Inspire 101 Presents Yemi Osunkoya of Kosibah

Good people, I am sure by now we have all got our tickets to our upcoming events for our Inspire101 Wedding and Special Events Workshop. We hope to see many of our dear subscribers there!

Today, we are back with an exclusive and inspiring post from one of our good friends at Cedar Events; the multiple award-winning Yemi Osunkoya of Kosibah. As a Couture Bridal and Eveningwear designer, Yemi specialises in figure enhancing gowns that shape and flatter the wearer. Through his signature use of corsetry and draping, he is able to celebrate the female form by recreating the Classical hour-glass shape

We will be using this feature to show you exactly why he has built up such a reputable following over the years, why so many admire his work and highlight the meticulous process of couture dress making. He is of course a regular mention however we thought we’d use this as an opportunity to officially remind you all that he will be one of our knowledgeable VIP speakers at the workshop and give you a brief introduction to him. Yemi will be telling us how he feels about being one of the guest speakers at Inspire 101.

Kosibah as a brand was established in 1991, however the dream and hard work building up to this  had begun very much before this. Yemi first noticed his fascination with fashion in general and bridal wear in particular at his first high society wedding in Nigeria. From then on, whenever he accompanied his parents to social gatherings, he would feel compelled to draw the dresses and guests after the function. So began his life-long love of figurative drawing.

Below you can see how his creative craft and figurative drawings have only become more intricate. From mind to paper, this is how designs are transferred from client desires and requests to begin the process of bespoke dress making. (Click to view slide-show)

Yemi completed a degree in Textile Design at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. He then went on to bolster his studies at the Paris Academy of Fashion, gaining top marks in both men’s and women’s wear. The name Kosibah was chosen in honour of his mother and is taken from the Republic of Benin being the day name of a female child born on a Sunday. With over 20 years of success, as celebrated with the release of his Bienvenue 20 Bridal Collection he has really made his mark on the industry.

Yemi has worked hard to make Kosibah a truly global brand, but with clientele particularly well represented in the UK, USA, West and South Africa and the Caribbean. Among his celebrated clients, Yemi counts Lady Janet Boateng, Dianne Abbott MP, Kelly Rowland, Alesha Dixon, Sheila Ferguson, Hollywood actress Indra Ové, Louise Rose and members of several royal families in Nigeria and Ghana. Still on Yemi’s wish list of celebrities to dress are Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Padma Lakshmi, and Keira Knightley.

Yemi has been widely recognised in the industry for his hard work and beautiful and graceful designs. To list a few of the many that he has been awarded;

  • 100+ Black Achievers, July 2010
  • Fashion Diversity, Nov 2009
  • Excellence Award, Gathering of Africa’s Best
  • Diamond Recognition from National Weddings UK, Sep 2005
  • Bridal Designer of the Year, 2002 and 2004, Mahogany Bridal Awards
  • Highly Commended, National Wedding Show, March 2002

This is what Yemi had to say about our Inspire101 Wedding and Special Events Workshop

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be speaking at an event organised by the wonderful Seyi of Cedar Events and her team because I know it would be executed with amazing precision and professionalism. It gives me an ideal platform to share some ideas with Wedding Planners on how best to assist and advice a bride during the purchase of one of the most expensive and expectation laden items of clothing she would ever buy – her wedding dress! I’m also looking forward to sharing the secrets of couture that go into creating a Kosibah or any other bespoke bridal gown”.


We are absolutely delighted to have Yemi as one of our VIP speakers and we know our ardent delegates and special guests will be inspired, educated and will have an experience to remember.

To see more of Yemi’s work and keep updated on the Kosibah line head over to his;




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Highlights: Inspire 101 – Day 1

A picture speaks a thousand words, we thought we would let the pictures do the talking on our latest blogpost. We’ve got loads of them to share with you courtesy of the talented duo at FO Photography

Lewis Malka of Joseph Sterling, Jemma Watts of Jemma Watts Photography & Cheryl Laidlaw

Delegates at the workshop

Delegates at the Workshop

Alexandra Burns of FYEO Portraits with Pippa Ward of Wedding Ideas Magazine

Paul Gardiner & Abagail Gardinerof Mantis Collection 

The Inspire101 Wedding and Special Events workshop is an idea I conceived about 5 years ago after attending such similar training workshops and conferences in the USA. So I feel like I have finally “giving birth” and what a wonderful, enlightening, intense and beautiful time it has been.

So with so much pride like a mother showing off her new born baby I will be covering the highlights of each day of the 3 days workshop, starting with Day 1: The Business of Weddings.

Each day started off with my capable husband the Master of Ceremonies at the workshop (who I introduced to you last month in this blog post Inspire101 presents Shegun Olusanya) welcoming the delegates and speakers with motivational sessions that put everyone in the right frame of mind for the day ahead.

Shegun Olusanya getting us all in the right frame of mind

Delegates at the workshop

Starting a new business can be an exciting but challenging time and we wanted to ensure our delegates get the opportunity to tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience that our experts speakers had.

I started by sharing my personal experience on how I got started in the business, how I created a service tailored to meet the needs of my target clientele and how I have to often time reign in on my creative urges to consider the economic impacts of every decision we make at Cedar Events. The last piece of advice I gave to delegates was to JUST DO IT!!!

If you have the passion for something and you are good at it you have to just go for it. Ten years ago I realized this and as they say ‘the rest is history’.

We were then treated to a show around of the exquisite Jumeirah Carlton Hotel. The atmosphere, service and decor of this hotel alone was enough to make us all, from delegates to speakers and the Cedar Events team feel as though we were indeed royalty. Let’s not talk about the culinary skills of the chefs, we’ll leave the pictures to do the talking!

Food glorious food!

Our focus on Day One was on laying a solid foundation for a successful business.

The Queen of cakes, Elizabeth Solaru of Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium

Suby Onabanjo creative director of FAB Magazine gave an insightful session on PR – getting your brand noticed.

