lanning a party can be an excruciating process if you have never done it before. Here are some things we recommend to make your planning easier.

1. Hire a caterer

A caterer knows how to make the event a success and help the food go smoothly. They can help you with the event timing, layout, set up, take down, and solve problems that may happen on the day of. Many caterers order directly from us and coordinate quantities, delivery times and pickup times, or details you may forget such as renting a high chair. Each caterer is different, so please talk to them about these details.

2. Hire an event coordinator

An event coordinator will be the go-to person on the day of the event. They will take the pressure off of you, so you can enjoy the event, whether it is a corporate party, wedding, or anniversary party. You may think it won’t fit in your budget but they don’t have to be expensive. Many coordinators offer a la carte services, day-of services, or full service. Think about what you need and do some shopping.

3. Book your venue early

The venue will determine many of your choices including the date and options for vendors, so this should be at the top of your list. Keep in mind that some venues have preferred vendors, their own tables and chairs, specific delivery and pick up times, and other items that you have to abide by. Some venues have their own coordinator or caterer. Before you sign any contracts or pay any deposits, find a venue that fits your needs.

4. Confirm rentals in plenty of time

During the busy summer and fall months, rentals can book up fast. If you have your heart set on a certain item, please contact us at least two weeks before to reserve your rentals. You can always adjust quantities the week of the event if your guest count changes. Once you have a venue and caterer, it is never too soon to book your rentals.

5. Look for a professional photographer

Your event happens only once. Please put the same care into recording memories that will last as you do into making it a spectacular event. Look for a photographer who will capture the essence and entirety of the event. You don’t want to miss out on photos of the buffet, the venue before guests arrive, or any special details that are important to you. Consider a videographer as well.
ISES 2015 Showcase — Photo Credit: Frances Photography —

ISES Denver 2015 Showcase — Photo Credit: Frances Photography — Flowers by Shawn with help from Denver Wholesale Florist

6. Don’t forget the florist

You know your event will be great because you have taken care of the details above. Yet it won’t be spectacular without putting care into the florals and decor. Hire a florist early enough so they have time to order specialty and out-of-season flowers if needed. Remember to be flexible when it comes to how the flowers will actually look. Real flowers are part of the variation of nature and may be different sizes, shades or may not even be available due to uncontrollable circumstances. A reputable florist will come up with substitutions, if necessary, so make sure that your florist knows what is most important to you and what is less of a priority.

Do you have any other tips or thoughts for planning an event? What do you do first?