When presented with the opportunity to plan a grand event, or you have recently gotten engaged whatever the case there is always that initial extreme excitement. Your mind begins to race at the possibilities: What will you wear, how long do you have to prepare, how many guests will you have, how much money can you afford, I have to call everyone and make sure they are available, where will the venue be….and the list goes on.
It is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of excitement, often you end up making quick decisions and forget about the details and important logistics of your event. Before you think about wardrobe, decor, music, photography and the belly dancers….focus on these 4 key things that are the foundation of your entire event: Number of guests, budget, venue and the date. After these things have been secured and locked down…go crazy on the mint leaves and rasberries that will be frozen in your icecubes!
I am not saying you have to write down everyone’s names including your best friends brother’s godmother but it is essential to have a MAXIMUM number of guests that you will not exceed. As long as there is a maximum you can scale down that number as you need too. Without a ball park idea as to how many people you want to attend or in some realistic cases how many people you can afford to have attend, you won’t know how large or small the venue will need to be. This falls right into having a budget ready so you know what you can and can’t afford, just as the number of guests and venue size go hand in hand. Having too many people in a small cramped venue because you didn’t budget properly and didn’t realize you invited too many people can put a damper on the atmosphere you want to create. Your guests WILL talk about it during and after the event.
Once you have determind the number of people that you wish to attend, begin to outsource your venue based on that number, the occasion and theme of the event and budget you can afford. Make sure you ask questions and you physically go and see the event space. The last thing you want is to have pillars in the middle of your sightlines for a fashion show and no one can get in a good picture. Ensure there are no extra costs depending on what time of year it is I.E Coat check. Do you get billed for the service or is it included in the pricing for the venue rental? What about extra security? Is it required…? Very important to make a list of questions for when you visit potential venues and make sure the needs of your event will be met.
Once the venue has been decided and there are no surprises, ensure you have several dates in mind in case the venue is booked or is unable to accommodate your first choice. Flexibility is key when it comes to booking, if the venue is exactly what you need but they are booked on the date you want, you need to be willing to push back or forward- if it is worth it.
Believe it or not…this is the most difficult aspect of planning an event…but if you can get through the excitement phases and put on the “Logistics” hat for a few weeks- it will be smooth sailing!