Suby Onabanjo of FAB Magazine

Patricia Ogunfeibo Managing Lawyer at Employee Lawyers Limited delivered sessions on Keeping it legal! & funding your creative business

Patricia Ogunfeibo Managing Lawyer at Employee Lawyers Limited

Day 1 ended on a high note at Harrods with the Champagne & Canapés reception hosted by Cedar Events. Present at this exciting night of celebration of the inaugural Inspire101 workshop were delegates, VIP team of speakers other wedding industry professionals, brides and grooms, bloggers and a host of wedding, lifestyle and fashion publications including Perfect Weddings, New African Woman and OK! Nigeria.  As guests began to float in looking uber chic, they were offered champagne and canapés whilst being serenaded by the smooth sounds of Wale Great, talented saxophonist

While guests were taking pictures, chatting and drinking they were given a treat in the form of Soprana Bella. Soprano Bella singer’s Katrina and Johnny fit in perfectly disguised as waiters. After making a minor scene involving canapés on the floor they apologized profusely before bursting into song and dance to the pleasant surprise of our guests. Before we all knew it we were clapping, waving our hands and dancing along to their Abba medley and Soul Man. This was definitely the highlight of the night.

Soprano Bella

I knew I couldn’t top Soprano Bella, however I still gave my speech in my Kosibah dress (OMG) giving some insight into why we were all gathered that night and thanking everyone who had given up their time on a Friday night to come and celebrate, network and see just a glimpse of what Cedar Events is able to put together and make happen. Guests left with goodie bags filled with goodies from Hampers4you, Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium, a copy of New African Woman, Fab Afriq and a host of business cards and information from professional within the wedding industry.

All in all the first night was a huge success and we are grateful to everyone who helped to make it happen from the great team at Harrods to Soprano Bella who left people talking about their performance for days after.

Lastly join me in applauding the fantastic images taken by FO Photography and look out for a future feature on the FOphotography dynamic duo Funmi and Adrian!

This is just day one guys, stay tuned as we will be unravelling the following two days 🙂

As they say a picture speaks a thousand words, here are some more images of from the Champagne Reception at Harrods.

Lewis Malka of Joseph Sterling & Cheryl Laidlaw

Yemi Osunkoya of Kosibah & Craig Solomon of White Canvass Events

Regina  Jere Malanda, Editor of New African Woman

Buki Akinsanya of Becks Buki

Lucy Davenport of Lucy Davenport Photography, Sinclair of Maids To Measure & Anna MacDougall of Bride & Glory 

Posted in Cake Designer, Inspire101, Uncategorized, Wedding planner | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Inspire 101 Presents William Clarke Flowers

We are getting ever so close to our inaugural Inspire101 Wedding and Special Events Workshop. We have a fully packed schedule for the next few days including this post about the dedicated and outstanding team at William Clarke . As one of our VIP speakers it is our privilege to introduce to you their work and give you a brief insight to what our Inspire101 delegates will have the to opportunity to experience.

William Clarke Flowers is a designer florist company based in the heart of London made up of a 4 über creative individuals who work tirelessly in achieving their aim ‘to provide a professional but personal service with exquisite results.’ Flowers are such a universal accessory to add to a dull office, special event or occasion; from weddings to funerals to that special valentines dinner that some of us may have been treated to just last week. Thus it is important to have the widest selection of flowers and a trustworthy and experienced florist to create the floral arrangement that will really make your event a distinguished one and leave your loved one pleasantly surprised.

Their clients include private individuals such as yourself, celebrities to name a few – Madonna, Mariah Carey and Lady Pamela and companies such as Elizabeth Arden, Juicy Couture and Christian Dior. They have also worked at some of London’s most prestigious venues including  The Dorchester, the Royal Albert hall and St Paul’s Cathedral. If this is not enough to convince you of their expertise and regarded reputation, below we will be showing you examples of their divine work. William Clarke Flowers also hold their workshops, so for all you budding florists you can check out their website for dates of future workshops so that you can learn from the best.

Without further ado

The CedarEventress:  What can you attribute your success in your industry to?

William Clarke Flowers: Attention to detail, working with the bride on a personal one to one basis to keep  expectations and reality in line with one another.

The CedarEventress: How important do you feel that networking at events such as Inspire 101 are for budding event planners?

William Clarke Flowers: Extremely important to keep up to date with trends and new ideas, every wedding is unique and each bride will have very different requirements, so you need to have an unlimited list of contacts.

The CedarEventress: What aspect of your job do you enjoy most?

William Clarke Flowers: That moment when the bride sees what you have created and the joy you see on her face.

The CedarEventress: Is there anyone is your field/industry that you can say inspires you?

William Clarke Flowers: We can all learn new and exciting ways of being creative, and need to be open to learning from each other, no matter what level we are at. As for florists I think Jeff Latham is a creative genius.

The CedarEventress: Are there any upcoming plans/ventures that you want to tell us about?

William Clarke Flowers: We have a number of workshops coming up where we will be working exclusively with Wedding and Event planners, ensuring that they are able to achieve the best results from their florists when consulting on behalf of brides/clients .

We are also exhibiting at the following wedding shows:-

  • Sherlock Holmes Hotel – Baker Street – Sunday 26 February
  • One Whitehall Place – London – Sunday 4 March
  • Landmark Hotel – Saturday 10 March
  • Warren House – Kingston – Sunday 11 March
  • St Ermins – London – Sunday 18 March
  • IoD – Pall Mall – London – Sunday 25 March
  • Designer Wedding Show – October

You can contact William Clarke Flowers via;

Their website



Posted in Couture, Designer, Florist, Uncategorized, Valentine's day, Wedding | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inspire 101 Presents Shegun Olusanya

We are rounding up our preparations for our Inspire 101 Workshop, if you haven’t got your tickets to either our Inspire 101 Wedding and Special Events Workshop for budding event planners OR our Champagne Reception At Harrods OR our Special Wedding Industry Dinner at the Jumeirah Carlton for an opportunity to network with wedding professionals do contact us for further information.

It gives me such great pleasure to introduce my other half, my perfect distinguished gentleman, my long-suffering husband to the blog this evening. Shegun Olusanya, is the other half of Cedar Events. He is the meticulous & pragmatic one & yours truly is the slightly eccentric creative & tireless one of the duo. My husband has a passion for grooming, public speaking and etiquette. He will be our Masters of Ceremonies & Motivational speaker at the Inspire 101 Wedding & Special Events Workshop and I have cajoled him to appear on the blog today

I promise you will all fall in love with him. He is the brains behind the Inspire101 – IEE program (Inspire, Educate & Experience). I present to you the man after my own heart. Shegun Olusanya, BA (Hons), LLB (Laws), London.

