Be it your little one’s birthday party or your parents’ wedding anniversary or an engagement party or a bar mitzvah, you aren’t always going to have time to make sure everything is in order. Sometimes you just need someone there to lead everything and ensure that your vision is played out how it ought to be. Party planners are a good investment for those events where everything needs to work out just right.
Begin by doing your research through friends, family, and repudiated online sources to find planners who have a lot of experience and suit your needs. Many party planners will offer a free initial consultation so that you can figure out whether they’re a good match and can execute what you have in mind. Remember that you’ll be spending a lot of time with your planner, so you want to actually like them and the way they run their business.
Party planners will charge in a few different ways. Some charge around $12 to $75 per hour plus vendor commissions. Some will charge a lump sum for certain services. Other planners will charge a percentage of your overall budget. Party planner pricing will depend on the size of your event and the level of detail and involvement that you expect from your event planner. Packages may include just a few consultations and more hands off assistance or it might be everything from planning to day-of coordination. Discuss with your planner the services that you will actually require for your event.
For a bar/bat mitzvah, book your party planner around 12 months in advance. For smaller events (e.g. birthday parties, anniversary parties, etc.), secure the party planning services around 2 to 3 months in advance. This timeline is mostly dependent, however, on the scope and size of your party, so it’s a bit of a judgement call.
Questions to ask your vendor: How do you charge? What are the services you offer? Do you have a list of preferred vendors? Can I use other vendors? How many meetings will we have together?