Rachel Darwick and her husband Bryan own Eventures, a venue dressing and event planning company in Manchester. Here, Rachel chats to Emily Fitzgibbons about high-profile clients, her love of lavish weddings, and why there’s never a dull moment in the events industry.
What gave you the idea to start Eventures?
Bryan and I got married in 1997, in a marquee in our neighbour’s garden. It wasn’t like an event venue where staff would be on hand to help with the set-up and such, that’s when we thought we could do something like that. We started the business a couple of years later. Back then, venue dressers were rare, so we never planned for it to become this big. I worked for British Airways and Bryan worked in sales, we only expected it to be a part-time thing.
You offer a range of packages and services for lots of different events, which are your most popular?
We offer venue dressing, event planning and floristry. We also decorate venues and houses at Christmas, which has really become popular in the last three to four years. We decorate lots of large Wirral and Cheshire homes, it’s fun. We once designed and decorated a Christmas tree for a Russian Princess – she wasn’t even there for Christmas, it was just for show!
Any other high-profile clients you can tell us about?
Yes, many. We planned footballer Emile Heskey’s wedding from start to finish. We also worked with funnyman Jason Manford on his wedding at Shrigley Hall, and comedienne Sarah Millican’s wedding at Tatton Park – we did her birthday not long after too!
Which venues are particular favourites?
We do Manchester United’s match day flowers. We also dress The Lowry and Manchester Town Hall. For the last two years, we have decorated Chester Zoo and Malmaison Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham at Christmas.
You sound so busy. Do you ever get any free time?
There’s never a dull moment. Once all the summer events have finished, all focus goes into planning for Christmas decor, as that’s becoming increasingly sought after.
Which event do you love most?
I love unique, big budget, weddings and also home Christmas styling, as this is when we can be most creative. We love the design element and seeing the vision unfold on the day.
Any you’re not a big fan of?
I don’t dislike anything, but I don’t like unexpected curveballs, or when there’s pressure on time. This rarely happens, as we pride ourselves on planning and organisation, it’s what makes us good at what we do.
Finally, any do’s and don’ts for event planning?
Never cut corners, which can be hard if you are on a budget, but it’s best to avoid this where possible. Also, never underestimate time and always set timescales. It goes fast, and people often say afterwards they wished that they got us to do more of the details. If you’re working with a company, definitely find someone reputable and who you feel comfortable with.
We offer one-on-one consultations, and we take the time to design things with specific requirements and budgets in mind, no matter how long it takes – which is why clients have confidence in us!
By Emily Fitzgibbons