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Planning a Bridal Shower

Have you ever felt like you are the sole person to carry all the responsibilities in the world? I, for instance, aside from my daily duties and obligations, once had to take the time to plan a whole bridal shower party all by myself. Just before my second cousin’s wedding, I knew I had to give her the one last opportunity to have a fun time feeling like a single and entirely independent woman.

The party was scheduled two months before the wedding, but I had to start planning much earlier than that. The most important part of planning any event is knowing who to go to for the best flowers, décor, cake, etc. I have personally learned that it is best when working with a florist who has worked with the venue before. The best thing to do when ordering specific centerpieces would be to get a written contract with a description of the flowers from the florist to make sure that they will look exactly how you want them to when they arrive. For my cousin, I had the florist create a beautiful arrangement with one of her favorite flowers, peonies, within the centerpieces.

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Photo by: @TicTockFlorals

 

It has become a major trend for people to feature extravagant cake tables at their events with many different types of sweets and décor on them. Since making those sweets myself would be way too time consuming, I decided to order from a professional confectioner. I actually have an advantage when it comes to this because of where I work. Every weekend I coordinate children’s birthday parties where I deal with many different types of bakers and caterers from whom the party hosts order most frequently. With that being said, I have tried almost every type of cake and other sweets made in the Glendale, Burbank, and Hollywood areas. I chose to order macaroons, chocolate covered strawberries, cupcakes, specialized cookies, as well as a tri-tier cake from a very talented lady named Arpi.

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Photo by: @TicTockFlorals

Being Armenian means that most of the guests are also going to be Armenian, because we are mostly a monocultural people. Most Armenians choose to do events at local family-owned restaurants which are – you guessed it – operated by Armenians. It is very convenient, because the service and food provided often meet the cultural expectation and standards. There are many restaurants to choose from nowadays but I decided to go with Impressions Banquet Hall, since it would be the closest to most of the guests. Aside from being in a good location, this banquet hall also has a very extravagant chandelier display on their ceiling which matched with every other décor for the party.

I feel as though the most rewarding part of planning an event is stepping back and realizing how much everyone else is enjoying the party that you created. This feeling is what makes me wants to become a professional event planner.

Steps to Successful Event-Planning

Event-planning is like baking a pie. While it is important to know your eggs and butter, it is crucial to picture what you want to come out of the oven before even starting. Thankfully, behind every successful event – as with any delicious pie – there is a thoroughly descriptive, well-worked and tried recipe. In today’s blog, I will describe the key steps of organizing an event and highlight the little tips to consider along the way.

WHAT? The first point of focus is also the broadest one: the purpose of the event. This will trigger a large chain of processes, with various options and decisions to be made. A birthday party, a bridal shower, and a corporate anniversary all are events – each one distinct from another, with specific customs and expectations to be met.

WHEN? While some events are tied to specific days in the calendar – birthdays most commonly, – others are more tolerant to time delays. As a rule of thumb, it should take around one to two months of unhurried but focused planning to organize an event from ground up, with major events like weddings taking up to half a year. It goes without saying that, for the majority of people, Saturdays are the most convenient days to attend a party, have a drink, socialize, and forget about work. Thus, it is better to schedule on a weekend, when possible.

WHERE? The particular location of an event, considered at a specific time of the year, will determine such factors as weather and daylight, both of which are vital for a successful outdoor celebration. While indoor parties are more lenient in terms of those conditions, some locales will seem more attractive based on parking availability, proximity to the guests’ homes, or a seashore view from the panoramic window. Time and location may also work to your benefit in terms of seasonal offers and promotions. This brings us to the next point.

HOW MUCH? The budget is, arguably, the greatest factor determining the quality of an organized event. This is not to say that every good party will break the bank, but careful choices in some key areas are necessary to keep spending to a reasonable limit. This is most often true with large-budget celebrations, such as weddings and corporate anniversaries, where the money leaks from many holes. Gold-leafed invitations and chainsaw-juggling acrobats sound like a lot of fun to all but your bank account. Moreover, a certain degree of simplicity in décor and entertainment may stand as indicators of the subtle taste of the host.

WHO? Dim the lights and mute the Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 12.02.08 AM.pngmusic! – People are the party. In determining your list of guests, inviting people of immediate relevance is equally as important as eliminating those with a high potential to ruin the event. Don’t you think that most weddings would be better off without the drunk neighbor knocking over the 7-tier cake? But in all seriousness, consider the age and the interests of the people attending. Some elderly people may have special dietary needs, while children will require to be entertained to stay out of trouble.

ENJOY. When all the planning is said and done, don’t forget to enjoy the event that you spent so much time creating. Some people will make the mistake of stressing through the entire day, and forgetting what the initial subject of the celebration is. At the end of the day, when balloons deflate and the cake is long gone, it’s the family and friends that make you feel the worth of your efforts.

Event-Planning: A Service or a Skill?

 

When we think of an event, we may think of something dazzling, like the Super Bowl, or another major event that is broadcasted and talked about on television. Even though professional event-planners are needed for those major occasions, they are also needed for thousands of smaller, everyday events. Any time people gather together for a purpose, whether it’s a book signing, a conference, or a grand opening of a new store, a designated person is needed to oversee all of the details and keep the order under control, making sure that both the hosts and the guests are satisfied. That person should be you! Everybody can benefit from acquiring the skill of event-management, as it will positively reflect on both budget spending and time planning.

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Photo By: @anita_fancy

You don’t really need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a professional event-planner, when there are many available free sources that can help you organize a fabulous event yourself. Websites like Pinterest and Instagram provide a healthy supply of graphic examples of what could work or not work to your preference. Visualizing the final goal of the occasion is crucial for its success. When it comes to the execution of your idea, a paperbound notebook or a digital notepad will come in handy to keep thoughts organized, budget controlled and deadlines in check. Setting on a budget before the spending begins is a smart strategy to keep expensive decision-making from taking over. One of the biggest decisions you will have to make for a given event is the location: Is it going to be a restaurant, a banquet hall, or simply home? The majority of your spending will be determined by your choice of location, and often, the most cost-effective solution is to plan the event at home. However, an informal home setting is not always appropriate for the occasion or the set of guests attending. For instance, a corporate event involving your colleagues is better planned at or near the work location, while a sibling’s birthday party fits perfectly into an intimate setting at home. Such factors have to be accounted for in your decision-making process, as they largely determine the majority of other details to be planned.

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On the other hand, a different question comes to mind: “Do I want to spend the time to create the entire event myself?” Seemingly, not everyone can afford the time and effort to create a meticulously planned event from scratch. And yet, event planning should not be a service to be paid for, but rather a skill to be readily utilized within personal and professional agendas. Subsequently, the successful acquisition of this skill can be transferred into business-related fields, sharpening one’s general management and organization abilities.