By Kim Sayatovic, Belladeux Event Design
Events are created in two stages: design and planning. Together, these two components meet to put create a client’s vision, from the color of the flowers in the centerpieces down to the timing of the grand entrance. When you’re handling both aspects of the event, it’s essential to put in an equal amount of time and effort into each.
For those who tend to focus on one side, but have hopes of developing into a full-service, now is the time to get a feel for how the event process flows, and how to find a happy balance between design and planning.
The first piece of the event puzzle is the design – what do your clients want the final result to look like? What do they want it to feel like? Do they have a certain color palette or a particular theme that they want to stick to? More often than not, this is where the Pinterest boards roll in and fabric swatches get compared.
This is also the point to finalize the budget and vendor options in order to put together a solid team of event professionals who can bring their vision to life. Generally, I like to allocate the first three to four months of the timeline to design so we can get into all of the little details; however, this may vary depending on the complexity of the event.
Once the team is together and the vision is understood by all, we enter the realm of production. A planner helps clients with signing contracts, paying deposits and coordinating all of the vendors to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This can take some time since event production involves a lot of moving pieces, so we typically factor in seven to eight months. While each vendor is responsible for their own role in the big day, it’s up to the planner to check in and ensure that everyone is on track.
As the planning winds down, we get into the final stage of the process: event management. At this point, most of the logistics should be ironed out and now is the time for finalizing itineraries and adding all of the final touches. Communication is key throughout the whole event planning process, but it’s most important during the management stage as the final decisions are what will guide the day-of schedule.
Our clients tend to be either design-focused or planning-focused, but we have found that things go best when they become involved in both aspects of their special day. Although we certainly try to cater to their interests by including them heavily in either design for the visual folks or planning for the Type-A folks, it’s essential that they get the final say on all major decisions.
By ensuring that the design, planning and management stages all go smoothly, you can rest assured that the event will go off without a hitch!
Kim Sayatovic is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Belladeux Event Design, a full service wedding and event design firm based in New Orleans, Louisiana.