal showcase was a photo-shoot put together by Wild Flower PR to showcase our overall package as event planners/decorators. It was done at the Mystique Bespoke Perfumery in Lekki Phase 1 while August Udoh photographed the session. We had make-up from Jasper Kanayo and Dave Sucre, hair from Lanre Hair, wedding dresses and accessories from Imani Swank Bridals and Sopreye Orupabo, cake from TL Cake Boulevard, welfare from Cecilia Idang and direction from Matthew Gordon.
What should brides do to make their dream wedding become a dream life?
Find and hire a planner that you can trust to interpret your vision with the resources available at his or her disposal.
There has been a high rate of divorce in high profile marriages. Do you think it is worth spending so much for a wedding, only to break-up two years down the line?
Money isn’t a determinant for a good or bad marriage. But as a planner, I always pray for the “happily ever after”. People may say that it’s impossible but I believe that with love, honesty, understanding and, most of all, God on their side, all will turn out well.
Have you had cases where your brides have called it quits?
So far, I haven’t and I thank God for that.
Whose day is the wedding? Is it the bride, mothers or the groom who makes all the decisions?
You see as Africans, culture is a huge part of our upbringing so it’s easy to say that decisions are made by our parents if they are paying for the wedding or the couple if they are paying for the wedding. But this is what I have come to realise. A wedding is an avenue to “celebrate love”; love from parents to their children, love between couples as they begin a journey together and even love from our extended families. It’s said that, ‘it takes one to have a child but a community to raise a good child’. With that in mind, you realise that everyone just comes out to celebrate the couple and would do anything to make it a success.
What advice do you give brides to ensure that they have a ceremony to beat all others?
I would say ‘make it your own’. Let it reflect your true personality and interests. There are no hard and fast rules. Do whatever makes you happy. Feel free to break away from the norm. Get creative; make your ceremony as interesting as you want it to be. No idea or vision is impossible to achieve.
What unique activities have you introduced to set you apart from others?
Well, as Kex implies (Kizito Eyu Expereince Services), my goal is to translate your vision to the most refined version it could ever be. That’s why we are involved in every step of the planning process; from your dress fittings to food tastings, wedding co-ordination and all that is in between. The idea is to make sure that the total load of event planning is taken off the client so it is stress-free and the client can have fun while at it.
Finally, what tips can you give an intending bride for her big day?
Do a lot of research. Know what you want. Prepare on time and enjoy yourself. It’s a once-in-a-life-time experience. Make sure it counts.
By Remi Diagbare