Whatever the occasion or reason you are gathering together, your event requires some thought to ensure it flows smoothly and is free of stress.
Here are a few important considerations to make when organizing your next event:
1. Choose a suitable location: Secure your venue first. Consider what each venue has to offer and what you will be responsible for providing. Event time, guest count, menu, style or theme (if this applies), budget, equipment needed (tables, chairs, linens, china, decorations, etc.) are all factors that need to be considered to plan a successful event. Your venue and reception is approximately 48% of your event budget.
2. Budgeting: Planning an event is much like hiring a contractor to remodel your kitchen. You pay for what you get and for the services needed. Duties to consider include:
- Who will setup guest tables, set tables, decorate, etc
- Bar setup, beverages, ice, equipment, desserts, tables
- Food service style: Buffet, Family Style, Plated
Clean up, tear down
- Ordering and coordinating rentals
3. Choosing your Caterer: Many wedding venues are very rustic and have little or no facilities for cooking. It is important to choose a caterer with experience cooking under some unique conditions. Each site has specific rules regarding what is allowed, services they provide, etc. Your catering quote is based on not only the meal chosen, but the service hours on site.
Eating seasonal food makes good sense and is the most cost-effective way to choose your dishes.
4. Guest Count: Your caterer will ask for a final guest count as the date gets closer. Unfortunately, many people still do not RSVP, so most caterers plan for a slight overage. But, if you are concerned about final attendance numbers, increase your final guest count number. Ask your caterer if leftovers that are safe to eat can be taken home or let them know if you prefer to have them donated.
5. Coordinators Are A Lifesaver: Consider hiring a professional wedding coordinator for the day of the event. This should not be someone in the wedding party or a relative directly involved with the festivities. The coordinator is the first one on site and the last one to leave. The coordinator's job is to make a realistic timeline and keep the party on schedule. In the end, this can save you money if you are running late and need to pay vendors for additional time spent on site.
6. Garbage and Clean Up: The party is over and a great time was had by all... now comes the clean up. This typically means packing up decor, removing linens, sometimes taking down and putting away tables and chairs, as well as hauling away garbage. Think about how you will be feeling after a long day. It might be best to hire a clean up crew.