Party Planning Professionals

Whether your summer party planning just hit a frenetic pace or you're planning for fall, you may wonder whether “professional help” is needed.  Despite great connections or extraordinary multi-tasking ability, implementing a plan can be stressful.   Many assume that event pros only work with large events or weddings while some fear pros are expensive or pushy.  Rest assured, there are some great local resources who can make your life more blissful!  Consider these six insights to help decide whether to call in a pro:

Full or Partial Planning

Many event planners offer full & partial planning with everything from party theme, design, vendor selections, budget to day-of management. You provide input and they provide options, site visits & tastings. Your planner manages the large and small.

Partial planning can be beneficial to dinner parties, children’s parties & all size affairs.  You may have a caterer but want help setting a beautiful table-scape.  Partial planning is for anyone who doesn’t want to worry about “it all”.   Your busy and want someone to track RSVPs or help you budget.  Partial planning can also be cost effective.  However, don’t expect a pro to arrive on event day to magically make everything perfect. Spend time bringing a planner up to speed & have them connect with your vendors. Outline all expectations in advance.  

Designers & Planners: Who Does What?

Planners & designers help cultivate and realize your vision.  Scour tools such as & magazines for inspiration. While many planners have great design aptitude, they may recommend a design pro. Event & Floral Designers create the overall design, curate décor materials & have amazing staffs that do everything from styling to rigging. Planners can recommend a designer and work together. Event designers are incredible talents & visionaries. Planners should be creative managers & solution finders. I’ll never say I can pipe & drape but can provide ideas and get you a meeting with a great pipe and draper. Likewise, the designer may not know about your son’s nut allergy but your planner should!

A Team Player

Your venue or caterer may have a stellar planning team but do they file for permits or help write you a speech?   An outside planner should work with your team (and vice-versa).  Their role is to be a team player (not boss) while managing your vision & budget.  Pros can carry out details like where gifts should be transported post party.


No matter how complex, professionals can make a budget and help you stick to it. They can help determine expenditures and send alerts for payments.  Pros can often negotiate favorable rates or pass discounts which can be a big bonus.

Scheduling & Flow

You booked the most sought after entertainer but wonder when they should start performing.  Any event be it 10 people or 500 should have a schedule and flow.  This allows you to plot everything from set up & arrivals to dinner service length & handling last call. A schedule makes you feel in control. The pros & catering teams can create schedules and advise on flow & etiquette. Check out our sample plan below.

Finding & Evaluating a Pro

Referrals are simply a great way to meet planners.  Do an online search for Event or Party Planners or ask a caterer or florist. Explore options as there are fantastic pros not on vendor lists.  Keep in mind that your friend’s sister may have planned her shower but she may not know how to evaluate a vendor contract or evaluate safety measures. Check out a pros online gallery and try not to evaluate on price alone as personality is key. Always provide good information before expecting a proposal & make sure to receive a contract or agreement. Planners & designers may charge by the hour, by package or by a percentage of total event cost (less common).

Above all, have fun planning but consider enjoying the fruits of your labor vs working at your event. Quality time with loved ones can be hard to come by and a good pro loves nothing more than seeing you happily busting a move on the dance floor!

For more information on the perfect party planning schedule, download my personal event flow worksheet.

Michele SinacorePrior to starting michele sinacore events {mse}, Michele Solomon-Sinacore worked for over 11 years in Corporate Sponsorship Marketing & Events for some of the largest brands in Sports, Entertainment & Media. mse offers customized event services that include full planning, month-of event coordination & event consulting. Michele creates top-notch events always with an eye for fresh style and an aim for clients to enjoy (vs work) at their events.

Michele Sinacore Events
Event Planning and Coordination for Corporate and Social Events
(914) 432-5709

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