It's Tip Tuesday! With so many newly engaged couples and folks planning for epic events, I decided it was so important to share some tips to help you as you consider your planning services.

Photo Credit: SC Stockshop

Photo Credit: SC Stockshop

Sensational Soirees is of course here and ready to help you with your beautiful soirees and weddings! We're literally one click or call away. Before or after you hit the contact button on our site, here are some great questions to ask yourself as you prepare to start planning:

1. What are your initial wants?

Rest assured, as planners we are here to assist you with shaping the vision of your event and executing the details and plans so you don't have to do it alone! But before we can present you with a proposal of service and make your event dreams come true, you have to share with us your initial wants.

Now, before you go running to Pinterest to figure out your wants, I would encourage you to grab a pen and paper first, and then sit and imagine your event or wedding. How do you want it to look? How do you want to feel? How do you want your guests to feel? What things would make you happy if they were incorporated in your event? What are your priorities - good food, beautiful decor and/or guest experience? Bring these answers (and your Pinterest board or inspirational photos, too) to your initial planning consultation. I also send all prospective clients a questionnaire, so this is a great place to elaborate on everything you're dreaming up.

2. How much CAN you realistically invest in your event?

While the role of a planner is definitely to help event hosts and couples to navigate budget and all the categories and factors that go into it, it is first good for you to consider how much you can or will financially contribute to your event. This is key whether you're working with a modest or big budget.

When I ask "what's your budget", I would recommend trying to avoid saying that you don't have a budget (even if in your mind you really don't have one yet). Perhaps you're really saying "I have no idea how much events cost" or perhaps "whatever the important things costs, I'll just be willing to pay for it". In either scenario, try to come up with the max amount you believe you are able to invest as this is so helpful. During the planning process, this number may change after I share my expertise and insight on the average costs of the things you want. However, coming to the table with a number is so beneficial, so that I can better advise you upfront based on your budget. 

3. What are you looking for in a planner?

I remember when I was planning to get married 9 years ago, and although the planner in me was being birthed during that time, I 100% knew I needed a professional planner - not a hobbyist. My planner was there every step of the way to cheer me and my husband on towards the aisle, provide expertise on vendors and everything that went into budget, and fully managed the wedding day and my stress level. She was someone who I relied on and someone I valued. To this day, I'm grateful for the investment we made in hiring a planner.

My wedding day was very important to me and required a certain level of service that only a professional planner could provide - again not a hobbyist or venue appointed coordinator. For weddings, I completely recommend hiring a professional planner; otherwise, it will be challenging to ensure your vision is executed and for you to relax on wedding day. For those of you who were like me 9 years ago and know there's no way you alone could plan the type of event or wedding you desire, I encourage you to share how my team can best serve you.

We would love to work with you, but truly believe it's all about making the right match for us both. Therefore, the things you are looking for are so helpful to communicate in your inquiry, questionnaire, and/or during your consultation. Additionally, our planning guide is an added asset, as it highlights the different levels of service we offer. Beyond service offerings, some of things our clients have mentioned that they love about us are: our personalities, background in weddings and special events, responsiveness in communication, creativity, great vendor connections, and being able manage it 'all' so they can relax. Maybe you need someone to help you stay on budget or an assuring voice that the day will go off without a hitch, whatever it is share it with us. When it comes to that over the top party for your child's first birthday, or your corporate holiday party or the day you say I do to the love of your life, we work hard to get to know you, and are eager to provide value to you and your event.

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

I can't wait to learn more about your upcoming wedding or event! Share in the comments section 1 thing you look for in a planner, and stay tuned for a future post where I'll be outlining WHY you should hire a planner.

Sensationally yours,