Technology has completely changed the world of event planning…like most industries. Between Etsy, Pinterest and sites like Alibaba, it can snowball very quickly, and just as quickly you can find yourself in a puddle of buyer’s remorse. While there is certainly a ton of upside to having the world of stuff just a click away, it can also be your worst enemy.
I love the phone calls where my client tells me the things they saw online and just had to buy. One too many glasses of wine + the world wide web, can quickly become boxes and boxes of crap that ends up costing a lot and may not actually create the impact you were hoping for. I am all in favor of finding ways to save money, and spreading costs over the months leading up to the event, but you have to have a plan. If you just start buying on a whim you could end up with a bunch of stuff that isn’t cohesive and just creates clutter.
A lot of times items can be found for sale online for only a little more than they are to rent, and clients jump at it in hopes of using it again in the future. Its an investment…would be a waste to rent it. Be pragmatic. Don’t buy things to avoid renting that take up a ton of space and ultimately you wont really need. With how trends come and go it can be a slippery slope investing in event décor…it would be like buying skis because you plan on skiing for a day.
That being said, there are so many amazing small touches and items that do make sense to buy yourself as long as you have a plan. Look at everything you need for your event, and identify specific items you will try and find on your own in advance. What touches do you want to make your own? Create a list of items that you will need like favors, placecards, guestbook, or menu cards and decide which of those you will scour the world for. Think about things like transporting those items to your venue when the event day comes. How much labor is it going to take to put it all together? Who is going to set it out…try and avoid putting your entire group of family and friends to work putting it all together if you can avoid it, you want them to enjoy themselves!
Hosting any kind of event can be stressful and I always tell me clients that it is ok to stress a little, but you have to let it go weeks before so that you can actually enjoy the experience. The stress of family, friends and colleagues coming is enough…don’t spend all of this money on a party only to be miserable and completely stressed out yourself.
As a planner I encourage my clients to explore all that is out there to find their own personal style, but don’t obsess. My doctor always tells me to not google the symptoms of a headache because inevitably I become convinced I am dying of a tumor. The same can be said of planning an event..don’t spend all of your time searching the earth to save a dollar here and there and make impulse buys. It backfires…a lot. I live by the rule of see it, love it, save it and then think before you click. Sleep on it…run it by your planner or friends. Make sure that every dollar you spend makes sense and is truly going to add to the overall experience without killing you in the process