The biggest mistakes you might be making

I am going to tell you a little story . . . this was years ago so I think I am in the safe zone to be able to relay this tale. This story comes as a cautionary warning with two underlining mistakes I find many newbies to the industry make (I know I did). 

Many moons ago before I had officially gotten my feet wet in the event planning world, I agreed to help a friend of a friend plan a party in about a month’s time. First things first I should establish that I didn’t set a price for my service, I asked for them to pay me what they felt was fair at the end of the process. There was a venue booked but that was it. A couple days into the planning, their venue fell through. Being suzy go getter, I offered up my condo’s party room.

The planning came along nicely . . . but because they were on a budget and I found myself driving around the city picking up everything. Speakers, glassware, balloons . . . the list went on. Because there was no budget, there was no caterer. A family member dropped off a ton of meat and cheese and were meant to come back to help plate it all. Alas no one returned to help so I was left to set up all the food on my own. Trying to be as helpful as possible, I also offered to bartend. There was probably around 75-100 people who attended the party. The bartending duty was WAY more than I had anticipated. I was basically glued to the bar all night. Looking around the room, the garbage and cups started to pile up. Right . . . someone to clean up  . . . I had NOT thought of that.

Any spare moment I would dash out and try to clean up the mess that was getting bigger by the minute. By the end of the night, I was totally exhausted. My hubby, being the good lad that he is, helped me clean until about 3 am in the morning. We were sweeping, throwing out garbage, wrapping extra food, and putting away the dishes into containers. In the end I was paid $150 for the work, and I can honestly say the experience was a huge wake up call for me.

Now I promise, this isn’t a “woe is me” story. No no. Because my friends I SET THE TERMS. I offered my condo, offered to bartend, and didn’t set a price. It was all on me. And I can tell you after that experience I realized really quickly 2 important lessons:

1. Know your worth - even if you are just starting out, if you want to get paid for an event and aren’t doing it on a volunteer basis, you have to set the terms. Look at how much time you are going to commit and set an hourly rate, create a solid quote and stick to your guns.

2. You can’t do it all - an event planner is not a florist, cleaner, bartender, courier, server, etc. And this experience taught me that real quick. Even if you are trying to help someone stay in a budget, if the budget isn’t realistic and means they can’t hire the proper staff to make it happen, you have to pipe up.

So if you have made this mistake or found yourself in a similar scenario, you are not alone my friend. We’ve all been there. Or if you haven’t gone down this path yet I hope my little story might help dodge a similar situation.

Remember - “You attract what you believe you are worth” so don’t be afraid to charge a fair price and NEVER try to do it all on your own.

Until next time lovelies,

toronto wedding planner