5 Key Event Planning Factors
Welcome to Wildflower Events! I am so excited you are here and can’t wait to share my experience with you so that your event planning can be a little bit easier. With five years of event coordinating experience and 7 years of guest/client experience, I’ve seen it all. From extreme organizers, INSANE last minute requests, to everything in-between. Planning an event can be as hands on or off as you desire. The key is determining these five items early on in your planning process.
So let’s chat about those key factors that will make sure your event is a success!
The type of event your planning should be the first thing you determine. Is it a birthday party? Bridal shower? Family holiday party? Your dream wedding? Each of these are very different but once you decide on the type of event you are planning you'll be able to better organize your thoughts and ideas. The event type will also help you determine the theme of your event, how many guests you should invite, if you will provide a party favor, and can even help narrow down the type of food you want to serve!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Did I mention location? When I’m planning an event, outside of the type of event it is, the location is the most important. Is it outdoors? At a restaurant? Determining the location helps me figure out all the missing pieces like what items is the venue providing and what items will I have to rent. Does the facility provide the liquor or do I have to provide it? What are the catering options? (This one is important because some venues require you to use their in-house catering service or make you select from a list of approved caterers). On top of that, the location of your event helps set the mood.
NUMBER OF GUESTS
It can be really hard to determine how many guests you should invite to your event. If it’s a wedding, this number could ranger anywhere from 10-500 people! For a baby shower it could be as many as 30 (or more if you’ve got lots of friends!). Figuring out how many people you want to have at your event helps you plan and budget for the rentals, catering, decor, and everything else. The number of people may also be limited by your location. Let’s say you’re going for a modern-chic wedding and you’ve selected a large renovated loft. Depending on the square footage of the space, you might only be able to have 100 people because of the furniture that’s being used in the space, ADA guidelines, fire code, and so much more. I find that when I am determining the number of guests for an event, I don't want it to be overwhelming. The more people you invite, the more invitations and response cards you have to keep track of. Some say, "The more, the merrier!", but I find that setting a limit to the number of guests helps me stay focused and plan a more thoughtful event.
The mood or theme helps sets the overall feeling for an event. Many times the type of event and the location helps set the mood but a color scheme or vision can expand on that idea. This could be as simple as selecting a handful of colors for your wedding, going with a garden tea party idea for a bridal shower, to taco themed birthday party for a two year old (Taco 'bout Two!). Selecting a mood or theme will help create an inclusive experience for your guests and draw them in. Once selected, your mood/theme can be carried out starting from the invites, determining decor, to the favors given out to the guests as they leave.
And last but certainly not least, BUDGET. If you’re planning an event and you have no clue what your budget is. Stop right there and back track. You can’t determine the location of your event, how many guests you can accommodate, or how much you can spend on decor without knowing your budget. Out of all of these factors, your budget is the most important and you have to remember to stick to it! Play around with the numbers, if you spend XXX on the location, how much can you actually spend on flowers? If you’re a bride, are you factoring in your dress, accessories, bridal party gifts? The smallest amount can impact your budget.
But don’t fear! I’ve got a freebie to help you out.
Click the link below to download to of my free event planning basics sheet! This includes a place for you to list the event type, location, theme/mood, number of guests, and budgets. This document may be simple but you should refer to it anytime your planning. It will help keep you on target and be a reminder of what your really going for. I like to keep my at the front of my binder so that I see it anytime I open it.
Now go out and plan the event of your dreams! And remember, your event is a WILDFLOWER, beautiful and one-of-a-kind.