Hawaii Kai Destination Wedding

Having worked in the Hawaii Kai event planning industry for almost 7 years there are not many surprises left – but occasionally I still get the, “They did what?” pass my lips! Why am I not surprised anymore – because over the years the number one rule for event planning is putting time into the pre planning of the event, and then planning contingencies for the exceptions that may happen?

So where do you start? As far out from the event date as possible as getting space is the first step. In Hawaii Kai, where we do a lot of work, it is not unusual to be booking one year out at some of the venues, as they are booked solidly every week.

The first few decisions are the easiest. What is the budget? What is the event about? A party, corporate seminar, convention, festival, wedding, or an anniversary – the list is endless, but one thing remains constant once the event has a name and the type of event is decided, the next step will be to decide where to hold the event. This is where the real event planners stand out from the crowd. So you have an event – okay lets book a hotel is normally the next answer but why would you miss out on an opportunity to create a unique experience?

Wedding Ideas - Designing Your Own Wedding Ring

Ever wonder what a wedding planner REALLY does?

Most people rely on movies like "The Wedding Planner" to form their definition of a typical wedding planner. For the most part, J.Lo as a headset wearing ''star of the show'' is fantasy when it comes to being a wedding planner. Unlike Matthew and Bridget's unlimited budget, you will be hired for your budgeting skills. But your bride will be stressed and this is where you DO shine. You will be called upon and hired or not hired based on your abilities to perform under pressure, like there is no pressure. Learning your role in brides' and grooms' weddings is the first piece of the wedding planning puzzle. Below is a list of the 3 most recognized service selections your clients have to choose from. We refer to these as ''packages.'' However, I am here to tell you, if you want to excel past the cookie cutter wedding planner, then it is up to YOU to define these packages by adding your own pizazz to your unique services.

Wedding Planner - def (n)

A person who creates magic, pulls answers out of hat, and performs a flawless wedding (without sweating).

There are many services a wedding planner can provide to a bride. Depending on the bride's needs and personality, it is up to the wedding planner to service her client's needs. Not only is it important to meet the client's expectations, but exceeding their expectations will enhance your referrals to help you find your next client.

Full Service Planner

A full service planner is able to really help the bride from literally the beginning to the end of her planning. From the moment the groom pops the question the bride comes into the planner's office to begin the journey. This bride is often new to the area, gets overwhelmed easily, doesn't like to make decisions, or is very busy in her career or education. A planner's main responsibility is to be the representative for the family and keep communication lines open amongst all parties involved. Becoming the mediator is often a crucial role in this phase of the planning process.

Main Responsibilities of a Full Service Planner:

oSet budget (stay on budget throughout the planning process)

oFind reception/ceremony location

oBook vendors (photographer, videographer, florist, entertainment)

oNegotiate pricing for all vendors involved

oCreate personal décor style for bride/groom

oCreate vendor timeline/bridal party timeline

oAttend all meetings

oOrchestrate the rehearsal and wedding day

oPersonal assistant to family

oFollow up with miscellaneous tasks post-wedding

Partial Planner

This is the most popular program wedding planners can offer to their clients. Brides will come into the appointment with some of the choices already made, but would like professional guidance in the midst of the planning process. Brides think they can do it all themselves only to find frustration and an endless list of things to do hence, why they turn it over to a planner. This type of bride likes to have the final say in the decision making process, but wants a professional opinion each step of the way.

Main Responsibilities of a Partial Planner:

oCollect all information/contracts from client

oEvaluate the budget

oMeet all family members involved in the planning process

oCreate road map/set goals for each month with client

oBook remainder vendors

oNegotiate pricing when available

oPersonal Décor (upgrade program)

oCreate vendor timeline/bridal party timeline

oAttend final catering meeting

oOrchestrate the rehearsal and wedding day

oPersonal assistant to family

oFollow up with miscellaneous tasks post-wedding

Day of Planner

A Day Of Planner is someone who comes in and picks up all the pieces (often referred to as the personal assistant to the family or the manager of the overall wedding). The main responsibility of a day of planner is to ensure the plan the bride and her family has created runs smoothly according to their expectations. Reception décor and ceremony timing is crucial the day of the wedding. The most important piece of the puzzle is to make sure the vendors are directed in the right place at the right time along with the bridal party. The timeline is the heart of the event. Without a solid timeline, people will not know where to go and when they are to report. A day of planner is only as good as her timeline. 5 minutes off the time of the wedding day, means tough filet mignon in the hotbox. This is often referred to as "Game Day."

Main responsibilities of a Day of Planner:

oCreate timeline

oCall all vendors to check arrival time and location

oPunch out meeting with bride and groom (collect personal items)

oGet help

oAssign staff with bride (assist in getting dressed)

oAssign staff for reception décor (implement plan)

oOverall manager for family

oOrchestrate rehearsal and wedding day

oFollow up with miscellaneous tasks post-wedding

There are three main services a wedding planner can provide: full service, partial, or day of planner. Knowing which type of service the client is seeking will help define the type of program to sell her. Each client is unique and some programs might have to be customized to fit her needs. Remember, the bride is the client you are the director. It is up to the director to guide the client into the right program to suit her needs.

Weddings On A Budget

Varieties in Catering Services

You've been tasked with planning an event and don't know where to begin. Take a deep breath, anyone with any level of event expertise can take an event from good to great. Here is how:

For beginners, it is imperative that you do your homework. You must first generate an event plan and consider the building blocks of any event: target market, situational analysis, the 6 P's and planning.

Let's get started. Think very clearly about the people you are trying to attract. Ask yourself the question: Who is your target market?

Once you identify those that will be attending your event, allow yourself time to travel into the hearts and minds of your potential audience. Believe me; knowing what kinds of things they like to see, do, buy and eat will be helpful as your event plan begins to come to life.

Now that you have your target market in mind, let's take a look at your situational analysis. You will need to examine your internal strengths and weaknesses and your external opportunities and threats as they relate to whatever you are planning to do. You must be brutally honest with yourself when analyzing the various components of your event.

The next step in taking your event from good to great is to identify the 6 P's of event planning: Purpose, People, Product, Place, Price and Process. Outlined below you will find the questions related to each P that you should answer prior to diving into the planning phase.

- Why are you doing this event? (Purpose)
- Who will attend? (People)
- What are you going to do? (Product)
- When and where? (Place)
- How much is it going to cost you? (Price)
- How are you going to get the job done? (Process)

Now that you have identified your target market, have performed a situational analysis and have answered the building block questions of planning an event, you are ready to develop a formal event plan and begin execution shortly thereafter.

A formal event plan has several interrelated components: goal, objectives, strategies, tactics, budget, timetable and evaluation. Your written detailed plan of action will serve as the backbone to your master event plan. Keep it close at hand and refer back to it often.

Congratulations, at this point you have finished your homework and can now move into the imaginative, fun side of event planning! Take your events to the next level by identifying a theme and carrying that theme from start to finish.

Planning a successful event is no walk in the park. It is tedious work and requires an individual who always keeps their dancing shoes and party hat nearby. One who is forever excited about the adventure and who remembers that problems that will inevitably arise but the beat must go on.

You've got a plan, now the let the event begin. You are on your way from good to great!