About Whitney Wing Drake

Hi again! I'm Whitney Wing Drake, owner of Essential Planner Company and host of the companion podcast Essential Wedding Podcast.

I'm a wedding coordinator, author, podcaster, and educator -- and I'm incredibly passionate about creating ways to help you bring your best self home.

I have a degree in Philosophy from UCLA and I am currently a Graduate Student at Dallas Theological Seminary, studying leadership. I began my professional journey as a super glamorous popcorn-scooper at the local movie theatre. Eventually I was coordinating events at Arclight Cinemas, which was a new marquee movie theatre located in the heart of Hollywood. Those early years were a BLAST because I got to help coordinate film premieres, press screenings, and private events.

Whitney Wing Drake, author

 As wild as that season of life was I started feeling called to create something of my own. So in the summer of 2007 I founded a wedding coordination company and named it Wish Wonder Dream. That was only a couple of months after my own wedding, which I planned myself. I guess I was hooked (or a little crazy!)

Friends, it is incredibly humbling to share that when I sold Wish Wonder Dream 12 years later it was the highest rated coordination company in Los Angeles* amongst many other accolades including induction into the inaugural class of the Knot Hall of Fame. 

I've had the privilege (and I don't use that word lightly) of planning over 500 beautiful weddings. Most took place in sunny Southern California, but I also worked in Napa Wine Country, London, England and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. 

(A highlights reel of some of the weddings I coordinated)

One of my more well-known weddings was featured on the TV show Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. Morgan Stewart and Brendan Fitzpatrick were stars of the show so their wedding planning was documented throughout season 4. I was focused on running my company at that time, so I wasn't actively coordinating weddings any more. But Morgan is my cousin, so I was happy to do it for her. I ended up having a great time making appearances throughout the season and their big day became the series finale of the show. Actually, their wedding ended up being my very last one.

(A scene from Rich Kids of Beverly Hills season 4 E! Network)

I have also had the pleasure of planning weddings for other celebrity clients, including Claire Jude Demorest (the lead actress in "Star" on Fox) to music producer Josh "Ammo" Coleman, Kayla Ewell (from "Vampire Diaries") to Tanner Novlan (from "Parenthood"), Marcus Grant (a VP at Def Jam Records) among others.

My international speaking engagements included the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners Annual Conference in London and the Roberto Miranda Educational Seminar for Brazilian Wedding Professionals.  And after selling my company, I became a college instructor and taught the Wedding and Event Certification Program at Collin College.

Friends, I share all this with you so you know where my heart is today. I am SO passionate about walking engaged couples through this incredible season of life. When I was a wedding coordinator, I could only focus on the wedding. But a wedding is about so much more than just a day, right? I also wanted to delve into all things marriage planning, because I strongly believe both your wedding and your marriage should be planned with intention. So, more recently, I became a Certified Facilitator (relationship coach) through Prepare/Enrich.

Anyway, to wrap it all up, I just want you to know that I poured my whole heart into the Essential Wedding and Engagement Planner and I sincerely hope that it guides you and your fiancé SO SO well through the intentional planning of the wedding day of your dreams and a marriage that lasts!


My Work Has Been Featured In:



From the Archives:

(Promo video from 2015 and growing the team!)


Jonathan Club Wedding Film from Visioneer Media on Vimeo.

(A styled shoot inspired by the French and Italian countrysides followed by an industry event for Jonathan Club in Downtown Los Angeles.)

(Promo video from 2013 and my first assistant!)

(Trend predictions for 2013.)

("Urban Picnic" styled shoot and industry event for L.A. Athletic Club in 2013. I asked one of my all-time favorite brides, Tisha, to host the promo video.)

("The Great Gatsby" styled shoot at L.A. Athletic Club.)

(Discussing wedding budgets in 2012.)

(Reminiscing about highlights of the year 2011.)

("A Toast To California" event I coordinated/co-hosted with Get Married Magazine in 2011.)

(One of the first promo videos I shot back in late 2010. I just had my first baby girl and headed back to the office. And by office, I mean living room).

(Taking it ALL the way back to one of my first weddings in 2007 with my sister/side kick.)