Tag Archives: Event planning

5 Reasons Why You Need an Event Planner!

Planning an event by yourself may be a bit intimidating. Sometimes, its in your best interest to hire a professional to assist you in your planning. Think about it this way: You are a great cook, but you wouldn’t

dare take on the duty of cooking for your entire event of 200 guests. It’s too big of a task for you and you want to enjoy your event with your guests. So you hire a professional caterer. Well the same principle works here. Contracts, negotiations, and choosing the perfect vendors to provide all the details for your event is something that is time consuming and can be a tedious task if you are not familiar with the industry. Planners can provide you with their professional advice and help you meet your needs.

 Planners can do everything from complete coordination of your entire event, to just providing you with a list of vendors who fit your event and budget. Some offer event design and set up as a package and just day of management. Whatever you need help with when planning your event, an event planner is your best tool!

Still on the fence about hiring an event planner? Here are 5 reasons why you may need an event planner:

1. Planner’s know what’s in. Planners are your best resource for the latest trends for the event you are hosting. They can provide you with themes you hadn’t heard of. Their may be celebrity trends you’e never seen. Planners are very knowledgeable, because they have to constantly read and watch whats happening in society when it comes to events. Planners have this ability to introduce you with ideas and concepts that help you perfect all the details of your vision.

2. Planners know the best vendors that fit your budget, time and event personality. Planners have built professional relationships with vendors and have done tons of research for specific vendors in the past. So they know which vendors are a great fit for you and are able to provide what you need, within reason. Because they are familiar with the event planning industry, they can make sure that you are getting the best deals for your budget.

3. Planners know contractsUnderstanding contracts and knowing what to put into your contracts, may not come easy to you. We know that contracts and all their legal terms can be intimidating. However, a planner usually works with contracts all the time. They will even work up one for you, for their services and include everything you need and everything they will do to meet those needs. So they understand how contracts work and can provide you lots of assurance when it comes to those things!

 4. Planners know how to manage your event. Planners act as your liaison between you and your vendors. They already know what you want and expect from the vendors, but whats great about planners is that are great managers and know how to make sure you get what you ask for. They are also great at facilitating the day of. While you are enjoying your event, they are running things behind the scene.

5. Planners know how to plan the details. Planners are passionate and creative and experienced when it comes to planning events. You tell them your vision and they know how to make it happen.

 So while you a balancing all your duties at work and at home, let the pros do all the work for you!

For help with your next event, check out my company and shoot us an email, we would love to help you! 

Tips for Picking the Venue

All of your life you have dreamed of having your wedding outdoors! Now you’re engaged so that dream is coming alive! You also want to have the wedding a few days before Christmas because that’s your anniversary! Great! Everything is set! All you need to do is find the best venue with a great outdoor option!

Perfect right?!

Wrong! The wedding ceremony will take place outdoors, in December, in Chicago?! When planning an event, you come across issues that are beyond your control and your checkbook!  In cases like this, you may need to make a few adjustments to your plans.

When choosing the perfect venue for your event, there are a few things to consider:

1. What look are you going for with this event: the look will help determine whether you want to rent a banquet hall or an art gallery


 2. What is the budget for the event: Can you afford to rent a location for the event? Looking closely at the budget will help you determine if you are renting a location and if you can go to a downtown hotel or suburban banquet hall.

      If you need help putting together a budget for your event, contact me, I’ll help you with that! 

3. What is the size of the event: How many guests do you expect to invite to your event? If you are hosting an event for 200 people and its a sit-down dinner, you may not want to rent that intimate restaurant space you love. You have to consider how many people you want to attend in relation to the size of the venues you are looking at. As well as the style of the event.


4. What is the style of the event: The style of the event helps in the consideration of venue location too. This also goes hand and hand with the size. When thinking about the style of your event, think about whether you want a cocktail reception, sit down dinner, or a dance party, etc. This will help you choose a venue that can cater to the amount  of space you’ll need to have a sit down dinner or dance party comfortably.

 5. What season are you throwing the event in: This will help you decide whether or not you can have an event indoors or outdoors. Yes, you have always dreamed of an outdoor wedding, but if you plan to get married in the month of January in Chicago, that may not be such a good idea. It is important to consider your guests, they will freeze. If these people are important enough to share a special day with you, then they should be important enough to also be considered in the planning.

6. Is it in a centralized location: Where the venue is located is important for many reasons. For instance, if this is a wedding you are planning and the ceremony is taking place in a separate location from the reception; you should choose a reception venue near or not too far away from the 1st location. For the sake of time, you don’t want your second location two hours away and risk guest getting lost and not coming to the reception.

