It is now Global and General Knowledge That The COVID pandemic came and disrupted things in an instant!
Consequently, the way wedding ceremonies are carried out, has changed, in that, while some couples are waiting for things to ease off so they can have the wedding of their dreams, others are having macro weddings amidst the pandemic.
It is for this reason, that WeddingDigestNaija has organised an International Wedding Summit , poised to dissect the theme- “Embracing Disruption in the Wedding Industry: Understanding How the Wedding Industry is Evolving”.
MEET THE CONVENER:
Lola Onabowale is Convener of International Wedding Summit and Brand Strategist at Wedding Digest Naija.
As the pandemic grew from days, to weeks, to now, months, Lola realised that hopes were lost, weddings were cancelled, and businesses couldn’t thrive as normal, so she put herself in the shoes of the brides who have had their weddings cancelled.
In this regard, she asked herself series of questions , some of which are “How will they be feeling that something no one could control affected their dream wedding?” and “How are their friends & wedding guests cheering them on and encouraging them?”
Soon after the retrospection, Lola had a light bulb moment, and thought – why not organize a summit that will bring some kind of hopes to brides and grooms during this season.
This is what birthed the International Wedding Summit, which would see about 12+ seasoned wedding experts from around the world, with ample years of wedding experience under their belt, coming to share some of their best business and wedding strategies with brides and wedding creatives; dishing actionable plans that will help every wedding professional navigate their businesses in these times.
MEET THE SPEAKERS:
Funke Bucknor-Obruthe is the CEO of The Zapphaire Events Group Company
@zapphaire_events, a pioneer events planning company in Africa that has for many years continued to set the trend for event architecture and design in Nigeria.
Fifteen years as a foremost event planner has earned her a place amongst Nigeria’s industry leaders as she has used her passion for innovation and excellence as fuel to build a leading Wedding and Events brand that has delivered well over 1,500 successful events across the globe and has still remained relevant.
Funke has a passion for walking brides through the wedding process, which led her to publish The Essential Bridal Handbook – a first-of-its-kind wedding resource for the African market. For this reason, she also set up Funke Says – a YouTube series for brides which guides them through their Wedding planning process.
As a highly regarded influencer and speaker who seeks to impact lives, Funke Bucknor-Obruthe has spoken at various seminars, workshops and conferences within Africa and globally. Little wonder she was recently appointed a member of the Advisory Board for The Destination Wedding Planner’s Congress (DWPC).
Tolu Akinlade is CEO and Event Director of The Chimera Company @thechimeracompany , a leading Event Management and Hospitality Company in Nigeria, which Caters to an exclusive clientele that range from government agencies to VIPs, high-profiled Executives and Business Professionals.
Tolulope is popularly regarded as the “Doyenne of Events”, with over 15 years experience, planning high-end Luxury events, including His Excellency, General Ibrahim Babangida’s Daughter’s wedding in Nigeria, The President of Sierra Leone’s Daughter’s wedding, and other destination weddings in Ghana, Dubai, and Morocco
She is also a Concept Design Expert, with expertise in bespoke Project Conceptualization, systemized Methodology, Strategy, and Production
Tolu is Certainly an epitome of beauty and brains.
Kate Hassan is CEO of Pinkett and Events by Thea @events_bythea , and has worked in the event industry for over 15 years, bagging a wealth of experience in the sale of event logistics and rentals as well as event design.
She is the current President of The Event Vendors Association in Ghana, and a member of the Coterie Family by Munaluchi in the USA, and hosted the first ever Ghana Event industry conference, which initiated the very first awards of event professionals in her country, Ghana.
Kate is passionate about the art of events and puts her heart into her work.
Pardeep Gill and Renu Kaur Gill are Luxury Cake Designers and Creative Directors of Sweet Hollywood @sweethollywood, a unique bespoke cake company based in London.
Pardeep Gill & Renu Kaur Gill are a husband and wife duo, and their cakes take inspiration from their passion for food, events, fashion and photography, and their love for baking is captured within every slice.
Sweet Hollywood caters for all occasions including, birthdays, engagements, corporate events and more, however we have built our impeccable reputation around creating some of the finest bespoke wedding cakes in London.
Like Hollywood, the couple’s cakes are larger than life, with each edible work of art directed by the client and then beautifully crafted by a team of artists. The sweet recipe of perfection stems from a combination of stunning design, delicious flavours and Pardeep and Renu’s meticulous attention to detail.
Windeline Kausiona is Creative Director of Wendy’s Creations Events @wendy_screations_events
Wendy as she is popularly known, is a Certified Project Manager and Instructor by profession, a self-taught wedding designer and stylist who is affectionately referred to as “Fairy Godmother of Namibian Weddings”, and is known for her ability to design and create elegant atmosphere that often presents magical and thrilling experience to clients and their guests.
The award-winning entrepreneur become one of the most sought-after wedding designer and stylist to date in Namibia, with uncountable number of Namibia’s most prestigious corporate events and luxury weddings on her resume.
She brings wealth of experience in the wedding and events industry stretching over 15 years.
Her project planning and management skills are added advantages to her talent which makes her company stand out from the crowd as it offers innovative one-stop-event solutions to clients all over Namibia, for both corporate and social events. She has become a brand not to be overlooked!
Esé Azénabor is the Lead Designer of Bridal Fashion Brand Esé Azenabor @EseAzenabor .
Esé’s designs are inspired by the arts and her culture. They are daring, luxurious, extravagant, and shows her artistic side through her beading and attention to detail.
Esé, who started designing at the early age of 8 Years old, had to sweep her creative urges under the rug because the Azénabor name was grounded in the fields of medicine, law, and engineering.
