Should you employ an event planner or DIY it?

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We are all different and so is our approach to planning an event. 

Some people can’t wait to be centre stage, but details are not their thing. For others, being centre stage makes them break out in hives, but lists excite them. 

We all have our natural talents, not so natural talents and “you want me to do what?!” freakouts.

Never fear, we are here! 

Let’s explore together what will be the best approach for you before you decide whether you should use an event planner or do it yourself.

What is this event really about for you?

Before we get into budgets, lists and whatnot, take a moment to think about what you really want from your event. How do you want to feel in the moment and afterwards? This will differ for each of us and be different for each event. 

You may feel that you want “to have a day that captures our love for one another” or “to make so-and-so jealous” or “to make my mom/dad/friend feel special and loved” or “to impress my boss with the best year-end function ever” or simply “for me and my guests to have fun”.

This is a vital step whether you are going to be working with an event planner or planning it yourself. 

So now we know what we are working towards. Next, we need to explore what is the best way to get there and who will be the best people to help you in getting there.

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Abilities and Skills 

Our next step is to have an honest look at our abilities. Evaluate what skills will be needed to plan the event, what abilities you have and what those around you can bring to the party – people that you can call on to be on your team. 

There’s a bunch of different skills required. You may be one of those people who possess all of them. Yay, you! Or you may possess some of them and be fortunate enough to have friends and family who are blessed with the other ones. 

Some skills you may need to draw on to pull off a successful event are:

  • Creativity – not everyone has it, but don’t forget about this crucial element that sets events apart and makes them uniquely yours.
  • Organisation and coordination – there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of and manage. The creative aspects may appeal, but if the words “organisation” and “coordination” have made you yawn, call a type-A friend or get professional help.
  • Budget management – creating a budget, keeping track of the budget and making sure every person involved remains on budget. Planning a trip to a wonderful destination is fun, but not if the wheels come off before you’re there. You may feel that budgets do not have much pizzazz but they are a critical part of the event planning process.
  • Communication – keeping everyone in the loop. Keeping in touch with the contractors and service providers as well as the key players involved in the event – like mothers-in-law, bride to be, birthday boy or the manager you’re reporting into for your company’s event.
  • Management – making sure that ideas move from plans to results. Great ideas need to develop into tangibles on the day.
  • Pressure – how do you deal with pressure? What you decide now, will impact on your event and how you feel about it. The number of guests, size of the event and type of event also affects the pressure you’ll feel leading up to and the day of.

So have a chat with yourself and see what in that list, you’re comfortable with and confident that you can handle. Then consider where you see gaps and who can help you with that?


The next crucial evaluation is time. Even if you have all the skills required and know exactly what you’re working towards, do you have the time to commit to this? Do the friends and family that you’re going to be relying on have the time to help you out? What else is going on in your life? And theirs?

You also need to consider time on the day of the event. Is you maid of honour really going to have time to be dealing with the caterers? 

It’s often best not to have key players on the day of the event also responsible for event planning duties on the day. They can help with tasks leading up to the day of the event, but it may be best to rely on others for help on the day.

We now have the information to evaluate which option is best suited to you.

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Option 1 – DIY – I’ve got this covered.

You know what you want, you know how to do it and you’ve got your task team gathered in your head. 

For you, any trip really starts with the planning stage.

Have a quick look at our 7 Tips On Selecting A Function Venue and know that we wish you well.

Option 2 – Event Planner – I need help. And I want it to be professional!

Professional event planners have experienced every type of event, dealt with every eventuality and worked with teams of professionals that they rely on. 

They are knowledgeable about all the aspects of event management and work towards realising your dreams, within your means. They also have professional distance from the emotions that can run high sometimes at events; which means they can keep the plan on track and not get sidetracked by any possible drama.

This leaves you free to relax and enjoy your event.

Option 3 – Event Combo for Me – I’ve got this covered, but I need some help.

You believe you’ll be able to handle some stuff, but you need some reinforcements.

Once you’ve decided on a venue – or while you’re deciding – check with the venue and find out what services are available, who their preferred suppliers are and get references from them on any gaps in your event management plan. 

This way you can join forces with their team.

Eventually, the planning will be over and the day will arrive.

Events, like life, don’t always go according to plan. At some point, you have to let go of the plan and enjoy the moments in the moment. 

Remember to surround yourself with people who love you and want the best for you and they’ll be cheering you on.