Feyikemi Kukoyi, also known as FTK, is a seasoned international wedding and event planner with over 14 years of experience. Her expertise extends to curating, planning, and coordinating exceptional events. Renowned for exceeding client expectations, she is the creator of the annual luxury romantic experience, The Bond With Me 007 Series. In this interview with Tosin Clegg, she speaks on her journey, managing events, unveiling her annual romantic experience in Lagos among other things
Who is FTK and how did you come about the name?
FTK is derived from Oluwafeyikemi my first name, and the TK is my husband’s middle and last name as he’s fondly called TK. I would like to state that I demonstrate versatility by fulfilling the responsibilities of a wedding planner, a dedicated mother, and an affectionate wife. I’ve been married for 17 years now and my marriage will be 18 years by May 2024. My passion for orchestrating beautiful and memorable events is evident in my bold pursuit of excellence, turning dream into reality for clients celebrating their various events.
How did you get into the event and wedding planning industry, and what inspired you to pursue this career?
I began my journey in event and wedding planning after organising few friends and family members’ celebrations and realising my passion for creating memorable experiences. The joy of turning ideas into lasting magical moments inspired me to pursue a career in this dynamic and fulfilling industry.
You’ve organised countless weddings across different continents and seen several couples in love. What does Love mean to you?
Love to me means different things at different stages of life cycle, however overall, I’m romantic at heart and I feel super blessed that I get to have a front row seat at the different love stories I have been a part of via planning diverse weddings across the globe. Being involved in organising weddings across different continents and witnessing numerous couples in love, I see love as a universal force that transcends cultural boundaries and connects people on a profound level. Simply put by an international wedding and event planner, Love is a powerful and unifying force in the human experience.
Can you describe your approach to budget management when planning events or weddings and how do you ensure that you stay within the budget while still meeting the client’s expectations?
I meticulously assess the client’s priorities and allocate funds accordingly. Regular communication helps me understand their vision, allowing me to suggest cost-effective alternatives without compromising quality. Staying transparent and flexible ensures we create a dream celebration within the agreed-upon budget.
In what ways do you collaborate with vendors, and how do you go about selecting the right vendors for a specific event or wedding?
Collaborating with vendors is crucial. I establish strong relationships based on trust and communication. Understanding the client’s vision guides my vendor selection. I carefully vet vendors, considering their expertise, reliability, and compatibility with the event’s style, ensuring a seamless and cohesive execution. Also I prioritise open and consistent communication channels. Regular updates, clear documentation, and active listening help me understand clients’ expectations. For vendors, detailed briefs and scheduled check-ins ensure everyone is on the same page. Keeping lines of communication transparent fosters a collaborative and successful planning process.
What motivated the decision to initiate the annual Bond With Me event?
My mission was to create a space for singles looking for love and dating or married couples to put their love stories at the forefront and celebrate them. Since its launch in 2015, we have had over 2000 attendees engage in this one-of-a-kind Luxury Love Experience at some of the most sought-after venues, including Hotel Monaco in DC, Spirit of Washington DC Yacht, Sequoia Hotel DC, and Tampa, Florida. We have also been privileged to collaborate with some of the most innovative vendors to design, plan, and coordinate what can only be described as a once-in-a-love-time experience.
The theme, Bond With Me 007 what inspired it?
We are a premium international event planning company and wanted to curate a themed event that aligned with our brand and as such James Bond theme was the most appropriate in terms of look, vibe, and ambiance. The James Bond films are known for their stylish cinematography, memorable theme music, and the recurring elements of espionage, intrigue, and high-stakes action. The franchise has achieved widespread popularity and has become a cultural phenomenon over the decades.
Why Lagos for the next edition and what should we expect?
Lagos is the best canvas for such an event like this. We are going to change the narrative of the same ol’ same ol’ valentine’s day event. It is that “once-in-a-lifetime” type of event hence we’ve labeled it a Luxury Love Experience and that is why it is such an exclusive event. The Bond Fashion, the electric ambiance, great entertainment with top notch food complete with a champagne dinner are some of the experiences we have offered so far in previous editions. But we plan on replicating the effective planning strategies, engaging activities, successful collaborations and all the components that contributed to the success of previous events. The goal is to learn from past experiences and apply those lessons to enhance the quality and success of the upcoming event in Lagos.
Who are your target audience?
Matured, singles, dating, married couples and divorcees seeking a unique and upscale Valentine’s Day celebration with potential of networking and or meeting their significant other. Those who enjoy gourmet dining experiences, exquisite cuisine and upscale venues. People who appreciate the finer things in life and enjoy a luxury lifestyle.
What is the key highlight of the event that makes it different from other events?
The key highlight is the authentic James Bond experience, including themed decorations, elegant venues which we’ve chosen top notch ones over the years, and an atmosphere that reflects the sophistication and excitement of the Bond world. We create a glamorous entrance with a red carpet, paparazzi-style photography, and an overall VIP experience to make attendees feel like they are part of a grand Hollywood event. We infuse Bond-inspired activities, games that allow attendees to experience the world of espionage and thrill that is synonymous with James Bond movies.