CedarEventress: Can you tell us how you got into public speaking?

Shegun: Before I joined Toastmaster I was a good speaker. I had spoken at various events internationally. The first event I can remember was a Wedding in Los Angeles in the summer of 1995, after that I spoke in many other events.

In 2003, I joined Toastmasters International through a local club in Croydon. This opened my eyes to the communication, listening and leadership skills required to be an outstanding Public Speaker.

In 2005, when I was called upon to be the Master of Ceremony for an event in the House of Commons, I was ready! But for the experience I gained in Toastmasters International, I would not have been able to manage the House of Commons event with all the etiquette, the protocol and the decorum required for the occasion.

As a Toastmaster, I have had many roles; some of them are Club President, Club Treasurer and Area Governor. As Area Governor I was in charge of 4 clubs (one of which was started during my tenure – I had to help manage and publicise the club in my area and in other areas). My role involved managing 24 committee members, speaking on a regular basis and providing training workshops for the clubs. The experience in Toastmasters International has given me and is still giving me is invaluable. It is an avenue to practice my speaking, listening and leadership skills on a regular basis. Like anything, the more you practice the better you get.

The CedarEventress: How important do you feel that networking at events such as Inspire 101 are for budding event planners?

Shegun: It is invaluable. When we started Cedar Events over 10 years ago, we did not have access to events like this in the UK. We travelled to the US (Baltimore and Las Vegas) on many occasions to attend these type of events. The Inspire 101 events are different from many similar events. It is where top level players in the industry share trade secrets. New entrants in the business can key into the luxury end of the business by coming to this type of event where players in the luxurious end of the business will share their story about how they got there, how they have been there for many years and how they intend to be on top of their game. Frankly, this is not information that is readily available. We have kept the numbers small as we know this is not for everyone but for those in our industry whose business strategy is to do few but highly profitable events.

CedarEventress: What aspect of your job do you enjoy most?

Shegun: The aspect of my job I enjoy most is when the client calls after the event to say thank you and commend us about the service we provided. The icing on the cake is when they then take it upon themselves to refer other customers. Some are so thrilled that they call every one after their event and tell them they have no choice by to use our services. We had a client who referred us only days after her event and not only arranged the meeting but made sure she was present at the meeting. That is what you get when you have done a good job. It is so good your client believes in what you do!

The CedarEventress: Is there anyone is your field/industry that you can say inspires you?

Shegun: As far as Public Speaking is concerned, I am inspired by the wonderful people I have had the privileged of meeting in my local Toastmasters Club (Croydon Communicators). These are ordinary people achieving extra ordinary things. We have the  2011 UK and Ireland Toastmasters International public speaking champion, the person who came third in the world Public speaking competition and the person who won the Evaluation champion. Working with the best on a regular basis surely brings me closer to the best I can be

The CedarEventress: Are there any upcoming plans/ventures that you want to tell us about?

Shegun: As one of the Directors of Cedar Events, I have been involved in many Weddings. I have been involved in the logistics and many other areas of the plans. What I have noticed is that the groom gets a bit neglected in the preparations for the wedding. Although, I have been the MC of the weddings and helped the groom (and sometimes the Best man and the grooms Dad as well), I believe the groom needs a bit more help. The bride gets help with her hair, her dress (and everything regarding her appearance on the big day).  In view of the above, I have launched our Distinguished Gentlemen’s Grooming Service (DGGS). This will not only include what I have been doing for the groom, it would involve working with Grooms whether they book their Wedding Planning with us or not. We will help with the etiquette for their big day, what to wear, how to wear it, how they look on the day etc. I believe this is a service that is required. I have seen many grooms and I believe a lot more can be done to make them look as good as their bride!

Keep your eyes peeled for his new venture the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Grooming Service (DGGS).

Posted in Events, Male Grooming, Toastmaster, Wedding | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Inspire 101 Presents: Pippa Mackenzie

As you all must know by now, the Inspire 101 Wedding and Special Events Workshop is drawing ever near to us. As busy as we are, we still have time to bring to you a range of insightful and inspiring posts from some of our VIP speakers who will be in attendance and imparting some of the expertise knowledge to eager attendees.

Here at Cedar events we work with some of the most creative and talented individuals in the industry to bring our clients flawlessly executed events. Pippa Mackenzie Photography are an award-winning documentary and fine art wedding photography company based in West Sussex. The husband and wife team both have a long standing background in photography, film, design and the graphic arts and can fully relate to the excitement of the whole wedding process. They have covered weddings at some of South England’s prestigious wedding venues including Goodwood, Hedsor House, Hampton  Court Palace, the Walled Garden at Cowdray Park, Waddesdon Manor and the Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire. Their expertise has been recognised and rewarded; in 2011 alone they were the winners of the Perfect Wedding Magazine Photographer of the Year Award and the Master Photographers Association Wessex Winner of The Mario Acerboni Award. It brings us great pleasure to have them as one of our VIP speakers at Inspire 101.

To start off this series of posts, we have one half of the photographic story telling due, Pippa of Pippa Mackenzie Photography. We are rather excited to get these posts started, because we really want you to begin to get an inside peek into what Inspire 101 has in store for all of its attendees.

The CedarEventressWhat can you attribute your success in the industry to?

Pippa: I think our success in the industry comes down to a number of things.  Ian and I are very lucky to have a pretty unique skill-set that we bring to the wedding photography industry. I come from a documentary background, having worked previously for clients including Discovery Channel + National Geographic. Not only did it teach me the skills to becoming a true documentary photographer, it also taught me the organization, preparation and social skills that are crucial elements behind a successful wedding photography business.  Ian’s background is in fine art photography and design and these too are crucial to who we are, and how we stand apart from other wedding photographers. We take a huge pride in the design of our books and albums, and have developed a range of products that are totally unique to us. Where many photographers use templates to create their books and albums, every one of ours is customized to the individual client’s need and tastes by Ian. To us, it’s not just about taking great photographs…its about creating a stunning, and unique heirloom for our couples to cherish that will last for generations to come. Our books and albums are one of our USP’s…and this is a huge contributing factor to what makes us different to our competitors. We place enormous importance on the quality of service we offer all our clients. For that reason, we restrict the number of weddings we do each year, so that we can give nothing less than 100%. We have also spent considerable time developing relationships with leading wedding industry professionals, and this has also played a large part in our success.

