Author Lynne Shivers

Church event planner and author of "God is in the Details"

When should an event planner hire an event planner?

Leave a comment

Pulling hair outEven the most seasoned event planner may have to hire an event planner one day. What are the cues, signals or innuendos that would suggest you need to bring in someone else? Don’t let pride get in the way. If you need help, you need help. Hiring an event planner can save the event and keep you sane.

With more than 30 years experience of orchestrating more than a thousand events, I certainly thought I could plan my daughter’s wedding with ease. The excitement of being so intricately involved in the outcome turned out to be more than I could handle. Everything consumed my every thought. I wanted it perfect. It had to be the wedding of a lifetime.

My daughter and her fiancé scheduled their wedding on Sweetest Day in October, which coincidentally was Homecoming weekend for the local college football team. I reminded myself how successful I had coordinated other multiple high-profile events simultaneously. So, c’mon, this is just another event.

Planning had been moving along just fine until it was time to find a photographer. My choice was a guy at church who was a professional photographer. I had not seen him in a few weeks since his wife had been diagnosed with cancer. It was a Friday afternoon and so I thought to give them the weekend and wait until Monday to call. Eager to talk to him, I called early Monday morning and asked him if he was available for my daughter’s wedding. My heart dropped as he said, “I just scheduled a wedding this past Saturday for that same weekend.” What? No!! I got off the phone and cried. A few minutes into having a really good pity-party, of blaming myself for not having called on Friday and of course, asking God why, why, why, I gathered my thoughts. “Wait a minute,” I said to myself. ”There are at least a hundred photographers in this city alone and you know quite a few of them!” I knew then that I was too close to the planning. I could not separate being the mom-of-the-bride from being the wedding coordinator. The event planner in me would have had a Plan B and simply gone to the next photographer in line. But the mom in me was too focused to have only those I wanted to be part of her big day. I realized if the wedding was going to be a success I couldn’t be over the planning of it. I needed help. So, I hired a wedding planner. The result? The wedding was a success. But more importantly, I had my sanity. And my daughter had a mother of the bride.

event-plannerMaybe you’re facing a similar situation. It may not be a wedding. It could be an event scheduled too close to another event or major situation happening in your life. So, when should you hire an event planner?

  1. When you’re too emotionally attached to the event. Emotions can run havoc on our decisions. Events such as weddings, funerals, special anniversaries can create expectations that render decision making difficult. Stay level-headed. Hire someone.
  2. Overwhelmed with other projects. Do you have a lot of things on your plate? No end in sight?  Hire someone.
  3. Major personal things happening in your life at the same time. Health24. com lists 41 major stressors that are life changing. Although death of a spouse, divorce, marital separation, imprisonment and death of a family member rank the top five in that order, there may be other things not on the list that can affect you personally and cause you not to be on top of your game. Relieve the stress. Hire someone.
  4. Disinterest in the event. Not all event planning is exciting, but you have to stay on top of tasks to keep on schedule. If complete boredom has set it, this can bring on procrastination and indifference. Let someone else be interested. Hire someone.
  5. Post-event tasks overlap with other events. Even though the event-day is over there are lots of things yet to do: process honorarium paperwork or write checks to pay speakers, send thank you letters, finalize budget, tally evaluations, write executive summary or lessons-learn document, return rentals, etc. When events run back-to-back, post event tasks can overlap with upcoming event tasks. Assigning someone to handle just those tasks can alleviate a lot of stress. And when you can’t assign? Hire someone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s