BY ALYSSA MAHADEO
The journey to your perfect day starts with a leap of faith. Making the decision to spend the rest of your life with someone and face the world together through thick and thin. Behind that candle lit dinner and romantic proposal was hours of planning dedicated to ensuring that moment would be just right and you can’t expect anything less once your big day arrives.
Alisha Chadee and Michelle Brijlal are two bright young Guyanese-Canadian women, born and raised here in Toronto. They grew up at opposite ends of the city; Alisha living in the west end in Malton, while Michelle spent most of her life in the east end residing in Markham.
Alisha had originally intended on going to university to become a lawyer eventually heading to a career in Family Law. Instead she had opted for a career in education attending Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, graduating and possibly heading to teacher’s college. After graduating, the recession had hit the economy and so needing to pay back student loans she took a low-level job at a bank downtown. Alisha worked her way to the top eventually moving into adult education within the company, in the project planning and learning development department. Although she was great at her job, it didn’t allow her the ability to flex her creative imagination. The dull and mundane rigidity of the 9-5 corporate world was too restricting and she hoped there would be a time when she didn’t have to beg for time off work.
“I realized if you focus your time and productivity into short bursts it makes more sense because you actually get a lot more done,” shared Alisha discovering where her strengths were and looking for ways to make better use of her time.
Alisha began to enjoy her job a little more after joining the social committee in charge of helping plan the corporate gala. It allowed her to exercise her creative expression and the planning and organization aspect was something she could get excited about.
Michelle had made the decision to pursue Psychology, but before heading off to University realized it didn’t mesh well with her personality. Instead she applied to art school and was accepted into the Art Institute of Toronto where she learned about the colourful and creatively clad world of graphic design. During her time, she learned a lot about putting together advertisements and web design. After graduation, she headed straight into full time employment as an in-house graphic designer where she still works today.
Michelle and Alisha met through the internet while they were both still in University, and they became fast friends. When the internet became the place to be and people wanted to design web pages many of them would reach out to Michelle for help. Both Michelle and Alisha bonded over MSN and became great friends sharing creative ideas, while also begrudgingly resenting the life of being a corporate zombie. They have remained close friends for the past fourteen years, before finally deciding to become business partners in Events by Whim.
Events by Whim did not initially start off as a wedding planning company. Originally they thought that they would be more involved in the organizational aspect of corporate events, galas or birthday and milestone parties. The idea came to them one miserable day while at boot camp after a particularly hard week at work for them both at work. They felt as though they weren’t being heard at work, their ideas and potential were being wasted with each passing day.
Revisiting their personal strengths Alisha knew that while she wasn’t very hands on with her creativity, analytically she could visualize what she wanted to see and Michelle could take her creative concepts and make them into something much more tangible. Realizing they were onto something both Alisha and Michelle decided to establish their very own event planning and design company.
Whim was founded in 2012, and during their first two years they spent time researching and understanding the industry and the types of events that they enjoyed pulling together. They did a lot of volunteer work and free events to get a feel for what they were getting themselves into and to make sure they knew what they were committing to 100%. They put a lot of their effort into how they would brand themselves, brainstorming different ideas and exploring where the company would go.
“How can you know what you like to do if you don’t get in there and just do it?” shares Alisha
In 2013, in the process of planning her own wedding, Alisha and Michelle took the Wedding Planner Institute of Canada course to get an inside understanding of the wedding industry, applying their new-found knowledge in both personal and professional aspects. After the course, they helped plan a few weddings and in 2014 gathered all their research and made it into a full-time venture.
Events by Whim is an event planning and design company organized with their clients in mind. At Whim, they want their clients to be well-informed, armed and fabulous as they navigate through planning their very special event!
They sit down with their clients one on one and take them step by step through the planning process. They seek to understand all their clients on a personal level so that they can put together thoughtfully tailored materials that will help them determine their ideal wedding style and bring any wedding vision to fruition.
Every year contemporary brides, otherwise busy with career or other life happenings face many challenges in designing their own weddings. Considering that, on average the planning of a wedding takes about 250+ hours which is a lot of time spent agonizing over the endless details. Many couples become overwhelmed by the tedious tasks involved and hire a wedding planner.
Whim Event Planning and Design offers many services to choose from including full planning, to partial planning and even months of coordination to ensure that your dream becomes a reality. They offer decor packages as well as custom invitations and event branding so all the enchanting details are covered and your love story is captured perfectly. Events by Whim is known for their elegant and romantic weddings with personal charm. They go the extra mile, treating their clients like family when all is said and done.
“Investing in a wedding planner saves you so much time and money,” Alisha explains. “Opportunity cost is important and your time is valuable. Hiring a wedding planner can help save you money by streamlining your wants and needs to the people that can best serve you; sorting out those abstract thoughts in your head and turn it into an actual event.”
Make your next occasion a whimsical event. They’re the fun kind of crazy, sort of like when you’re falling in love!