AANHPI Heritage Month: Layunin Events

Author: The Event Community

Date: May 23rd 2023

Image Credit: Sisterlee Photography

AANHPI Heritage Month: Layunin Events

Image Credit: Sisterlee Photography

May is AANHPI (also known as AAPI) Heritage Month! 

As we celebrate the vibrant cultures and contributions of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community, we are delighted to shine a spotlight on two incredible individuals: Jezyrose and Darryl Boediarto, Owners & Principal Planners of Layunin Events based in Southern CA (Orange County/Los Angeles County).

Throughout this Q&A, we delve into the personal and professional paths that Jezyrose and Darryl have navigated. Their experiences shed light on the challenges they have overcome, the milestones they have achieved, and the invaluable lessons they have learned along the way. By sharing their stories, they inspire us to embrace our identities, pursue our passions, and make a positive impact.

Jezy & Darryl, please give readers a short introduction about you, your cultural heritages, and your business, Layunin Events  +  the services that you offer. 

Hello Friends! We are Jezyrose & Darryl from Layunin Events, a husband and wife team and Asian-owned event planning company based in OC/LA County. We specialize in weddings - offering month of coordination, partial planning and full planning & design services - as well as social & corporate event planning/production. 

Jezy: I am a first generation immigrant born in the Philippines and Darryl is second generation (half Indonesian and half Mexican) and we’ve always had a heart for entrepreneurship. When we were coming up with our business name, it was important to us that it was not only unique but it represented who we are and why we do what we do. Our business name “LAYUNIN” is a Tagalog word that means “purpose”, which we chose as an ode to the Filipino culture as well as a representation of our faith and our heart to love and serve others. 

Darryl: We are passionate about helping people experience an effortless, elevated & thoughtful planning service and our hope is to make a difference in people’s lives - one celebration at a time. :)

Please tell us how it all began! How did Layunin Events come to be and what was life like for you both at the time?

Jezy: Layunin Events started out of our hearts to help people feel special, celebrated, and cared for on one of the most important days of their lives – their wedding day. I’m a hopeless romantic and a nurturer at heart so wedding planning easily became one of my biggest passions. From 2011 to 2016 I turned this passion into a side hustle, freelancing as a wedding planner and eventually working for an event & catering company as their executive assistant and in-house wedding coordinator. In 2016, I left the wedding & event industry to pursue a corporate career in tech; but, when the pandemic hit, I was unfortunately part of the massive layoffs that occurred and was forced to reassess my career. During Darryl and I’s wedding season, my heart for events got reawakened and God showed me that my passion for entrepreneurship, combined with my heart for event planning was that thing I could wake up to do - every single day - and truly enjoy. So with my husband’s love and support, I stepped outside of the comfort of a steady paycheck and amazingly enough, he not only cheered me on, he partnered with me to pursue starting a business together. 

Starting any small business is challenging. What is the most difficult thing you have had to face as small business owners? 

Darryl: Probably the most difficult thing we had to face was navigating our business during a really tough season. Although it was exciting to pursue a new venture it definitely was not easy getting to Layunin Events. The journey was surrounded with trials, loss, and grief. We were also just 2 months married when we started making decisions to do this; so, with navigating a new chapter in our life as husband and wife plus the difficult circumstances around us personally and financially - it wasn’t easy for sure. But we thank God for always providing and for keeping our relationship safe through it all. I really believe the challenges only made us stronger together.

Jezy: I would agree and also, the decision of taking that step to pursue our own business was a challenge on its own. There were a lot of reasons for that. But one reason was because growing up as an Asian American, there were things I had assumed I wouldn’t be able to achieve, because I rarely saw leaders in those industries look like me. In fact when I first started thinking about wedding planning in the early 2010s, social media wasn’t a thing for wedding businesses quite yet. Most of the advertising I saw were done in bridal magazines where I rarely saw Asians or Asian owned event businesses get published. Because of that, I always saw what I did as a side hustle rather than an actual career. I didn’t know if someone who looked like me could successfully start their own planning company and make it in this industry.  Fast forward to today, it has been the most encouraging thing to see the event community a lot more diverse, more welcoming, and most especially, filled with so many talented and incredibly creative Asian American planners, leading the way in the industry. It’s truly empowering and has been more encouraging to pursue this dream today than ever before. 