The CedarEventress: How important do you feel that networking at events such as Inspire 101 are for budding event planners?

Pippa: Networking at events such as Inspire 101 is so important for budding event planners. It’s not only the perfect opportunity to meet a great selection of industry professionals and to chat to them about their area of expertise, but it’s also a chance to brainstorm with other like-minded event planners. Many wedding industry professionals work on their own, and it can be a pretty lonely existence sometimes. But with social networking such as twitter, facebook, and events like Inspire 101, it doesn’t have to be.

The CedarEventress: What aspect of your job do you enjoy most?

 Pippa: I have to say that what I love about my job is making couples happy. To see their faces when we show them their photographs… To receiving their response when they’ve received their album or book. It is the most wonderful feeling to be able to create memories of such an important day and to know that it is our photographs that will keep their memories alive forever.

The CedarEventress: Is there anyone in your field/industry that you can say inspires you?

Pippa: There are many truly amazing and inspirational professionals in the wedding industry. In regards to photography specifically, we believe passionately about being unique, and so for that reason, we don’t spend too much time looking at what other photographers are doing. A lot of our inspiration comes from other areas of photography and also other media such as lifestyle magazines, tv + film.

The CedarEventress: Are there any upcoming plans/ventures that you want to tell us about?

Pippa: We have lots of exciting plans for the year ahead. Some we are able to talk about, some are under wraps for now. We have some great clients booked through the summer, with stunning locations and venues, including the Four Seasons in Hampshire, Goodwood House, Highclere Castle, Ston Easton Park, Botley’s Mansion, Scotland, Guernsey…  2012 also sees us moving into training other photographers, and we will be starting this off with a 2 day training photography workshop in Yorkshire in June – In 2011 we started bringing in associate photographers and our plans are to develop this further in 2012, and we’re also soon to be launching a new signature portrait photography experience called “Portrait”” which we’re very excited about. It looks to be a busy and exciting year!

You can see more of Pippa Mackenzie’s Work here

Check out their blog

Follow her on twitter

Posted in Events, Photographer, Uncategorized, Wedding | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting to Know: Kasia Fortuna

We are winding down to our final Getting to Know features from some of the amazing individuals who were behind the Kosibah at 20 event last year.  Today we have an amazing hair stylist, Kasia Fortuna who runs Kasia Fortuna Bridal Hair and Make-up founded in 2010. She will be letting us in on her business and how it runs and will also be giving interested readers the lowdown on wedding hairstyles that will be hot in 2012.

The CedarEventress: Describe your business in one paragraph

Kasia: Breath-taking, bespoke hair designs from elegant bridal styles to Avant Garde catwalk creations

The CedarEventress: Number of employees

Kasia: I’m self-employed but work with number of fantastic make-up artist, photographers and stylists

The CedarEventress: Did you always know that you would start your own business ?

Kasia: Looking back, I was always going to be my own boss and I always needed to be doing something creative. I’ve had training in dress making and flower arranging as well as hair and make-up.

More than a year ago a close friend was getting married and her hair stylist let her down at the last minute. I had done hair and make up for friends before back home so I was asked to step in and I just couldn’t say no. I was so nervous but the bride looked fantastic, the feedback was amazing and so it was decided, I was going to be a hair stylist.

The CedarEventress: What was your career path prior to starting your first business?

Kasia: I’ve always worked in client facing roles. I’ve got various qualifications in customer care and dealing with clients. Prior to my current job I’ve always worked in events.

The CedarEventress: Can you describe your typical working day?

Kasia: Monday to Friday I’m busy with photo shoots, music videos and makeovers.

Much of my work comes from a small group of my favourite photographers. Once I receive an email from a photographer with the theme of the photo shoot I visualise the hair designs in my head and introduce them to the rest of the team. During each shoot the model will have up to 3 hair and make-up changes and so it is very important to work with people you trust and know that they can deliver top results every time. Photo shoots are very hard work. The schedule is very tight and the expectations are extremely high, as is the reward.

At the weekend I work with brides on their big day. I like to create bespoke hair designs, helping them look and feel great so their wedding day is everything that they expected.

The CedarEventress: Describe your clientele

Kasia: What a question…. Where to start? I really try to get experience with as many different clients as possible. One of the things I love about my job is that I can work with different people every day. I never know what the day will bring.

The CedarEventress: What have been the highlights of running your own business?

Kasia: I’ve always followed fashion, whether it’s catwalk or vintage trends. When I started, there were a list of photographers and projects I wanted to work on and I’m very proud to say that less than a year in, I’ve already worked with many of them. BINTM was probably a highlight for me but I’m actually more excited about all the things the future holds.

The CedarEventress: What is the hardest part of running your own business?

Kasia: I love styling hair, I love being involved in weddings, photo shoots, cat walk shows. I really enjoy being around creative people. I find that I’m much more creative when I’m around people who I can bounce ideas off. But of course running a business also means paperwork, taking bookings, advertising and book keeping. But I have a fantastic boyfriend who helps me with those things.

The CedarEventress: What has been your proudest business moment so far?

Kasia: I’m proud every time I see a happy bride who loves her hair on her big day. I had a bride last week who started crying, she was so happy! I take real pride in my work, it’s important for me to feel that way when I create something. That’s what it’s all about, otherwise it’s just a normal job. Probably my proudest moment though was seeing my work on TV. I was told the project was a music video but a few or two later I saw it on MTV. That was surreal.

The CedarEventress: What, or who, inspires and motivates you?

Kasia: It’s very difficult to put my finger on one thing. I always keep up to date on the latest trends but I like to push things a little further than that and push beyond the boundaries, have my own unique style. Fashion and wedding trends are different but I like to stay on trend for weddings too. Everything I see really inspires me. Each inspires the other. And to be honest, when you can be creative all day every day, do you really need any more motivation to get up in the morning? I don’t. I get really excited every morning at the thought of what the day might bring.

