We’ve all been there: the big event is months away and the procrastination bug is biting hard. “I’ve got plenty of time“ you think as you check ManRepeller for the 20th time that day instead of reviewing florist quotes and sourcing Prince Cover Bands. Unfortunately, this approach usually ends in sleepless nights and rocky execution as you try to pull it all off without the proper preparation. Don’t do this! Kerri Rogers, Director of Private Events at Four Seasons and planner extraordinaire makes a compelling argument for planning ahead – no matter the size of the event. Read on for her super practical planning tips and meet us down in the comments to share your own!
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
The earlier, the better! The planning process can be so enjoyable, especially when you have the luxury of time on your hands. The additional days/weeks/months afford you the ability to get organized and focus on both the big picture and all the details. Bonus? You have more choices for vendors. That means you can pick the best of the best before they are all booked up and you may even save money by getting their pricing for the previous year- double bonus!
Size Doesn’t Matter
Six guests or six hundred guests- it doesn’t matter. All events, no matter how big or small can benefit from additional time spent in the planning process. With smaller events, it means you can perfectly tailor all aspects creating a completely bespoke celebration. For larger events, it unlocks the opportunity to focus more on the minute items that can be easily over looked when you are overwhelmed or in a rush (no one likes a frantic planner!).
First things first
They say you should do something every day that scares you. So that means, get the bigger, more intimidating decisions out of the way first. When you start by ironing out the major details that seem the most daunting, you allow yourself more time to research, get creative and have fun with all the specifics!
Do the Guest List Shuffle
When you start planning immediately make your dream guest list- I’m talking anyone and everyone you would love to have. As the more crucial decisions are made and the budget gets sorted out it will bring you back to reality. From there, you can revisit and sift out your invite list- move some people to a B or C tier, but never remove them completely. The more time that goes by, the better, as you can reassess relationships, keeping the guest list fluid up until the save the date or invite goes out.
The Reason for the Season
When brainstorming menu and beverage ideas, seasonality should always be a major factor to consider. What ingredients will be fresh at that time of year? Should dishes be served hot or cold? What will guests be craving during that season? And that’s where the internet comes in (hello, Pinterest!). Research and research more. Just because it’s a sweltering July afternoon, doesn’t mean you can’t start planning your NYE party!
Keep Calm and Carry On
Inevitably, there are always last-minute changes to adjust to. What’s a celebration without a few wrenches thrown in?! Remember, you set the tone for your event, but since you are calm, cool and collected from your extensive and stress-free planning process you will be able to handle those hurdles with ease!
Kerri joined The Four Seasons Restaurant as the Private Events Coordinator in 2013. A native Floridian, she came to New York to pursue a career in Public Relations for beauty and fashion labels. She was the Public Relations coordinator for Betsey Johnson, before working with brands such as The Body Shop and L'Oréal. A consummate host, Kerri now uses her sense of style to tailor special events and bespoke parties at the restaurant.