Let's face it, you can't possibly do everything yourself. At some point you are going to need help and in some cases you may need professional help. This leads me to my first event planning tip:
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
Yep, it's that simple.
When people who have big events coming up say that they plan on coordinating the event themselves or are having a friend or family member assist it always worries me.
I die a little inside when I hear from a newly wed that their wedding was a disaster or that they were stressed and running around the whole day of their event. It blows my mind mostly because it is something that can absolutely be avoided. I have seen too often that people will invest so much time and money just to be disappointed on the day of the event. By putting in all those hours of research and preparation you would expect that the event be successful and hopefully fun. Sadly, this is not the case for the majority that choose to do it on their own.
THE SECRET TO ENJOYING YOUR EVENT IS HIRING SOMEONE TO HOST IT FOR YOU.
That all being said there are only three reasons I can think of as to why people continue to do this or think that it's a good idea:
- They are underestimating the job.
- They are trying to cut costs.
- A family member/friend offered to do it.
Underestimating The Job
Unless you go through planning an event that you run on your own you probably won't know all that goes into it, but I can say that having a professional handle all the details leading up to the event will take such a weight off your shoulders. Some of these details include:
- Vendor coordination/communication
- Budget management
- Timeline checklist
- Guest correspondence
- Event marketing
- Event design
- Communicating with the venue
- And so much more
Not to mention day of details including:
- Keeping everything on schedule according to the timeline (this point alone should be all you need in order to make your decision for a planner but there is more)
- Being the point person (the person everyone is directed to with questions)
- Overseeing set up/tear down
- Constant communication with vendors and the venue on arrival times, set up, who needs what and when, etc.
- Payments to vendors
- And so much more
This is a job that you want to give to someone that is familiar with the challenges event planning can bring and is able to bring solutions to anything you may face. Not only will a professional coordinator be able to handle all the details they will also provide insight into cost cutting solutions and know all the best vendors that will provide you with a quality product. Trust me when I say it will save you so much grief if you start the event planning process consulting with a professional planner.
Trying To Cut Costs
I totally get it. Weddings and large scale events can get expensive FAST. However if you want a successful event with minimal stress a planner should really be a "need" rather than a "want" on your list of things to book. Factoring a coordinator or even just a day of coordinator into your budget will be something you thank yourself for later. An efficient planner will make it so that the day of the event you can actually enjoy the event as a guest rather than running around the whole time like the host.
A Family Member or Friend Offered
Please, please, PLEASE don't do this. I say this because I care and trust me I respect those that would offer their time and efforts to help their family and friends plan their wedding or their next milestone birthday or retirement party, but the best thing you can do for that family member or friend is to tell them to invest in event management. There is a certain order to things when planning a successful event and if you do not do it professionally your family/friend may run the event into the ground without knowing they're doing it. That leads me to my next point which is you don't want to hire a family member or friend because you are putting your relationship with that person on the line. I personally think it is never wise to mix your personal life with work, and when you are planning a large scale event like a wedding it is work.
There are so many benefits to hiring a professional compared to allowing someone you know do it, but here are just three. First of all you're paying them so they immediately have motivation to do an amazing job for you. Second, they are starting the job as someone you are not close to which will keep the professionalism level up ensuring personal emotions stay out of it. Hopefully by the time your event is over you are friends with your planner because they did such an wonderful job. Finally, as a bonus it is nice to have a planner because they can act as a shield for you from outside and unwanted input. For example, if you have someone suggesting you should have bright green linen for your reception because that's what they did and you don't want to hurt their feelings you can say something like, "Oh what a great idea, but I think my planner has already put in our order for linen. Maybe next time!" We have all been there...
Bottom line let your family and friends enjoy the event as guests and let your planner do the rest.
I hope you enjoyed this event planning tip and added something to your day!