The CedarEventress: Can you tell us more about some recent work you have produced?

Kasia: The last few months have been so exciting. I’ve really just put myself out there. I want to experience as much variety as possible and work with as many people as I can. I’ve done all sorts really, from a music video with Bluey Robinson to Britain’s and Ireland Next Top Model and of course bridal catwalk shows and various photo shoots.

I’m really excited about doing some work in a West End Theatre, which is going to be a new experience for me. I’m designing hair for Hat Company who are selling at Harrods

The CedarEventress: Tell us about your involvement in the Kosibah 20th Anniversary event and why you got involved.

Kasia: I met Yemi Osunkoya for the first time in June of last year, I visited him in his studio where I came across his fantastic drawings. His work is so precise and immaculate that I decided to bring his hair drawings to life really as accurately as I could. We worked together on a photo shoot and Yemi was so delighted with the final result that he asked me to design hair for his Bienvenue 20 bridal catwalk show. I created 10 bespoke hair-ups for his beautiful models and I was really pleased with the results as was the crowd from what I could tell.

The CedarEventress: Do currently have any special offers or any information about your product or service you would like to talk about?

Kasia: Over the last year I’ve really built up a great team of photographers, make-up artists, stylists, designers and more but actually, for those brides who really want something beautiful or even spectacular on their wedding day, I just want them to remember one thing – Kasia Fortuna.

The CedarEventress: Any wedding hair style trends for 2012?

Kasia: Low Bun, the perfect wedding hairstyle for 2012!

Vintage inspired look

Low bun with raised crown area

The possibilities are endless. If you are not a huge fan of structured hairstyles it can be loose bun with curls on the sides.

The CedarEventress: What advise would you give brides when choosing their hairstyle?

Kasia: There are a lot of things you should take into account when choosing that perfect style for your wedding day. Of course the first and the most important is the shape of your face, the shape of the neckline and style of the dress .

The hairstyle need to be comfortable to wear and match your personality and preferences, the theme and the overall formality of the ceremony. After the trial, wear your chosen hairstyle at least for 2 hours, it will give you an ideas if the loose curls around your face are for you, if the low bun is putting pressure on your neck, if the padding is too heavy.

The CedarEventress: How long does it take typically to have bridal hair styled?

Kasia: Up to 40 minutes for a blowdry, another 30-40 minutes for curling and up to 40min for styling.

The CedarEventress: Any hair style trends for 2012

Kasia: Low bun is also a great choice for ladies with hair just above shoulders. If you always dreamed of an up-do you shouldn’t settle for anything less, as with hair padding and extensions, a skilled hairstylist can create a beautiful bun simply by wrapping the extensions around your natural hair and pinning it up creating the illusion of long hair full of volume. Just remember to buy extensions that perfectly match your natural hair colour.

You can find out more about Kasia via her;

Website address:

Twitter: KasiaFortunaHi

Facebook Page:Kasia Fortuna Hair Designer

Posted in Couture, Designer, Getting To Know, Trends, Wedding, Wedding accesories | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Elizabeth Solaru: New cake inspired by Kosibah wedding dress

Today we have an exciting post with one of our previous guests on our Getting to Know features. The wonderful Elizabeth Solaru who has given us the first glimpses of her latest catwalk inspired creation. We will be briefly going through how this piece of cake art came to reality.

The inspiration for Elizabeth was the amazing designer Yemi Osunkoya, her favourite wedding dress designer of all time. In honour of Kosibah’s 20th anniversary celebrations she wanted to reproduce one of his stunning gowns in cake form. The dress that she wanted her cake to resemble did an amazing job at highlighting the beautiful silhouette of his female model, as you can see below.

In order to make this innovative idea come to life, she set about finding the right pieces of jewellery to mimic the beaded embroidery effect on the hour-glass bodice of Yemi’s dress. Once she found the jewels, she constructed a mould from food grade silicone and after covering the cakes, she embossed and quilted the bodice. She then decorated it with the moulded sugar jewels and painted it with edible 22 carat gold to emphasise the detailing, just like the dress………Luxury at its finest!  This contemporary bespoke cake really took a lot of effort in terms of getting the details right. However, she was not done yet!

The rest of the cake except the base tier is covered with thin and delicate sugar frills. Those on the top-tier were made asymmetrical as a nod to the exquisite ruffle detail framing the bodice of the dress. Lastly the cake is topped by a flamboyant sugar Cattleya Orchid which matches the design perfectly as the fringed petals with their natural ruffle detail mimics the frills of the gown entirely .

Now whether you could actually eat this cake or just gaze lustfully at it is a different story. Let us know your thoughts and comments on this masterpiece in the comments box. Elizabeth is such a talented and gifted individual who has certainly done Yemi’s dress justice. For all our lucky subscribers you’ll be excited to know that Elizabeth will be one of our VIP Award Winning speakers at the Cedar Events Inspire 101 wedding and events workshop.

The three-day Inspirational, Educational and Experiential program (IEE Program) will hosted at the grand Jumeirah Carlton Hotel in Knightsbridge, London.

We will be supported by our VIP dream team of award winning industry experts whose clients include royalty and celebrities such as multi award winning Yemi Osunkoya of Kosibah, Award winning Queen Of Cake, Elizabeth Solaru of Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium, BAFTA Award Winning Photographer Pippa Mackenzie of Pippa Mackenzie Photography. Extensively published in national and international magazines such as Conde Nast Brides, OK and Hello they are rated as amongst the best in the UK.  The collaboration of these amazing individuals plus many more to create an inspirational and experiential workshop is something that you do not want to miss out on!

Just to give you a brief lowdown on the 3 day event;


Day 1 – 24th February 2012 (9am – 5pm)

Business Day – Full day of business presentation

Champagne & Canapés Reception at the Champagne Bar, Harrods with our VIP dream team of award winning industry experts

Day 2 – Saturday 25th February 2012 (9am – 5pm)

CREATIVITY & VENDOR RELATION DAY – Full day of presentations from our Award Winning Industry Experts giving insight into their craft, business stories & success

Private Dinner Party for attendees at The Conservatory with our VIP dream team

Day 3 – Sunday 26th February 2012 (10am – 5pm)

Developing design concepts for venue styling

Practical & Interactive Group Task

Cost: £875 for early bird registration if booked by 16th January or £925 thereafter

For more information visit our website: Or email or call Mob: 07958 527 176

We look forward to hosting all you budding events planners and more info will be made known as we countdown to this exciting 3 day occasion.

