I had the pleasure of meeting Edna Dratch-Parker of EFD Creative Event Planning and Design two years ago at a an Association of Bridal Consultants meeting in western Massachusetts. I connected with her immediately on a personal level like a long lost sister: we’re both sassy, not shy of sharing our honest opinions, dark brunette east coast girls who talk in rapid spurts of ideas and solutions. We both went to art school in the stone age as well as were in the field of art and design before going into the art of weddings. Oh, and a cool random fact as I asked about her last name: she’s very close with her cousin actor/comedian Rachel Dratch from SNL fame. I photographed Edna in her posh digs on Newbury and learned more about her business.
What made you want to be a wedding planner?
Weddings are a special occasion and I have been designing events for years in the marketing world. I’ve always thought the idea of applying my design and marketing background to help couples celebrate their big day would be a meaningful endeavor – something that would be rewarding to me personally. It also helps that the couples are really appreciative of what I do, and are thrilled when they see all the planning and design come together to create their vision. Being involved in someone’s most important day gives me great satisfaction and looking back on the photos is so much fun!
You say you do ‘wedding branding’. What’s that?
This is a design process that helps couples create their own unique look and feel or “personality stamp” for their wedding. This includes decorative touches, flowers and even texture – whether it’s the linens, the wedding program or favors – they all contribute to the overall look and feel. They combine to provide the “wow” factor because it’s the first thing that hits you when you walk into the venue. Branding is about creating this look and feel from the beginning to the end. The invitation will be the first hint to the guests of what the wedding will feel like – a black tie event will have a very different invitation from a country wedding. I have written an article on wedding branding that details all aspects of how branding can help a wedding.
When you first meet your bride-to-be, do they usually have most of their wedding vendors and venue selected, or do you give them a selection of vendors to pick through?
Many brides tend to have one or two basic vendors selected (such as the venue), but more often than not, they are relying on me for my recommendations of who to work with. I have to learn more about the couple before I select the vendors. There is so much to know about their personalities, their ideas for their wedding, their ‘must haves’ as well as budget constraints in order to make sure they have the right vendors to meet their needs. Understanding who they are as people and their style matters when picking a vendor, so I can match personalities.
You recently moved into a lovely space on Newbury Street. Has that made an impact meeting with your clients?
The most important benefit of being on Newbury Street is the flexibility it offers in meeting with Boston-based brides. Some clients don’t like to leave the city or they work in the area and it’s convenient to meet during lunch. The best thing about this location is being able to offer my clients a beautiful, cozy space to sit down, feel relaxed, and have fun being creative!
What makes you different from the other event and wedding planners?
There are so many talented wedding planners and I greatly admire their work. Each one of us offers something special to a client – whether it is our style or personality. In terms of what I offer, I would say it is my design background and years spent applying that to marketing/events and in the fashion world that have made me who I am today and created my approach to the wedding industry. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Maine College of Art in graphic design/photography and I bring those skills to the table when working with clients. I like to say they have a creative director, graphic designer and wedding planner all rolled into one! Congratulations on being chosen for ‘The Art of the Celebration: New England’ book that came out earlier this year. What do you hope that couples planning their wedding can take away from it?
My hope is that couples will see what great talent we have here in New England. It’s an honor to be in the same pages as all these other reputable designers and businesses!
The Art of Celebration New England is full of wedding ideas and photos from the top wedding vendors and experts.
Photography by Melissa Mermin, a wedding photographer who loves to work with wedding and event planners and lives somewhere between Boston and the Bay Area depending on the season and her mood.
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