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It’s My Party and I’ll Plan if I Want To What to Expect from an Event Planner
3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM

Everyone loves a good party! Good food, music, and guests are ingredients for a great time. Wouldn’t it be nice to relax, knowing the food and music are perfect? Imagine enjoying stress-free conversations with your guests because you didn’t have to sweat all the details.  

What can you expect when you pay someone else to plan your party? What kind of questions should you ask before hiring a party planner? Lake Charles event planner Sara Lasher knows client "fit” is essential.  "I grab a coffee with my clients at the start so they can ‘interview’ me. Planners have tons of insider knowledge and can lend advice regarding vendor choices and contracts, guest list concerns, and attendance rates, so it’s advantageous to ask about their experience before hiring them.”    

A consultation is your chance to explain your event, then plan a strategy considering scope and budget. Your planner may 
assist in choosing locations, solicit cost estimates, speak with service providers 
and even inspect the venue. So much 
depends on the scope of services you choose.

"You could expect assistance with style choices, contract negotiation, budgeting, vendor recommendations and management, layout design, day-of scheduling, musical selections, bar options, and transportation routing,” Lasher added.

Planners are also your extra pair of eyes, monitoring all your party details to ensure maximum satisfaction for you and your guests. Some review invoices post-event, confirming you received the quality of service you expected. Lasher noted that unlike other vendors, planners see events as the sums of their parts. "A caterer’s concern is for the food, a photographer’s for the photos, a band’s for the music. Planners focus on the entire day being a product of your choices. I like to think of my position as an insurance policy in that way.”

But wait! You’re thinking: I have family and friends who’ve offered to help. Why should I take money from my budget for a planner? If you’ve ever attended or planned a special event that went off without a hitch, you know someone effectively coordinated the behind-the-scenes activity. That can be a full-time job. How much are you willing to ask others who offer their assistance, even those who claim they’d love to help?

What party-planners do is magical. They create time. As professionals, they clear extra hours, even days for you to use on other details. By taking care of even those last-minute emergencies that often occur, you get to relax. 

Good planners offer more than etiquette advice, more than problem mediation or handling unruly guests. Lasher sees herself as an extension of her clients, even if "keep my drink full” is part of her job! "Planners keep the train on the track,” said Lasher. "It’s almost a part of my biological clock at this point. Making sure my clients can enjoy their event, really enjoy it, might even mean I’m grabbing them a plate of food because they can’t get to the food line.” 

Party planners have one goal in mind: to make your party run smoothly. An added benefit is how good they make you look. Your goal? To look your de-stressed best, enjoy your company, and bask in the compliments. 

Posted by: Madelaine Brauner Landry | Submit comment | Tell a friend


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