1) Decide on what type of party is suitable for you and your guests. Should it be formal or informal? Should it be a day or evening event? Should food be buffet style or a sit down dinner? Once you have these details, you will be able to start working on your theme as well as budget if it has not been determined.
2) Pick you event theme, date, and location. The sooner you can do this, the better. The advantage of setting your date in advance allows you to book your preferred vendors without any conflict of date. This is also your chance to be creative. Have fun when setting your theme and color scheme and think outside of the box. Depending on the day of your event, you may be able to piggy back on potential season enhancements. Also consider, budget-friendly times of the day, week, and year. Fridays and Sundays are typically less expensive than hosting an event on a Saturday.
3) If your budget permits, consider working with a full-service or day of event coordinator. Often times they have great recommendations for dependable vendors and tons of ideas that fit your budget and style. This person or team will help your day run smoothly and allow you to enjoy without worrying about the details.
4) Get organized! Keep a physical folder or even a desktop folder to store all of your contracts, paperwork, and inspirations. Also, use your smart phone to store all those appointments. You don’t want to forget about your cake tasting!
5) Interview different vendors in order to find the one that best suits your needs as well as your personality. Not only does price matter, but the relationship that is created during that initial interview is very important. You want your vendors to know your style and what your vision is so they can all work together to help achieve that special look.
6) Don’t forget details and accents when working with your vendors. Consider the lighting, catering options, table linens and tableware, guest favors, music choices and/or other entertainment. Often times your venue will let you work with a rental company to bring in the exact style that you are looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask if you want to update the standard chairs to a beautiful chiavary style.
7) Plan your menu! It is important to think about what you like as well as your guests. Be sure to pick appropriately based on the time of your event.
8) Create a timeline for the day or work with your trusted vendors to draft this. It is helpful to have a detailed plan for the day to keep things running smoothly. Although, be sure to have a “Plan B” in case of drastic weather changes or if something else goes awry.
9) Use a checklist as the event gets closer to be sure that no detail falls between the cracks.
10) Remember that the event is YOUR event, so don’t be afraid to get creative and add your special touch to the day.