If there’s anything you should know about the Invision team, it’s that we’re passionate about our clients. We love getting to know the fabulous women we get to work with, and now, we’re kicking off a new series on our blog to allow you the opportunity to get to know us, too! Today we’re introducing you to Julie Bunkley – owner, wedding planner and creative director of Invision Events. She’s a true visionary, design extraordinaire and an amazing friend, and we couldn’t feel luckier to work with her on a day-to-day basis. Check out the Q-and-A below to get to know Julie a little more, and you’ll know exactly what we mean.
Which factors in your background led you to pursue a career in the wedding industry?
My degree is in Public Relations. While this didn’t immediately lead me to the wedding industry specifically, I think it was a natural fit for me when creating the business, our brand and finding our voice within the market.
What’s your personal story on breaking in to the wedding industry?
I always knew that I wanted to be a business owner. Soon after my own wedding, I started working with some friends in town to direct wedding days on the weekends. It didn’t take long to know that I truly enjoyed the atmosphere of a wedding day and making the background of the event run while the couple enjoyed their day with no worries. From there, it was an easy decision to make weddings my career and began the journey of being a business owner and wedding planner.
From where did your vision and inspiration for Invision come? How did you decide on the name?
I knew I didn’t want to put my own name on the business. I wanted to be able to grow my business beyond my personal name. When I was thinking of what to name it, the word that kept coming back to me was envision. Everyone uses that word while discussing their wedding design – what they envision for their day. I decided to take that as my business name, but purposely spell it incorrectly. I wanted there to be a reason for people to remember it and for it to stand out in a subtle way.
In what ways has Invision evolved over the years? Was it planned or spontaneous?
Invision has grown from a single planner in a small town to multiple planners across two states. I can’t say that I wrote this into my business plan from the very beginning, but I always knew that I wanted to grow a team and build something that doesn’t exist only around myself. It took going through the recession and coming out the other side with a new resolve to make my business what I wanted it to be and not simply react to my surroundings.
Invision has a well-defined brand. How would you best describe it?
There are two sides to our brand: the aesthetics (what you see from our social media and such) and the personal touch (what a client experiences along the way).
Aesthetically, I would describe our brand as refined and thoughtful. It isn’t fussy. If we include a piece in our designs, it has a specific reason for being there and not simply to take up space. We truly want for the couple to shine through the design. While we have the guiding hand in any wedding design, we want our couples to see themselves in their wedding, not us. Because of this, we pride ourselves on being able to design for many different aesthetics. The grand, the classic, the organic, the formal, the minimal, the bold, etc. They each have a home within our brand.
On the personal side, our clients experience the people behind the brand. A wedding is nothing but personal. We couldn’t do what we do without being personal with our clients. Our clients know that being an Invision Bride means that their wedding is unique and their planning process is individual and meaningful.
How have you built your rockstar team, and how do you plan to develop in the future?
My father, who built his own company, always told me that you find good people and then let them do what they are good at. I love having strong women around me who know that I support them and in turn they support me and this business. Each of our planners has diverse interests and strengths. Being able to support them in their lives and what they love will only come back as positives for Invision Events.
You have a natural flair for design. Besides your career, in what other areas of your personal life does this play out?
My husband, Dallas, is a residential contractor. So, our personal home ends up being our ongoing renovation and design project. We are currently renovating a new (to us) house, so we are at the beginning of the design process again! Layouts are my favorite thing – whether its for a wedding or in our house. At home, Dallas and I can talk for hours about what walls we can move or take out completely, how flow between rooms will work, how to make a 70’s era ranch home (with characteristic lower ceilings and cut up spaces) feel airy and spacious to us who are both tall.
What is your favorite part of working with clients? What is the most challenging aspect?
My favorite part is the client themselves. Everyone is so interesting! Getting to know their backgrounds and their experiences that lead to them why they gravitate to a particular style for their wedding day. The challenge to that is being able to split the difference between being personally involved and being the business minded wedding planner who has a job to do. Until after the wedding of course, when we can all just go grab some drinks and talk about how much we loved their day!
Describe your wedding and your most vivid memory from that special day.
My favorite detail from my own wedding will always be my wedding dress. My mother is a talented seamstress and made my dress. We had inspiration from several designers. But it was amazing to go through a custom dress design process with my mother as the creator. My most vivid memory of my wedding day was saying my vows. I knew we were young (so young!) but I was absolutely sure about the decision we were making together.
Just for fun, describe your morning routine.
Since my schedule can change at the last minute and evenings are unpredictable, my mornings are my time for myself. When I wake up, I do the usual check through my email to see if anything has popped up that I need to take care of before starting the day. I double check my calendar so that I have my day schedule fresh in my mind. I also do a run through on my social media and get any posts ready to go. Then I go work out – whether at the gym or doing some mileage with my dog outside. I am an avid podcast listener, so that is my preferred background to my workout. News and opinion podcasts, some celebrity/pop culture podcasts. I am usually at my desk and working by 9 AM unless I’m hitting the road for a trip to our different markets.