Imagine stepping onto the field for a game without knowing your teammates, attending a single practice, speaking with your coaches or knowing any of the plays. Someone will hand you a piece of paper on game day that probably has most of the information that you’ll need. Think that you’d be able to do a good job? That’s exactly how I feel when potential clients tell me, “I don’t need your help for a full month. I just need you there on the day of the event.”
There is so much more that goes into coordinating your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah party than me just showing up on event day. I spend hours preparing to make the day of your celebration seem effortless. Since I’ve planned so many events, I know the questions to ask and the things to look for to ensure a smooth party. I had a client tell me once that “You don’t know, what you don’t know” and that is so true. If you haven’t planned a large party before (or if it’s been a very long time!), you will overlook something–hopefully not something that is too important!
Most of my work for an event happens before I ever step foot into the venue. Here are the things I do ahead of time to ensure a perfect celebration.
Meet with family and MC
The most important people of the whole day are your family and your MC. I meet with your family to get caught up on the details of your party and get to know your vision. Then a few weeks later we meet with your MC to finalize the timeline of the party. These meetings are so important because the day is about your family and what you want. I need to build a relationship with you so I can understand and communicate your vision to your vendors and execute it on the day of your celebration.
Confirming Day of Details
You have a team of awesome vendors that you’ve researched, contracted and paid; have you looked at the contracts with those vendors since that point? I confirm all of the final details, arrangements, delivery and setup times with your vendors to ensure (1) you’re getting exactly what you’ve agreed to and (2) you can fulfill your part of the agreement.
In doing those confirmations, there are always a handful of mistakes that need to be corrected. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know, so there were questions that you didn’t ask or things that were overlooked. I recently reviewed a contract for a Month-Of client who had signed a contract for their photo booth for Sunday instead of Saturday. There was another time when a client tried to cut costs by only renting their space for an hour of setup time when her caterer required two hours of setup time and they didn’t rent linens for the appropriate number of tables. I’ve received montages that don’t work, escort cards with missing guests or incorrect table assignments and not enough favors for the number of kids expected. If I didn’t do the work ahead of time, those are things that would have been nearly impossible to fix on the day of the event!
Creating an Event Day Production Schedule and Floor Plan
Your MC will help to craft a timeline for the dance floor, but who is keeping track of the production of the entire day? From load-in to load-out, from first course to dessert, I put together a schedule that considers all aspects of the entire day. I share that production schedule with all of your vendors and answer any questions that they have. I also put together a floor plan that works for all of your vendors needs.
Inventory and Transport Small Decor Items
About 2 days prior to your event, we’ll pick up all of the items that you have purchased for your party (favors, sign in board, decorations, escort cards, etc.). We’ll inventory them to make sure everything is accounted for and bring them to the venue on the day of your event. As a special bonus, we’ll have a quick touch base about any final thoughts you have, leaving you able to relax and enjoy a restful Shabbat and enjoy family and friends who come to celebrate with you.
It takes a solid month of work to ensure that your day goes smoothly. Any planner who claims that they can come in the day of your event and coordinate isn’t going to be able to deliver the “guest at your own event” feeling.