Event Dreaming 101. It might look like a checklist, spreadsheet, or binder with scraps of paper, magazine pages and photos.
Some party hosts opt for a DIY approach. Others choose a planner’s expertise from the get-go. Sometimes the first option morphs into the second.
The hoped-for bottom line? A successful gathering that just might make your guests say “Best. Time. Ever.”
Event planners Cassie Celestin of White Dress Events and Holden Bassett-Alee of Holden Michael Events suggest these things to consider:
What’s the occasion?
What’s the date? Initially, be open to several. “Start the planning process as soon as you can,” Celestin said. “If you’re last minute, you can’t be picky.” Bassett-Alee adds, “People are planning their events years in advance, so it’s to a client’s advantage to be open to several different dates. We’re currently fielding inquiries for 2025, and have gotten inquiries for as far out as 2027.”
Who’s coming? Adults and kids? Adults only?
How many guests?
What’s the budget?
Consider more than one option. Browse websites for ideas, beginning with local tourism/convention bureaus. Ask friends, colleagues and neighbors for suggestions.
Consider hiring help for specific tasks, such as a caterer, baker, decorator or housecleaner. It frees up your time to do other things.
Think outside the box. Many venues are multi-faceted; for example, a bed-and-breakfast, community center or park might provide both the space and help for a dinner.
Research potential sites before visiting them. Be sure to learn exactly what’s included.
Consider out-of-town guests’ needs. Provide information to them. Create a website for them. “All these details are ones that will help your guests feel taken care of,” Bassett-Alee said.