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Getting to Know: Tunde Oguntolu of JohnMarxis

Today on Getting to Know, I’ll be chatting to an amazing photographer who I had the pleasure of getting acquainted with at the Kosibah 20th Anniversary event. Tunde Oguntolu, founder and owner of JohnMarxis, the professional wedding photographers who pride themselves on ‘the creation of beautiful, stunning images for the wedding and fashion industry’ will be filling us in on their latest work and how he got started in business.

The CedarEventress: Describe your business in one paragraph

Tunde Oguntolu: Our vision at JohnMarxis is simple: Be Unobtrusive, Creative & Unique. We are known for delivering beautiful and distinctive wedding photography that captures our clients in a moment in time, forever gone. Our wedding photographs echo Classic Romanticism, Passion, Love, and Intimacy and are Full of Emotions. We offer highly-personalised services that suit our clients’ needs. Clients come to us to get something beyond the ordinary – The JohnMarxis Look.


The CedarEventress: When was your company founded?

Tunde Oguntolu: JohnMarxis was founded last year in 2010.

The CedarEventress: Why did you decide to start your company?

Tunde Oguntolu: They say inventing a job is better than finding one, and I think this is very true. When you start something of your own and are passionate about it, no one can say you don’t have enough experience. This was one of the many things that prompted me to start the business.

The CedarEventress: What was your career path prior to starting your first business?

Tunde Oguntolu: My career path was in engineering but after graduating from University of Hertfordshire, I realised there was a thirst that engineering could not quench and thus began a quest the journey.

 The CedarEventress: Did you always know that you would start your own business?

Tunde Oguntolu: I think everyone has the dream of starting their own business, but few turn it into reality. Deep down, I knew that sooner or later I would start my own business, but it required a little push and when that came, I grabbed onto it and never let go.

The CedarEventress: Can you tell us more about some recent work you have produced?

Tunde Oguntolu: I’ve covered numerous weddings across England and the most recent one was at Brands Hatch. It was beautiful, the setting romantic and the wedding guests eager to party all night long. Others included Africa Fashion Week, which was full of incredibly beautiful African-inspired designs from across the world.

 The CedarEventress: What are you working on at the moment?

Tunde Oguntolu: Right now I’m working on images from weddings that I’ve recently covered.  There’s so much to sift through and each wedding requires dedicated time to process and more weddings are still coming. It’s unbelievable but that’s why I love doing what I do.



The CedarEventress: Can you describe your typical working day?

Tunde Oguntolu: A typical working day starts off with a walk through the park to breathe in some relaxing air and then a cup of coffee to gear my mind for the rest of the day. I work typically 13 hours a day working on images, dealing with wedding queries and meeting clients to discuss their wedding. Sometimes I think 24 hours is just not enough.

The CedarEventress: Describe your clientele

Tunde Oguntolu: I would describe my clientele as professional people who know what they want, aren’t afraid to go for it and know the value of beautiful wedding photographs and the emotional impact they carry throughout time.

The CedarEventress: What have been the highlights of running your own business?

Tunde Oguntolu: I see more stress than highlights in running the business though at times something special does put a smile on my face. My joyful moments surface when brides and grooms call me to say thank you for the quality of service delivered and more importantly the unquantifiable value of the work we deliver that really makes my day.



 The CedarEventress: What is the hardest part of running your own business?

Tunde Oguntolu: Running a business is hard from start to finish; you have to fight for everything just as you do in any other part of life, but running your own business requires that bit extra because failure is not an option.

The CedarEventress: What has been your proudest business moment so far?

Tunde Oguntolu: There are many proud moments, however the proudest is realising that you only need an idea and by nurturing that idea you turn it into something incredibly special and life fulfilling.

The CedarEventress: What, or who, inspires and motivates you?

Tunde Oguntolu: There are a few people that inspire me, and Steve Jobs is one of them. His story is an inspiration, starting with nothing but an idea that is now a world leader in the technology world and changed the way we interact with technology. His story really inspires me and is a source of constant motivation.

The CedarEventress: Tell us about your involvement in the Kosibah 20th Anniversary event and why you got involved.

Tunde Oguntolu: It was a pleasure to be part of the anniversary. My part was to capture Yemi Osunkoya’s incredible and beautifully unique collections of bridal and evening wear. Kosibah a brand that’s synonymous with beauty, class and elegance which is something JohnMarxis is also known for and being involved in its 20th Anniversary was wonderful.

The CedarEventress: Extra info – in addition to your company website, is there any other information you’d like to share?

Tunde Oguntolu: Check out our blog at where we share our ethics, work philosophy and everything else that’s on our mind. It might just inspire you.

Please feel free to further explore JohnMarxis via;

Website address:

Twitter:  @JohnMarxis

LinkedIn: John Marxis


Posted in Designer, Events, Getting To Know, Real events, Real wedding, Uncategorized, Wedding | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting to Know: Liz Inigo Jones

After a blustery week, we are back with another edition of Getting to Know. We will be talking with Liz Inigo Jones of Blueskyflowers founded in 2001. Her bespoke flower designs were featured at the Kosibah 20th Anniversary Event & Launch of the Bienvenue 20 anniversary collection. We have some striking pictures from her portfolio of work and this time we decided to add a little spice to the post by asking the participant to give some recommendations for 2012. It’s a new year and we know our subscribers and supporters want to know what is going to be ‘in’ for 2012. Let’s get started………………………..

The CedarEventress:  Describe your business in one paragraph

Liz: Blueskyflowers is a London based florist working from the flower market at New Covent Garden. We work on weddings, parties, PR events, corporate and private events in and around London and the M25 area. We are happy to work to a budget or work with our clients to create the event of their dreams.     


The CedarEventressHow many individuals are involved in Blueskyflowers?

Liz: One very busy one plus excellent freelancers.

The CedarEventressWhy did you decide to start your company?