 These are only a few tips for choosing the venue for the event you are planning. For more helpful tips or any questions you have about venues, contact me!

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Working with Contracts

If you are not a  legal guru, then reading contracts can sometimes be very tricky. However, when you are planning an event and working with different businesses to  provide services for you, then a contract is a must!


Here are a few tips to help you when it comes down to contracts!

1. Tell the vendors everything you need within your budget:  When reaching out to the vendors it is very important that you explain to the vendor your needs or expectations from their business and what you can afford to spend. This helps the vendor determine if they can help you and how they can help you. If you explain that you want a sit down dinner of Mexican cuisine, for 100 people, on a $7,000 dollar food budget, including linen and bar services then the vendor can work with you better to develop a proposal that fits your personal needs. You have to be clear and tell them all your needs so they can add this into your contract so the vendors know what you expect of them and what they are required to do if they are hired for your event.

2. Read EVERYTHING: Read every inch of a contract. At this point, you may have gone back and forth with a vendor on what you need from them and what they can offer you, so the service is properly tailored to your needs. This will be outlined in the contract. More importantly, the vendor’s policies will be outlined here. You need to read every section and understand every policy. You can even ask vendors questions for clarity. There may be room to even negotiate a policy. For example, a venue I worked with had a specific vendor list for their caterers that you were allowed to use. If you used a caterer outside of this list, you were to pay an additional $500. This fee was usually charged to the catering company, but the catering company would add this to your fee. All of this was spelled out in the contract, you just have to read it carefully. You want to avoid any surprise fees. Also, pay attention to every fee that is charged, because these are aligned with your  expectations. Some companies charge an additional delivery fee and some don’t. Pay close attention to pay structures (how much and when you pay), the cancellation fee and deadline, and the down payment fee.

3. Negotiating: Don’t be afraid to question some policies. For example, the same venue with the preferred caterer list did not include a company that we were interested in. However, the catering company included the venue on its preferred vendor list. The catering company even offered to pay 5% of your rental fee if you used this particular vendor. After seeing this information, I emailed the venue contact and asked him if we could get around the extra $500 fee because of this information. We were able to avoid the fee because of this. So speak up and read. Negotiate the information that works best for you.

I know contracts are tedious! But its important to have contracts for every business you work with on your event. Even your event planners! Contact me if you need further help with reading and negotiating contracts, I’ve got your back.

5 Tips for Successful Party Planning

Event planning requires a great deal of organization. There are so many aspects to planning an event that if you are not organized, things will get out of hand.

Here are some solutions that will ensure the event that’s making you pull your hair out is indeed a success:

1. Write things down: Get a notebook and pen specifically for the event you are planning. They are essential tools to you on this planning journey. Use this notebook for ideas, notes from vendors, and anything related to this event.

Also it helps to keep all paperwork in relation to the event you are planning in one place and together. Designate a file/folder/cabinet to keep up with contracts, proposals, receipts etc. 

2. Brainstorm: What do you want this event to be like? Does the event have a theme? Use the first page of your notebook to jot down the ideas you have about this event. If this is a vintage wedding, write down the aspects of this wedding that are vintage that will go with this theme. This will paint a picture of what you need to have for this event.

3. Set a realistic budget: Now that you have gotten out ideas for the event, examine how much you are willing to spend. In correlation with this step, it is important for you to factor in how many people you plan to invite. According to Wedding Guide Chicago, the average wedding cost for a wedding in Chicago of 150 guests is $30,000 dollars. Setting a realistic budget and guest size will help you stay on task and get the most for your money. If you know you can only spend $3,000 dollars on food and alcohol for your event, your catering search will be easier and quicker and you will be able to work with vendors to get what you need within your budget.

Planning a wedding? Email me for a free copy of my wedding budget worksheet! 

3. Research: Use your budget to help choose vendors for your event. Create a list  for each category to help you narrow down your vendor selections. (Photography, Venues, Caterer etc.) Have five really good vendors for each category. Use Google, word of mouth or consult a planner for vendor recommendations. Read reviews on Yelp!. Schedule appointments to view locations, and to meet with caterers, florist etc.

4. Create timelines: Set deadlines for yourself to stay on track. Also some events like weddings require their own timelines. For instance, at least 12 months before the wedding date, the caterer, venue, and florist should be booked. Consulting an event planner for timelines for event planning is a great tool as well.

5. Relax! Have fun!: Event planning can be stressful but its so great seeing all your hard work and energy come together to create a special experience for you, your family and friends. If you need a little more help consult an event planner! We are the experts and we will take your vision and create an awesome day! We will even take on the stress and everything else that comes from planning the event! Shoot me an email! I have your back!