However, she made a detour from those career paths, to follow her dreams and started designed handmade dresses for herself, friends and family.
Inspired by a combination of vintage, African, and contemporary European influences, she merged cultures to create her Haute-Couture Bridal and evening wear collections, producing a total of 15 collections. She is now one of the world’s sort after designers. Her designs has been seen on national and International stars such as Taraji P Henson, Tara Banks, Michelle Williams, Country star Kelsea Ballerini, Latin Super star Thalia, Vivica A Fox and so much more.
Esé Azénabor’s goal is to empower women through the art of fashion.
Kevin Zhou is a Luxury Wedding Planner & Event Styling at @KevinWeddingPlanner
Kevin is one of the most sought after wedding planners Zimbabwe has seen to date. A creative young man famous for executing some of the best Weddings in Zimbabwe, South Africa and abroad . Kevin has over 100 Weddings in his portfolio , some which include unforgettable destination weddings ,bespoke Indian Weddings and prestigious state affiliated events.
Success, however, for Kevin, as a wedding planner, has not come overnight. Kevin trained at the South Africa School of Weddings and also attended The Art of Planning Master class, The Karen Tran Masterclass, The Coterie Retreat ,The Event Experience Africa and other wedding networking affairs around the world.
Kevin has also been selected as an adjudicator for the wedding awards hosted by the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada for 2 consecutive years in 2018 and 2019. He has also been selected to speak at prestigious event industry conferences in Zambia , Namibia, Ghana and Nigeria .
Elizabeth Solaru is the Founder of Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium @ElizabethCakeEmporium, one of the best wedding cake companies in the world, which creates the most opulent and beautifully handcrafted cakes using the finest ingredients.
A pioneer in the wedding industry, Elizabeth’s creations have been featured in numerous national and international blogs and publications including Vogue, Tatler, Wedluxe, Brides, Strictly Weddings, The Telegraph, and Conde Nast BRIDES.
Her Clients include British, European, and Middle Eastern Royalty, celebrities and high net worth individuals. Elizabeth has appeared on the BBC, the Good Food Channel, BBC Radio, and Sky Living .
Precious Thamaga-Mazibuko is the CEO of Precious Celebration @precioustheplanner, a boutique agency specializing in luxury weddings, event productions, brand experiences, destination weddings and opulent celebrations from planning, designing and execution.
The brand is recognised among the top wedding and event planning companies in Southern Africa, with international customer base with destination weddings in Mauritius and interests by her affluent clients for weddings in Europe for 2021/2022.
The business also welcomes affluent clients from different countries such as the UK & USA who dream of a destination wedding in South Africa. Recently, Precious has acquired a bridal publication called Nubian Bride Magazine, a publication that recognizes that African brides, in all their diversity, celebrate their wedding day differently from women around the world.
With over 14 years of experience in the wedding, events production, public relations, telecommunication, retail and hospitality industries in South Africa,
Precious is Africa’s top sought after Luxury Wedding Planner & Event Designer.
Tola Olayanju is the Creative Director of Charis UK @chairshair, a renowned international hairstylist and educator. She is the Head stylist at Charis Hair; an award-winning group of London based hairstylists that specialise in Bridal & creative long-hair hairstyling.
Charis Hair started over 10 years ago. In that time, Tola trained hundreds of people across the globe at her ‘HD Hairstyling’ Masterclasses and Online training. She has worked & taught at over 15 countries including Italy, The Netherlands, France, the United States, Cameroon, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia, to mention a few. Tola is known for what she herself refers to as the ‘HD Hairstyling’ and is an expert with bridal/creative hairstyling. Her passion for creativity & people empowerment continues to grow.
Afi Amoro is the CEO of Jandel ltd @jandelltd, a leading event planning company in Ghana. She holds an Honorary Professorship from the Academic Union, Oxford, UK.
Having worked in both the public and private sectors, Ms. Amoro comes with a wealth of knowledge in human and creative resource management which has helped grow her business from a hobby into a profession.
Jandel limited is now 24 years. Afi Amoro is passionate about the event styling and management business and is credited with decorating and creating some of the most iconic jobs in and outside the country. She has worked with public, corporate and individual clients and her experience span through total event solutions and activations to small intimate affairs.
Christine Ogbeh is a professional Nigerian event management specialist with over 13 years’ experience in Event Management, Space Transformations/Design, Branding/ Communications, Stage Management, Corporate Events Management, Branding & Promotional Marketing.
She currently owns and manages the following event management brands; Quorum West Africa @quorumwestafrica, The Wedding Guru @theweddingguru and The Wedding Mall @theweddingmall and understands creative psychology in an interesting way.
A Nigerian/Romanian from Delta State; her excellent work ethics and interpersonal skills have incredibly helped her in carving a niche in the events management and wedding planning world.
In 2011, having discovered a need for bespoke wedding planning in Nigeria, the Wedding Guru brand was born; with services ranging from designing to wedding production for the ever-expanding Nigerian wedding industry.
Joy Adenuga is The Creative Director at @JoyAdenuga
She is a multi-award winning, London-based Makeup Artist, Beauty Expert and Educator, and with a decade of experience under her tool belt, an unparalleled reputation as a melanin specialist, Joy Adenuga is a beauty heavyweight.
From hosting sold out masterclasses to collaborations with brands including Bobbi Brown, Tom Ford, Clinique (to name a few), to transforming brides on their special day, Joy’s skill set has no limits and is recognised on an international scale.
Follow @internationalweddingsummit for more details
International Wedding Summit is for the #Brides, #Grooms, & #WeddingProfessionals
#InternationalWeddingSummit is powered by #WeddingDigestNaija
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Let’s Talk about The Future of Weddings