“Your job is so stressful! You really like it?!”
YES. I do.
And to be fair, being a wedding planner doesn’t need to be as stressful as it sounds. It’s all in the planning.
My labor of love is to help my clients have a rockin’ good time. But I understand that not everyone can afford a wedding planner (or event planner for you mama’s out there planning your kid’s parties).
I’m sharing some of my exclusive party planning techniques to help you be a guest at your own shindig. Because my other labor of love is to help as many people as I can.
Whether your planning a birthday party for your little, an intimate dinner for close friends, or planning a DIY wedding, these pro tips will help to get your shizzle together and still have time to look glamourous.
1. Schedule time to plan.
By far the biggest reason people can’t get things done is because “they don’t have time.” Let’s be real, folks. If you can make time for Instagram, Facebook, You Tube, and stuffing your face with gelato (one of my favorites, by the way), you got time to do almost anything. If you want this soiree to go off without a hitch, you need to make time to plan it. Schedule a block of time every week to plan and actually write this down in your calendar so you’re committed to doing it.
2. Make a mood board.
A “mood board” is a group of pictures, fabrics, and/or words that exemplifies the colors and feel of the party. Fit it all neatly on to one sheet of paper – take out the photos that don’t match. This is NOT a inspiration pinterest board. Next, guard this paper with your life. Guess who your next best friend will be while shopping for party supplies? That’s right! This gorgeous piece of paper! If you see an item at the store and it doesn’t “fit” into your mood board, put it back down. You don’t want it. This will help you from over-buying and going home saying to yourself that you need to return it.
2. Create a focal point.
What’s a focal point? Any area you want your guests to look at and will probably take pictures of. Don’t try to spread your energy and efforts thin trying to do everything. Instead, choose one area that you want your guests to focus on and spend most of your energy on that view.
3. Sketch the focal point.
This will be an invaluable tool to help sort out the details of where things go, if you have too much pink and not enough gold in one area, or if you need more glitter or balloons (you can never go wrong with more balloons or glitter in my book). Then, sketch out focal point by itself (i.e. dessert table, dining table, etc.). Save these, for number 6 below.
4. Sketch the lay out.
Imagine you’re sitting high up on your mighty chair looking down at your party and map out where everything will go. Which way are your guests faced at the table? Is there enough light over the cake? What does the flow of the room look like?
4. Make a timeline.
This is essential if you’re planning your own wedding, but it’s also very useful if you’re having a nice dinner at your home. Designate a time to pick up the flowers, set the table, chill the champagne, start the grill, and bust out the candles on a cake – even if you don’t follow it, you’re drawing a mental roadmap of how long certain activities could possibly take and who can help you do them. In the end, you’ll have better expectations of what can actually be done in the amount of time you have to prepare.
Remember that pie you asked your Aunt to make? Make a cute card that identifies what it is and who made it. Food items you have on your table? Label it. Kiddie’s goodie bags? Label it. You would be surprised at how many times someone will stop to ask you what something is, who made it, or who it belongs to in the end. Save that space for awesome conversation AND make your aunty proud by showing off her made-with-love dessert.
6. Pack it up.
When packing your party supplies, pack everything neatly into labeled boxes by station. All the sign-in table things go in one box. All the dessert table items go in another box. All the dining table items go in its own box. You get where I’m going with this. Then, at the top, add table linen and your sketch of that area and the floor plan. When it comes time for your friends and family to help, they’ll know where it goes and what it should look like and everything they need is in their hands. Boom. Done.
7. Hire professionals.
That’s right! We eat, sleep, and breathe what we do. To truly bring your vision to life in a stress-free way that really saves you time, hire professionals.
Now, I’d love to hear from you. How can my tips help save you time and money? What’s your biggest pet peeve when planning an event yourself?
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