What To Plan When You’re Planning To Plan

…still with me? 🙂

What are we planning together? Wedding? Birthday? Anniversary? Are we going pro with some corporate events or (one of my favorites) a non-profit fundraiser? Yes? Good. Because, at least when working with me, they will all be treated with meticulous detail, creativity and a rockstar team of vendors.

It’s my job as your planner to recruit a team that transforms a space into what you envision. So that’s where we start. I’m a direct person (people who know me, laugh here) and I’ll be upfront about what is possible on your budget or (stay with me) what things we need to let go of/get creative to make happen. That being said, I will use all of my creative resources to create the space you envision. Your planner should set these expectations with you up front and then the fun can start as you create and build something wonderful together.

Next up, venue. This is the super fun part for event planners and their clients. Touring venues, talking decor, brainstorming the transformation. I love it.

Let’s talk vendors. I have a hard and fast rule that we must have a photographer at an in-person event. No, it can’t be your friend with a good iPhone–I mean, they can take photos too and post all over social using our custom hashtag–it has to be a professional photographer. Don’t worry, planners know lots and with all different kinds of portfolios and price ranges. Depending on event, we may need florists, decor rentals/styling, printing, tables, tents, chairs, linens, serving, cutlery, disposable or not? Buffet or plated? Sound system, band/DJ, catering. Don’t worry, I have a list we can go through. All this to say, be open with your planner about your budget. It is important to plan for the event you can afford. That’s why you hired a planner. To stretch the dollar and connect the dots. We like doing that, we do it a lot. And we’re good at it. Tell us where you’re at :).

As we get closer to the event, you will start hearing more from your planner. If it is me, I like to keep a timeline for prep and a timeline for the day-of-the-event, or Day-Of Schedule. Prep timeline documents include dates of interviews with vendors and deadlines to select, meeting times between you and me, and detailed deadlines regarding details of the event, to name a few.

The day of the event, expect to see me everywhere and know that I am fully available to talk with you at any time. My goal however, is to stay as much behind the scenes as possible because this process has never been about me and the day of the event is no different. The day of the event is about you and what you are celebrating. And I will be there to make sure everything that we agreed on is going to happen.

I wish I could tell you exactly what to expect from your planner with each event. How to make each wedding a magical wonderland or each fundraiser a record breaking revenue night. But the truth is, each event is unique and variable and to do it well, you can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. It depends on budget, personality, availability, weather (for crying out loud)…the list goes on. What you should look for most in your planner is how transparent they are with you, how they listen to you and how they approach obstacles/barriers. And details. Oh please, make sure they can handle the details. Whether you think it’s a slam dunk simple project or a “I can handle it” situation, there will be details and things go wrong the day of the event. That’s not really the issue. Why? Because your planner (should be) trained to identify them, deal with them, and keep moving without ever showing anyone what’s happening behind the curtain.

So, what should you plan when you’re planning to plan an event? Find a good event coordinator, and let them do it.