Time and Money. These terms can also be translated to Efficiency, Expertise and Value. It is not always intuitive to foresee how spending your money upfront can turn into cost savings in the end, and most likely a more enjoyable experience for you! But, this is often the case when it comes to planning an event. Hire the experts, or at least consider where your biggest returns on investment may be.

The first lesson, often learned the hard way, is you cannot do it all. You may have the knowledge, experience and desire, but you may not have the time. Decisions and execution of those decisions are always tied to deadlines when it comes to planning an event. Decor must be sourced with enough lead time to ship to your destination, yet floral installments cannot take place until hours before the event. Then, you begin thinking of your closest friends who happen to be the best at making crowd-pleasing fare. But wait! You want them to enjoy the pleasure of being a guest at your event, right? Right.

How do you go about choosing the right photographer, caterer, decor designer, musician, event planner, etc.? Talk to people you trust to get referrals; this is always a good starting place. Then, begin looking at resumes or portfolios, otherwise known as the company website. Do they fall within your budget? Do they have the type of experience you are looking for? Does that experience convey that they can execute your vision? If so, set up an interview. Find out first hand if their appetizers and desserts taste as good as they look in the pictures. When meeting, or talking via phone, did you instantly feel drawn to them in a way that builds confidence and trust? Instant rapport weighs in heavily for this temporary relationship you are about to embark upon with each of your vendors. And, don’t skip over references. Ask them for referrals, former clients you can contact who had comparable events to yours. You are “hiring” them to do a very important job! The quality of the service and product they are offering must align with you and the vision you have for your event.

Because you have taken all the right steps to carefully choose all the vendors you need to successfully execute your event, step back and let your chosen team do the job they were hired to do! The time you invested in building your team is the foundation for your trust in their ability as professionals to make your vision come to life. They will need your input along the way, but they know what questions to ask and will assist you in gathering information to enable you to successfully provide the answers to their questions. Be accessible, but let them take the driver’s seat.

Enjoy every minute of your event! You deserve it! You have put in the energy and time up front for a very good reason. Your event team is at your event to work, to ensure that you and your guests have every opportunity to relax and experience your vision. Perfection is not a guarantee, but wonderful memories last forever.