How has your cultural heritage influenced your journeys as entrepreneurs in the events industry?

Jezy: One of the things I love about our Asian culture is that honor and respect are ingrained in our identity. And in an industry that’s built on service and hospitality - honor and respect is huge and much needed! When we work with our couples and their families, we make sure that we aren’t only taking care of our bride & grooms, we are honoring their parents, family and friends. We also make sure that we are being respectful to the entire vendor team, making sure they are well and cared for. Helping our couples feel seen and taken care of requires these two things and without honor and respect, the purpose behind what we get to do is lost or incomplete. 

What advice do you have for other aspiring Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) entrepreneurs looking to break into the events industry?

Darryl: Represent our heritage well by being unapologetically yourself while also remembering to stay humble and to always do everything in love. There’s nothing more exhausting than doing something because you “have to”...not because you “get to”. From what I’ve seen, I think in order to succeed in this industry, being authentic, kind and confident goes a long way. So, be true to yourself and don’t get lost trying to be someone else. Be proud of your Asian heritage. 

Was there a specific moment you both experienced while working in the events industry that made you realize the importance of diversity and inclusivity?

Jezy: I don’t know if we have any one specific moment that comes to mind because we see the importance of it in every single event we’ve done. Without diversity we would be ignorant of the different and beautiful ways events are celebrated out there. When a client comes to us about a cultural event we’ve never done before, we get so excited because it’s an opportunity for us to learn about others and strengthen our skills as planners and designers. Not only that, different backgrounds, perspectives, and cultures allow us to broaden our creativity. There is so much beauty when there is unity in diversity and it’s incredibly important to allow for this so we can grow, develop and gain understanding of one another. 

Would you like to shout out your team, friends, family, or other friendors (vendor friends) who have helped you personally or professionally? Shout them out and write them a message of gratitude!

First, our thanks belong to God because we simply wouldn't be here without His provision, guidance and love. Second, our family. We are so thankful to our family - most especially our parents. We wouldn’t be able to pursue this business without their help and support. Without their trust and confidence in us - we don’t think Layunin Events would have even been birthed at all! Third, our church family. We are so grateful for our pastors, leaders and community at Cityline Church. They are not only one of our biggest cheerleaders, they’ve allowed us to utilize their space and resources to help grow our business. Their care for our personal and professional well being is huge. Fourth, our team. If there’s one thing people should know about wedding & event planners is that we wouldn’t be able to do any of it alone. We are so thankful for our amazing team who help us. They are a big part of why we are able to successfully execute our events. They are total rockstars! Fifth, our event community (including THE event community!). We are huge advocates of community over competition and are so grateful for the community of planners and vendors that we have in this industry who have mentored us and/or continue to cheer us on. It has been so refreshing to have a community to lean on and relate to in this massive industry. Lastly, our clients, because we really wouldn’t be here without our couples who entrusts their special day into our care 🙂

A heartfelt thank you to Jezyrose and Darryl Boediarto for sharing their inspiring insights during this AANHPI Heritage Month Q&A session. Your voices and stories have enriched our understanding and appreciation of the AANHPI community. We are grateful for your presence and the positive impact you continue to make.

Contact Jezyrose & Darryl Boediarto

Vendor Profile: Layunin Events

Instagram: @layuninevents

Website: https://www.layuninevents.com/

More Photos of Layunin Events

Photographers: Garrison Charles Photography, Sisterlee Photography, Steven Nguyen Photography, Joe Kim Studios, Kayla Denae Photography, Nikki Medina Photography