A good event planner will help you create and then stick to your budget. Now, you must be wondering, how will they help me create a budget? I mean, before planning an event, a person already has some idea of how much money they intend to spend. What they often do not know is whether their budget is accurate for the type and style of event that they would like to host. A good event planner will advise you on ‘actual’ costs.
Event planners – especially independent planners – know the industry. They purchase catering, book entertainment, block hotel rooms, and rent props all the time. Just hearing your ideas will start their internal calculators! They can easily tally the amount of money that you will need in order to get the type of event you desire. Once you have a better approximation of the actual costs, then a good event planner will help you find areas to save money or areas to boost up spending in order to maximize the overall event experience for you and your guests.
Perhaps the defining trait of a good event planner is that they will help you stick to your budget. More often than not, without a good event planner, people exhaust their budget even before the planning is done. Who wants that? Significant increases to the budget only make it more difficult to enjoy your event because your focus shifts from having a great time to concern over what the whole thing is costing. A good event planner can prevent that from happening. They know the “traps”, those sensitive areas where people are most likely to overspend, as well as the “tricks”, those clever tactics that ensure maximum value for your dollar. An event planner will use their knowledge and experience to create and help you stick to an optimized budget.
One final thought about budgets… A small budget does not necessarily mean a poorly managed or pitiful event. If you enlist the services of a good event planner, they will help you realign your expectations and maximize your budget in order to not only help you save money, but also design a great event!
Question: LaTonya, I always have a dollar amount in mind when I want to plan an event, but it makes me uncomfortable telling my event planner the budget. I am not cheapskate but when I look at pictures of other events, they all seem so expensive. I worry that the money I have to spend will be too little to get what I want. I fear that my event planner will look at me like “Have you lost your mind?!” How do I get over these concerns?
LaTonya: Your budget need not be disclosed to everyone but it is to your advantage to disclose it to your event planner. I assure you that planning your event will be a happier experience for all involved when the elephant in the room (your budget) is duly acknowledged. If it makes things easier for you, then give a range. You might say, “Ideally, I’d like to do this event for around $$ but, no matter what, I cannot go over $$.” Or perhaps, “I’ve budgeted $$, but if we find the perfect [insert your dream thing here] then, come hell or high water, I’ll find the additional money. It’s just that important to me.” Lastly, I tend to stay away from “spend” language. I prefer to think of your budget as your event investment. So, how much will you invest toward an event that will be a wonderful, memorable experience for all?