Meet Wedding Academy Student and Wedding Planner Sonya

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  1. Meet Wedding Academy student and wedding planner Sonya!

Earlier this month we interviewed one of our wonderful graduates Ayla Toyokawa. And today we want to introduce you to another talented member of our Wedding Academy community, Sonya Uribe.

Sonya is one of our students on the Advanced Certificate course and last year she launched her wedding planning business, Evenio Weddings & Events. Despite launching during a global pandemic Sonya has produced a stunning styled shoot (featured throughout this post) AND booked a handful of weddings! All within months of launching her wedding business.

We recently caught up with Sonya to hear more about her wedding business journey and how she launched with success during a pandemic.
Wedding Academy Student
Photo by Jerome Cole

You launched your Melbourne wedding business at the end of last year. Tell us more about who you are, what inspired your business, and the Evenio experience you offer your couples.

Evenio Weddings & Events launched Nov. 26 of 2020. A challenging time for weddings, but I strongly believe that a quality product will always be sought out, so I used this time as an opportunity to introduce the company, prove myself and get noticed. 

Who am I? That is a very convoluted question. Where do I begin? I guess since we’re talking business, my work life would be a good start…

I began my professional career as a runway model in New York City where I worked for the highly acclaimed Haute Couture designer Oscar de la Renta. While prancing the catwalks of the major Fashion Capitals of the World, I developed an interest for the behind the scenes and thus, collaborated on and gained experience planning numerous fashion shows.

After several years in the industry, I decided to follow a career in Media, where I could hone my obsession for perfection and my passion for style, presentation and planning.

 joined NBC Universal where I wrote and produced content for globally televised TV shows, as well as styled, planned and project managed in house events, presidential debates and town halls.

After 15 years of perfecting what goes on behind the camera, I took another career leap and used the move from NYC to Melbourne to plan my new direction – Event Management.  I launched the first incarnation of Evenio mainly focusing on events for not-for-profit organisations.

The experiences, though, were very corporate and lacking the intimate and personalised aspects I craved. Not only did I want to connect more with my clients, I wanted to have more freedom of design and the ability to transcend beyond functionality.

So, what else would allow me to use my skills, have constant interaction with clients and exercise my creativity? Weddings was the answer.

All of my past experiences have shaped what is now the Evenio experience, which can be summed up in these few words…Style, Glamour, Knowledge, Professionalism, Reliability, Empathy and Taste neatly packed up and delivered with a personal touch.

Wedding Academy Student
Photo by Jerome Cole

You drummed up lots of attention around your launch with a gorgeous brand reveal and website launch. Do you have any tips for our readers who are yet to launch their wedding business? 

I guess my background in Media and Fashion helped with this. I love styling, telling visual stories. Furthermore, I’d like to think I have a good sense for aesthetics and transforming spaces. But I also have to give credit where credit is due and praise my web designer Luxe Co. who did a magnificent job.

My advice for those who are yet to launch is three-fold:

  • First, don’t try, just do. The time is and will always be now! 
  • Second, don’t get discouraged or slowed down by your own mind (impostor syndrome), what others say or do, or even by failure. I’ve been there, still am at times, but I’m more conscious now of not letting those negative thoughts distract me as I’ve finally realised it is all a huge waste of time and I’ve got work to do. 
  • Lastly, take the leap. Do what must be done, what fills your heart – even if it’s difficult – and do it the best way you can, always.”  As Jim Rohn wisely pointed out, “Discipline (and I must add risk-taking) is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.”
Wedding Academy Student
Photo by Jerome Cole

Within a couple of months of launching, you’d signed your first 3 wedding clients. In these more challenging times, this is an amazing achievement! What’s the secret to your success so far? 

Networking and personal drive have been big catalysts. I’m an introvert, but a very friendly one who thrives in social engagements. I also love learning and strive to improve myself each day. So I’m constantly in the lookout for new opportunities to expand my knowledge and by default, my possibilities.

I’m also very intuitive, which helps when dealing with people. 

Lastly, what I gather from speaking with clients, now more than ever, is that they want the planner they choose to be able to handle sudden changes and navigate challenging situations rapidly, effectively and compassionately, which all are Evenio’s strong suits. 

You’re an active member of the Wedding Academy student group which we love. How has being part of a community helped you in these early days of your new business? 

Oh gosh, the teachings, guidance, support, encouragement and inspiration I get from the community (Kylie Carlson, mentors and fellow students) is priceless. I’m a junky for education and there is not a lack of it with the Academy. I get on as many zoom and live calls as I can and always participate, ask questions and provide input. When I joined, I never expected to have such a great experience that would last beyond my studying period.

Wedding Academy Student
Photo by Jerome Cole

Seeing our students and graduates find success is why we love what we do. What’s been a highlight for you during your Wedding Academy journey so far? 

Definitely the live sessions, being on FB or Zoom. I’m old fashioned and much prefer face-to-face interactive sessions where you can share not only knowledge, but anecdotes and circumstances that make for a much richer and rewarding discussion. I believe it gives us all more of a sense of belonging, responsibility and accountability. 

Ohhhhhh, and I cannot forget the superb templates and list of resources which Martha and Kylie have put together for the community. My Lord, they are beautiful and undoubtedly efficient.



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David Tutera

Leading Wedding & Entertaining Expert, David Tutera is hailed as an artistic visionary whose ability, uniquely creative talents and outstanding reputation have made him a tremendous success in the lifestyle arena. Tutera has created a name for himself by taking his passion for designing spectacular events and transforming it into a lifestyle.

He continuously exceeds the expected with an unmatched level of inspiration, imagination and innovation to create the latest trends in entertaining. Tutera’s grandfather, a successful florist, first noticed his grandson’s artistic ability at an early age and encouraged David to pursue his destiny. At age 19, with the sound advice of his grandfather and only one client, David opened his own event planning business.

Today, David Tutera presides over an award winning company built from experience, dedication and Tutera’s natural talent for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. His name has become synonymous with style, elegance, creativity and vision. David Tutera has a natural talent for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. His name has become synonymous with style, elegance, creativity and vision.

Honored by Life & Style Magazine as “Best Celebrity Wedding Planner,” David’s impressive client list includes Jewel, Star Jones’ wedding, Real Housewife Taylor Armstrong’s wedding, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul’s wedding, NY Giants Antonio Pierce’s wedding, Shannen Doherty’s wedding and events for Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Brandy and Ray J, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Lil’ Kim, the Official Post Grammy Parties in New York City, Elton John, Barbara Walters, the Rolling Stones, Nancy Reagan, Prince Charles, The White House, private events for the Vice President, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Susan Lucci, The John F. Kennedy Center, as well as countless film premieres and celebrity parties for royalty, politicians and socialites.

Tutera has also designed events for several charities including the Prevent Cancer Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids) and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. David has made guest appearances on Today, Extra!, Good Morning America, The View, CNN, The Rachael Ray Show, The Talk, Steve Harvey, Wendy Williams and many more. In addition People, USA Today, In Touch, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, In Style, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Bridal Guide and Town & Country have all featured his work.

Tutera has also made special television appearances in the popular daytime soap, The Young & the Restless and TV Land’s The Exes. David lives in Los Angeles with his husband Joey, daughter Cielo and their rescue dog Lucy.