Planning an Event Without a Planner

Lately, I have designed several events in which a professional event planner was not present. I am sure that many people make the decision to nix the planner based on several factors, saving money being a primary motivator. While this is not a bad idea, there are some things that one should know about planning a major event without the assistance of a professional planner. I have compiled a list of things to consider regarding planning an event without a planner based on my experiences. So before you fire your planner, read on...
Who will Answer Vendor Questions on the Day of your Event?
I recently designed and decorated two events that did not have a planner. The events were a wedding and a quinceanera. As soon as I walked through the door of the venue of each event, I knew immediately that there was not a planner present to provide assistance. How did I know you ask? Well for one, when I, along with the other vendors, arrived there was no one present to provide instructions or answer questions. The musician did not have a current program or schedule of events and the cake baker did not know which table was being used for the cake table. The DJ was still trying to determine how to pronounce the names of some of the bridal party members with no assistance. These things may seem small but can make a major difference if your aim is to plan a seamless event.

Who will be your Representative on the Day of the Event?
Whether you are the bride or groom, or the host of a major party, or a parent throwing your child's right of passage celebration, you will most likely want to enjoy the event that you have put a lot of time and energy into organizing. If you are planning to transition from being the planner to being a guest at the event and want enjoy the festivities, then you may want to consider who will represent you during the event. Someone will be needed to communicate your wants and desires during the event to the vendors and venue staff. Your guests and vendors may have questions during the event, who should they speak with on your behalf? The person delegated to be your representative will make decisions for you while you enjoy the event. They will pick up the ball if something goes wrong. They will also assure that the event follows the pre planned timeline and goes according to schedule. Delegating a representative to act on your behalf will not only relieve a lot of stress but also allow you to mix and mingle with your guests with no worries.

Who will Handle the Details?
There are so many minute details involved in planning a major event. There are so many bases that you want to assure are covered. For the quinceanera that I designed, the parents called me, the decorator, to ask questions about everything from how will the guests know when to sit down for dinner to how should the cake cutting be handled. They even called me as my staff and I were setting up to tell me that the photographer had a flat tire on the way to the event and asked me what should they do. These are questions that are typically handled by a planner not a decorator/designer and unfortunately for these particular events I was hired to simply design. However the planner in me felt compelled to assist as each client seemed to be in a lurch.
You may want to do as much research as you can on event planning to find out what it entails before taking on such a task. Also think ahead about all the things involved to assure that all bases are covered.

Planning without a planner is not impossible but there is a lot to consider. I hope this article helps you to think about the details so that regardless of the direction you choose to take in planning, your event will be well organized and all that you imagined.

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