It’s not everyday that we meet a former chef turned event planner with a well-rounded perspective on planning weddings. But today is the day! With a background in culinary arts and luxury event planning, Thy Parra, event planner at EVOKE DC, knows a thing or two about creating amazing weddings. So we spoke with Thy to gain some insight on how to pull together a relaxing and enjoyable wedding that you’ll be proud to reminisce about years from now. Here’s what she had to say.
Kara: What is your signature style?
Thy: My signature style includes clean lines and timeless elegance. I design my events to emphasize and not clutter the details and overall look. I want my clients to look back on their wedding day and still love the look and feel of their celebration years later.
Kara: Are there certain design elements you rely on to make all of your celebrations extraordinary?
Thy: Customizing the celebration to reflect our wedding couples’ love and personality makes our event extraordinary. My goal is to produce a well-thought-out event that still looks and feels like our clients.
Kara: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Thy: As event planners, we are gifted with the opportunity to be a part of one of the most memorable celebrations of peoples’ lives. The most rewarding part of my job is to create an event that embodies and exceeds my clients’ visions. I love getting to know my clients and what they want to evoke for their event and taking it beyond their expectations and dreams.
Kara: How are you able to balance the needs of your bride with your own vision?
Thy: Planning a wedding is a collaboration between our wedding couple and the planner. We are respectful of our clients, their vision, and what is important to them. With that being said, certain ideas are better executed than others. Our goal is to produce our wedding couples’ vision beyond their expectations and give them other great options that will meet their needs should their vision not execute well for the event.
Kara: What is your favorite wedding trend right now?
Thy: Trends are temporary, so I don’t usually suggest trends for a day that our clients have been dreaming of and will be looking back on in years to come. Nonetheless, if I had to choose a current trend, it would be incorporating fun lounge furniture into the wedding reception. Lounge furniture gives a warm family feel to your event, and fun never goes out of style.
Kara: What three things do you feel are most important to having a remarkable wedding?
- Stay true to yourself and what you want for your special day.
- Add special touches for your guests so they feel that you appreciate them being a part of your wedding day. Personalized wine charms, a thank you note on each guests’ menu card, or an escort card table with photos of all of your guests can add a personal touch and show your guests that you thought of them.
- What makes a remarkable event is the energy that the guests exude (especially the bride and groom). Therefore, it’s important to keep in mind the audience and how to bring out the energy for the celebration. Will your guests enjoy a formal affair? What type menu will be appealing? What type of music will they want to dance to?
Kara: Do you have any “don’ts” when it comes to planning a wedding?
Thy: Don’t get overly obsessed with the wedding day. I try to remind my clients that although this may be one the most important day for them, it is still only the first day of the rest of their lives together. How you handle this process with one another is representative of how you choose to deal with one another in your new future together.
Kara: When you walk/scout a venue, what are the top three things you look for?
- Does the venue fulfill the space components for my client’s needs (i.e., ceremony, cocktails, reception)?
- Is the venue size appropriate for the number of guests that we are expecting?
- Does it reflect my client’s personality and what they want to evoke on their wedding day?
Kara: Are there any cost effective and unique ways to pull in fabulous design that won’t deplete a budget?
Thy: Hire an event planner. Many people perceive that event planners are only for high-budget events. But actually, a good event planner will help you design a fabulous event within your targeted budget. We work through the stresses of your budget at the beginning so that you can enjoy the planning process with no unexpected financial surprises. In addition, we have the relationships with industry vendors who will go above and beyond for our clients. We give experienced advice on what is worth your budget and what you can go without. Event planners will help use your budget wisely, yet find ways to make your event uniquely yours.
In general, I say leave it to the professionals, but sometimes the DIY touches can enhance the personal feel of your wedding and be cost effective for your budget. Handmade escort cards or homemade cookies for your guest welcome bags can give the personal touch.
Kara: Lastly, what’s the best piece of advice you can give to couples planning a wedding?
Thy: Relax and have fun with the process and your special day. Otherwise, what is the point? We can plan your perfect wedding with a beautiful room, fabulous menu, and amazing band; but a remarkable wedding begins and ends with the joy and love that our wedding couple shares with their friends and family.