Liz: I worked for Woodhams and decided that I wanted to do my own thing and have the freedom to work for myself and have time for my family too.

The CedarEventressWhat was your career path prior to starting your first business?

Liz: I worked in magazines – including Elle Decoration and The World of Interiors for a total of around 14 years, styling shoots and working on promotions but always wanted to be more creative so when I got the chance to jump ship I did!

The CedarEventressDid you always know that you would start your own business?

Liz: No, I trundled along relatively happily for a long time working in an office until a realised there was more to life and I love the freedom that I now have to do just what I want to do.

The CedarEventressDescribe your clientele

Liz: Mostly wonderful  people who want/need but don’t understand flowers! Generally they are normal, everyday folk but occasionally there are ‘challenging’ types who just make the days more exciting!

The CedarEventress: What is your favourite flower and why?

Liz:  Roses have been my favourite flower for bouquets and displays for a long time – I don’t like them in the garden but just love to work with all the hundreds of different colours that are available. From the pure icy ivory and incredibly fragrant Norma Jean to the rich black-red of Black Baccara and the gorgeous taupe softness of Sahara and Quicksand – I could use nothing else and be happy. If I can squeeze in another fave, Hydrangeas are also amazing as their large colourful heads are wonderful at filling in big displays and can create quite a dramatic impression used en masse.

The CedarEventress: Can you tell us more about some recent work you have produced?

Liz: I have been lucky enough to have some amazing bridal clients who have trusted me to create what I think is right for them based on their brief to me. The vintage look for weddings was very strong last year, and I have done several but they are all different in their own way. I like to bring unique touches to each wedding so that whilst one or two may be similar in style there is something special to each client

I’ve also just done a fabulous shoot with photographer Fiona Kelly and wedding planner/stylist Helen Carter – can’t give any details at the moment but watch the Twittersphere!

The CedarEventressWhat are you working on at the moment?

Liz: I am working on a shoot which will hopefully go into You and Your Wedding Magazine.

The CedarEventressCan you describe your typical working day?

 Liz: Early until it is all done! No seriously, whilst florists do often have to start early I try to keep the 5 o’clock starts for just once a week. I get to my unit at the flower market with a list of what has to be done that day, grab a hot drink and have a walk around to see what is fresh in and best to buy. I make up displays, do my deliveries, check how the hotel flowers are (The Royal Horseguards in Whitehall) and touch up or replace where necessary, take calls about weddings and events, book in jobs for the next day and following week and try to be back to meet my son after school. I grab a glass of cold white wine as soon as it is polite and not a worrying issue to do so and chill out, usually falling asleep in front of the TV around 10.30!

The CedarEventressWhat have been the highlights of running your own business?

Liz: Having the freedom to do what I want to do and choosing to pass over things I don’t want to do. Although working for yourself means that you usually have to take most jobs that come along, in case there isn’t another for a while, you can be flexible within these limitations. Not working in an office with the same group of faces day in, day out, has to be the biggest plus!

The CedarEventressWhat is the hardest part of running your own business?

Liz: See above! Learning to say no and not doing too much – still haven’t managed to crack this one yet .

The CedarEventressWhat has been your proudest business moment so far?

Liz: Pitching for and winning a hotel contract that has been challenging, fun, exciting, nerve wracking and wonderful – usually all in the same day!

The CedarEventressWhat, or who, inspires and motivates you?

Liz: Robbie Honey is inspiring and a wonderful creative florist. My son motivates me as I want to show him that working hard can bring the things in life that you want, whatever they may be.

The CedarEventressTell us about your involvement in the Kosibah 20th Anniversary event and why you got involved.

Liz: I was delighted to have the opportunity to work with Yemi on his 20th Anniversary Event and support him at this amazing time in his career. I thought it would be a really good evening and an opportunity to meet people in the industry that I hadn’t met before – and I did!

Photo’s by

The CedarEventressWhat are your comments on flower trends for 2012?

 Liz:  I think there will be a shift away from the almost overwhelming vintage look from 2011 towards a more individual, slightly pared down feel. Simple displays, blocks of single colours and massed same flower groups, extended use of candles and candelabra to give a delicate, pretty atmosphere. Primarily pastels, ivories, sandy/taupe colours and less of the ‘old pink’ that is getting, frankly, a little old fashioned!

 The CedarEventressAny other interesting news to share?

I’ve done a couple of wonderful shoots this year which have been featured on Whimsical Wonderland Weddings and Brides Cafe and am hoping to do some more in the next few months. They are great for trying out creative ideas and working with new planning and photography teams.

Contact Liz at Blue Sky Flowers

Website address: 

Twitter: @blueskyflowers

Posted in Couture, Designer, Getting To Know, Trends, Uncategorized, Wedding accesories | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Getting to know: Louise Turnbull

First and foremost I would like to wish all our beautiful subscribers, clients and supporters a Happy and Prosperous New Year. 2011 was an amazing year for us, with the launch of the blog, winning an award at the InCREDIBLE Wedding Award Ceremony – and many events we were privileged to organise. The event that was no doubt the talk of the town for many months was the Kosibah 20th Anniversary Event & Launch of the Bienvenue 20 anniversary collection.

I am glad to be back afresh with the latest Getting To Know edition, featuring one of the talented wedding accessories designer we worked with.

We are all aware of the covert desire that every female has to be a ……………… fairy. As Dawn French rightly notes; “There is a latent fairy in all women, but look how carefully we have to secrete her in order to be taken seriously. And fairies come in all shapes, colours, sizes and types; they don’t have to be fluffy. They can be demanding and furious if they like. They do, however, have to wear a tiara. That much is compulsory”

For that reason it’s all about sparkly Tiaras and all things nice today on my blog and I am so proud to introduce to you the lovely Louise Turnbull, owner and founder of Tiara Haven. Specialising in producing individually designed exquisite bridal tiaras and co-coordinating jewellery, along with hair accessories for special occasions such proms, Louise will be giving us the lowdown on her business and what she has been up to since her debut at the Kosibah 20th Anniversary Event.

 The CedarEventress: Can you tell me about Tiara Haven.

