Friday, 14 October 2011

Do I Need An Event/Wedding Planner?

A lot of people believe that it is only the rich and famous use wedding or event planners. And they not! They have the money to burn to throw fabulous parties, and if we had their money, I am sure we all would, right? But trends are now starting to change. We don’t live in a world any more where Dad goes out to work to support the family, whist Mum stays at home and tends to the children and the house hold. Mums are now working as well. The tending to the household is now shared between Mum and Dad during the evenings and weekends. So what do they do when it is time to plan a big party for the child’s sweet 16th or wedding? They work full time; where are they going to fit into their busy life styles planning a wedding or party.
Well let’s face it. We like to pretend we are superman, or wonder women, and for most of the time we are. But we all just don’t have all that free time to put the effort in to truly make an event an amazing success. We are a stubborn nation, and asking for help is not very… British is it? But hiring an expert, will allow you to enjoy your event, and make sure the party goes off without a hitch.
But before you consider hiring an event planner, you will have lots of questions to ask. Don’t be afraid to ask me! Here are the most common questions or statements, to help you put your mind at ease:

  1. "I can do everything myself, as my friends and family are going to help.”

Brilliant! That is exactly what I wanted to here. It’s amazing that your family and friends are willing to help out. However, if you have too many family members in loved, you may find that this will become ‘their’ wedding. I have had brides complaint to me in the past where, there family members were trying to force their idea’s upon the bride, which were not the brides tastes, and in turn family members would often squabble with each other over everything. However, hiring a wedding planner, doesn’t mean that your family can’t help out. Just the opposite in fact! The wedding planner is there to direct the whole process. For example, they might gather the family together for a meeting, and then assign tasks to each family member and help everyone in that designated area by putting them in touch with suppliers or helping to brainstorm ideas. So instead of taking this special event away from the family, the event planner would simply be there to help.

1 2. “I don’t want to make a decision yet as it’s too soon to start planning the event/wedding.”

I can see why anybody would think that, after all the event is over a year away. However, did you know that most large events or weddings take around 12 – 18 months to plan for? Therefore it is essential to get started with planning the event/wedding as soon as possible. Also a lot of reputable suppliers will be fully booked if you leave the planning to the last minute. You want to be at an advantage, to start booking early so that the best people are available for the event. After all, you want everything to go off without a hitch, so early planning is essential.

            3. "We are just having a small event; there isn’t a need to hire an event planner.”

Even though you are only having a small party, there is still a lot of preparations to do. All a small event means is less people, it doesn’t always mean less tasks. You still have to let everyone know about the party, via phone or sending out invites, ect. Then there’s the theme for, the decorations, catering, entertainment, such as hiring a DJ, or putting music onto an ipod, shopping for an outfit. Then on the day of the event, the venue (even if  it’s your backyard, living room) has to be decorated, making sure all breakables are moved out of the way, setting the food out, setting u a table for the food. Also if it’s a children’s party, what type of games will they be playing? Then afterwards, let’s not forget the clean-up. You also want to make sure all your guests get home ok. So after putting all this into consideration, every party has a lot that goes into it.
Remember as well, it is a small party therefore the price tag for these types of parties is usually a considerably lower budget than planning a soiree for 200 in an elegant ballroom.

4.       “You don’t have enough experience to plan my wedding.”

I myself am new to the industry, therefore my prices in the beginning will reflect this. The benefit for people looking at hiring an event planner is that you get to have your event planned at a much cheaper cost, and I get the experience. However no event planner will have no experience, so to put your mind at rest, ask to see their portfolios. I will happily show you mine. In fact you can see it right now. Search my blog for photo’s from some of the events I have done, or check out my Facebook page ‘The Grape Vine Events’ now.
When you sit down and talk with event planner about your idea’s, do you get a good feeling from them? Do you feel like they are listening to you and helping you to make your ideas come to life? Do they put you at ease and make you feel as though you can trust them? If in doubt, you can always ask to speak to some of my happy clients.  

1 5.      “I can’t afford to hire an event planner!”

A lot of people say this to me, and to be honest, when you think of celebrity weddings that are in magazines and on TV, we know they were all planned to perfection by a wedding planner! But lets be realistic here. We are not in Hollywood. Most of us work 9-5 jobs and don’t earn 6 figure sums. As an event planner, I can negotiate the best possible prices for you, so that you save money. On average, with many vendors who I am in contact with reduce their prices for me by around 10-15%. Therefore that is my fee already paid for. On top of this, it could also work out cheaper for the bride still. However I am also the best person to ask, for ways to look at budget friendly options so that you stay within that all important budget.

  6.  “Will your quote change, throughout the process?”

A very important question to ask your event planner. If they cannot give you a definite answer, then walk away now! I will sit down with the client and get a feel for the event, then come up with a tailor made quote. However a bespoke quote, could possible change. For example, if you decide to have a wedding reception, in your friends back garden for 40 people, then within 2 months the guest list has swelled to a whopping 300 and you would now like to hold the reception in a swanky city centre hotel, their original budget you would have set would now need to be completely reworked, and so would the quote as now the work load would have increased significantly. If this is a concern for you, I do have packages available to choose from that are a fixed price that will not change throughout the whole event.

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