In the previous article, I shared where to start with your event planning. Now that you have completed your outline of the WHAT, WHY and RESULT/IMAGE of your wedding or special event, you may be ready to get some help but perhaps you are puzzled about who and how to choose.
First there is a need to understand the kind of planning help that might be available followed by deciding how much help you might want or need.
While there may be variations in descriptions, there are three main types of planning services offered.
Full Planning Services– This category involves the full planning and designing of your event where the responsibility falls to the individual or company you’ve hired. To make things easy, consider this a turnkey service. Your responsibility is to share your vision, approve the design, pay for it and show up, whereas the full service planner’s responsibility is to design your event including all the fine details, select the vendors, coordinate your event and bring to life your vision. This is usually the least stressful and most costly service.
Consultative Planning Services: With the consultant, this category provides you with the services of a professional to guide you as you plan and design your event. When you choose this level of service it is to avail yourself of the professional’s expertise and recommendations. You will be guided on how to go about designing your event, how to select vendors for your event, as well as provided input on how the event should flow. You then take that information into consideration as you get to work on designing and planning your event. Depending on your agreement, the consultant may also serve as your coordinator on the day of your event or, if appropriate you may coordinate the event yourself. Consider this service like a cafeteria where you choose the amount of help you would like from the consultant.
Coordination Services: This level of service is the implementation stage of the event plan and design. Simply put, all the details have been determined, confirmed and in place. Think of the Coordination services as “showtime” and the coordinator as the “conductor” that directs the “show.”
As you will notice, the primary difference in each category is the level of services provided. Now that you have an idea of the services that are available, review the event outline you prepared, give some thought to your tolerance level and determine how much help you will need. Start making telephone calls to event professionals and make your appointments to meet with them. Among the questions you might consider asking are (1) what kind of events do you do? (2) How long have you been doing this? (3) What motivated you to do it? (4) Are there any reviews of your work? With the above you are well on your way with your selection process.
Linda Solomon is a Travel, Wedding and Event Consultant with Traditional Elegance. She may be contacted by visiting www.TraditionalElegance.ORG