I wanted to write this article to help bring ease to planning any event. When I was planning my own wedding I had no idea about anything. But I learned so much through my experience that I wanted to share some great tips with you. I also worked with a few caterers and know about food, service and menu ideas. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have in the comments. Included in this post is a quote from my cousin who kindly offered to share her expertise with event planning.
I will first add that If you can hire an event coordinator/organizer do it! It will save you so much stress and also you will enjoy the party and be in the moment. As for me I learned though the process and I’m here to share all the details of how to go about doing things early so you don’t stress. Let’s get started.
Plan a year in advance. I’m not kidding. Some venues are booked a year in advance and also have paper work that needs to be completed. Also food tasting is involved and menu planning. You also have to establish food allergies and guest lists so yes! Plan a year in advance! Make sure all the people involved in making your event happen, show up at the venue at the right date and time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others. Team work makes things flow better. You can’t do everything your self.
What is your budget? Make sure you know how much you can spend and budget your party accordingly. Don’t overspend in one area because you won’t have enough money in other areas. It’s all a balance and finding the right people that will give you the best price and quality.
The first most important thing when beginning to plan an event would be deciding your date. Then making a guest list of whom you plan on inviting. Then finding the appropriate venue that will accommodate all of your invited guests. Next would definitely be the theme for your party. Following that I would work on putting the menu together. Those are some of my important party planning tips. -Eve Lacey
SET THE DATE
It is so important to have a date set. Keep in mind not to book a date too close to a holiday like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day because people usually like to do their own thing on those days. If you are planning a Church ceremony make sure that both the Venue and Church are available for you on the date that you select. Book a date that is not close to a popular Holiday.
Don’t invite the entire world! Invite people that are close to you and want to share the special day with you. You don’t have to invite everyone you’ve ever known! I personally enjoy receiving invitations that are unique and tie into the theme of the party. It’s like the prescreening event. A hint of what’s to come. A response card is very important and a RSVP date as well. Also add a food restriction area so people can tell you in advance what foods to avoid on their menu.
VENUE & MENU
16 years ago I chose a venue that was used by everyone. It was a Big Fat Greek and Portuguese wedding. If I could go back in time I would use a unique venue that reflects my relationship with my husband and our characters. I would make the ceremony and event in one place instead of two places and I would find a venue that is unique and different. Maybe a building with art and architectural features that stand out like the ROM or ART Gallery. I feel that depending on your theme your venue can reflect your love and passion. I think barn weddings are beautiful and also backyard parties can be so much fun. Get some amazing party ideas on Pinterest! So many things you can pin for your party ideas.
Some venues have catering available in house and some you can bring in your own caterers. Check out the menu in both and also the cost per person. Make sure the venue can take the number of guests you planned for.
Food is very important. I feel that if you feed your guests the right food they are going to be happy. I’m a huge food lover and I’ve worked in a few venues that involve amazing food. The menu is great when they accommodate people that are vegetarian and have allergies. Always make sure they offer you various options. If you are having pasta make sure you offer a white and red sauce. Some people don’t like white creamy sauce and prefer tomato sauce instead. You can also just have an d’oeuvres party or a buffet style party. It all depends on the theme of your event. If it’s a country style party you can have BBQ. It can also be a fusion of two themes! The possibilities are endless!
Events are lovely in my opinion when they include flowers and candles. I love having flower arrangements because they look beautiful, they set the mood and smell incredible. Before buying candles always ask the venue if that’s allowed. Some venues allow small candles and some don’t allow it at all. The great thing is you can buy candles that are battery operated and still get a beautiful candlelight effect. Depending on your theme the florist can discuss what’s in season and or what will compliment your party. You can choose your colour and flowers just the way you like them.
I personally love sweets and love when there is a little candy, chocolate or cookie as a gift. I don’t like taking centrepieces. I pray to God they stop doing that at Weddings and Baptisms. Especially if they are the tall bloody vases that no one wants. Please stop the insanity! LOL Favors are a lovely way of saying thank you for coming. I personally love treats and sweets.
There are so many amazing DJ’s and the best way to see how good they are is see them in action. You can ask them to see their videos. I would totally recommend listening to the music you want and talking to the DJ to see if they have your music selection. I’ve seen a few DJ’s at events that I really liked. One is GIMMEMAR. She is amazing. The other is Lisa Monet which I saw her do her thing on Cityline Taping. So inspiring!
Photographers and videographers can be so expensive so I would totally recommend finding the right person for your budget and also read reviews. Sometimes photography students are more affordable and do a better job. Check out photographers from Universities and Collages. Ask friends and family for recommendations as well. If you spot something you like at an event keep that info for your event as well. I love photo booths at events they are so much fun.
THANK YOU CARDS
I personally love a hand written thank you cards. It makes the memories of the event really special and it also makes you feel appreciated that you shared the special day with friends and loved ones. It’s also nice to buy handmade cards from ETSY. Hand made items are so special.
I hope this article has helped you in some way. I truly hope that your event goes amazing and remember that if something doesn’t go your way on that day it’s truly not a huge deal. It might seem it’s the end of the world but people want to see you happy and share time with you. So don’t worry about the small stuff. Enjoy your day and make special memories.
You don’t have to do what everyone else does. Traditional is not bad at all but go for what you like! If you like hand made items go for that! If you want to play your own music at your event totally do that. It’s all up to you. Don’t feel pressure to follow the “norm” what ever that is. I would totally change things if I could go back and do things the non traditional way. But that’s just me. I truly wish you all the best with any event and please feel free to ask me any questions. I’m always here to help.