Hiring an Event Planner for the First Time (& Not for a Wedding)
Up until now I had heard little about event planners, aside from talking to a few brides here and there. For a long time I also thought they were just for weddings. To give a little background about myself, when it comes to party planning, I enjoy scouring Pinterest for elaborate ideas and then brainstorming ways to get it done in the most budget-friendly way. In April and May of this year, I had my first experience working alongside event planner Samantha, with To Be Loved Events, on two styled shoots in Eugene, Oregon (see Rustic Elegance Editorial Shoot at Deep Woods Events and Six Brides for Six Dresses Editorial Shoot). Being a videographer, we work closely with other vendors, and after shooting alongside Samantha for less than an hour, I began to notice just how much her work was affecting me. (You mean I do not have to try and coordinate who is where, and I can just focus on filming?!) After this experience it got me thinking:
1. I wish I would have hired a planner for my own wedding, as my biggest regret was not assigning anyone to do this. My sister, who was also my maid of honor, ended up filling the gap and I hardly saw her the whole night!
2. If an event and wedding planner can make my life as a videographer easier, I wonder how much easier they can make my party planning life.
I had a bridal shower coming up that I needed to host and plan myself, as well as ten thousand other things I needed to get done, so I decided to give an event planner a shot and here’s what I learned:
You can have a clear vision and still benefit from an event planner. Like I said, I enjoy Pinterest and I like every detail to be thought of beforehand. I came to Samantha with ideas for everything I wanted: a rosé bar, a photo backdrop, cute balloons, a gold and pink color scheme and more. At times I felt, gosh am I too controlling to have an event planner? These thoughts quickly escaped my mind after Samantha came back to me with a detailed list of where to get everything I showed her, with multiple pricing options, as well as her own suggestions to go along with the theme. I realized I can still go on Pinterest, have it all planned out in my head and still benefit from an event planner executing it all for me. In reality, the fun Pinterest brainstorming is a very small fraction of the planning process when it is all said and done!
TIME! So much saved time. My husband describes me as very particular. I know what I want, and I will spend hours researching and looking until I find it, and quite frankly I enjoy it. However, as a full-time videographer I have entered the season where time is money. I love planning events, but I no longer have the hours available to do all the research that is needed. Like I said, I knew what I wanted for this party but it was not until I hired Samantha and she organized all these things for me, that I realized how brainstorming is just a fraction of the time I would have ended up spending on planning. After receiving a pricing list from Samantha, all I could do was picture all the times I have spent three to four hours searching and obsessing over the best prices for the smallest details like napkins and plates! I could now see all the prices in one place and make a decision in less than five minutes. That, my friends, is exactly what I needed. From price shopping to prepping game printouts, for time's sake alone, I am so happy I have found my way to the world of event planners and I do not see myself ever going back. Throughout this process, I felt I still got everything I needed without spending the hours of research to get there; it was a huge win-win situation.
You can still be all about the budget. One of my biggest concerns, and I believe it is to most, was my budget. I already had a pretty slim and probably unrealistic budget for all my Pinterest plans and thought, I doubt I can afford an event planner and is it even worth it? I contacted Samantha to see what she could do, and not only was she within my budget, she saved me money on multiple accounts. Event and wedding planners have a huge network of vendors that they have amazing relationships with and trust. When you hire a planner you are tapping into all of those relationships and connections. I did not even think flowers were going to be a possibility for the shower and we ended up having gorgeous arrangements for a price Costco could not even compete with. So not only were my Pinterest expectations met, they were exceeded, all the while still on budget. This shocked me!
It is safe to say I was wary of the event planner process and thought they just were not for me. However, after this experience, my expectations have been more than met all while saving me time and money. So, if you find yourself needing to plan a party, big or small, take the plunge and hire an event planner. You will not regret it!
Author Bio: Hello, I’m Hannah! I own KW Productions, a video production company located in Eugene, Oregon, with my husband Andrew, and I am in love with what I get to call work. This first year of business is a result of many years of praying and seeking what makes me come alive, and I would not trade it for the world. As we have embarked on this journey we have been blessed with so many amazing opportunities, meeting so many kind hearts and learning and growing through it all. It has truly been such a wonderful experience that leaves me excited for the journey ahead.