 Louise Tunbull: Affordable luxury for weddings, proms, evening wear or just to look great! Tiara Heaven’s exclusive range of hair accessories and jewellery are all handmade to order giving that personal and unique touch. From exquisite tiaras on ‘comfort headbands’ to beaded flowers for hair and bouquets, Tiara Heaven has created a collection that everyone can enjoy.

 The CedarEventress: When was the company founded and where are you based?

Louise Turnbull: Tiara Haven was founded in 2008 and we are based in Weymouth in Dorset

The CedarEventress: Why did you decide to start your company?

Louise Turnbull: In my youth (seems some time ago now) I took over and ran my family wedding business ‘Dorset Designs’ which involved pressing and mounting wedding bouquets. Then came along my two children and with it a change of direction. My strong design skills and a love of anything shiny resulted in the formation of Tiara Heaven. I love making sure that each order, no matter how large or small, is given the care and attention to detail that everyone deserves.

The CedarEventress: Tell me about your career path before starting your own business?

Louise Turnbull: In my early twenties I helped run the family business pressing and mounting wedding bouquets, I did this alongside working in the funeral industry which was a job I used to love. At twenty-four I had my first of two children and I decided to stop working so I could be at home with them. After they both started school I worked as a teaching assistant at a school for children with severe physical and mental disabilities which I found very rewarding. However, with my husband working away, I found looking after my children and starting my own business proved to be a bit of a juggle and as my business started to take off I made Tiara Heaven my full-time vocation. Whilst the children were very young, I studied with the Open University for three years which often meant that I was working late into the night and had to discipline my work schedule by myself, this helped me realise that I had the self discipline required for running my own business.

The CedarEventress: Tell us about your typical working day?

Louise Turnbull: A typical day usually involves a balancing act of making items that have been ordered, liaising with customers, designing new pieces, and cramming in website updates, blogging and other social networking. There are never enough hours in the day!

The CedarEventress: Can you tell us some more about some recent work you have produced:

Louise Turnbull: I was recently asked to make a fascinator using pheasant wings and feathers provided by the customer as a surprise gift for his wife to wear at their daughter’s wedding.  I specialise in working with wire, so using feathers was new to me. However, I was well and truly up for the challenge and it was a real baptism of fire!  Fascinators are usually created using single feathers, but for this I worked with the entire wing and delved into the exciting realms of millinery.  The finished design had a very retro feel to it and on hearing that his wife helps to run a charity which provides free Conductive Education Services for people with motor disabilities, I requested the payment to be made directly to this charity.

The CedarEventress: What are you working on at the moment?

Louise Turnbull: I am currently working on new designs for hair vines and braids and I am very excited about my new hand beaded bouquet collection called “Cherished Bouquets”. These bouquets are a real labour of love as I make each petal by hand using tiny seed beads and fine wire, finishing each flower with Swarovski crystals at the centre. The bouquets are special because they are not only a unique lasting memory of that special day but also travel well, so are perfect for getting married abroad. The idea for these bouquets came from my background in preserving wedding bouquets, I know how precious wedding flowers are and I wanted to create a bouquet that can be enjoyed for years to come. I am also including bridesmaid’s bouquets in the collection which can be purchased for a combined discount. Coordinated with the beaded flower hair accessories that I have designed, the results are stunning.

The CedarEventress: Describe your clientele

 Louise Turnbull: My customers are ladies who are looking for tiaras, jeweler, or bouquets that stand apart from the mass-produced, ready-made ones available. They love the fact that all my pieces are individually created allowing them input over colours and materials to make each item unique. I have deliberately made my collections so that everyone can afford something lovely no matter what their budget and care and attention to detail is given to all. My ‘comfort headbands’ are extremely popular with my customers, as these are made to measure and can be manipulated to fit your head perfectly – no headaches from these headbands!

The CedarEventress: What have been your highlights of running your own business?

 Louise Turnbull: I never grow tired of seeing customers’ faces when they open up the box to see their finished creation, or the process of choosing the perfect design that complements both the physical appearance and the personality of the customer. I know it all sounds very clichéd, but I feel that no matter what a person’s budget is, they all deserve the best.

The CedarEventress: What is the hardest part of running your own business?

 Louise Turnbull: I constantly have a list of things I need to do whirling around my head and as Tiara Heaven is my sole responsibility I have to make sure everything gets done. I am forever writing lists to make sure that everything is up to date. Running your own business is not easy, especially in our current economic climate. Making sure that I am offering an excellent service has never been as important as it is right now!

The CedarEventress: What has been your proudest moment of running your business so far?

 Louise Turnbull: Seeing my hand beaded bouquet and beaded large flower being worn by the stunning model for the Kosibah 20 showcase was just fantastic, I had to be very restrained to not jump up and tell everyone that I had made them (that would be very unprofessional!)

Photo by

The CedarEventress: What or who inspires and motivates you?

Louise Turnbull: I am very lucky that I have such supportive family and friends, I think by now my children and husband know everything there is to know about weddings! I am constantly bombarding my mum and childhood friend Tamzyn, who built my eCommerce site, with my latest ideas and designs as I really appreciate their opinion. I would have to say though that seeing my bouquet at the Kosibah 20 has really inspired me to create the ‘Cherished Bouquets’ collection. Thank you Yemi!

The CedarEventress: Tell us about your involvement in Kosibah 20 and why you got involved

Louise Turnbull: I met Yemi through Twitter. His designs are fabulous, I love his down to earth attitude and he is a real gentleman. Yemi invited me to the Kosibah 20 event and as I had just finished making my first beaded bouquet I asked if he would like to use it on the night along with a matching hand beaded flower hair pin. Seeing my designs being carried by his stunning model was just fantastic, it felt a real honour to be included in such an amazing event.

Photo by 

The CedarEventress: Extra info

Louise Turnbull: I have a blog site that is a bit of a labour of love. It is starting to form into an interesting narrative of all things Tiara Heaven, I also like to blog about other businesses that I think people would be interested in. I love helping to promote other people’s businesses as I completely understand how much hard work goes into them. I have recently branched out into involving guest bloggers, and hope that I will continue to publish more interesting articles from guests.

Contact Details Website Address:

Also you can connect with Louise via her;




Posted in Designer, Getting To Know, Gift Ideas, Tiara, Tiara, Uncategorized, Wedding, Wedding accesories | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments