Welcome to Virgo's wedding & event planning blog. I’m thrilled you’re here. I have so much I want to share, and I am excited to introduce you to my passions and areas of interest. My name is Marissa, I am the owner and Lead Planner of Virgo Event Planning a boutique wedding, event planning & design company located in NJ.
To best describe my personal style, I am a "California girl" (in my best Katy Perry voice) living on the east coast. My planning style is elegant and sophisticated with a touch of fun. I like to add pops of color and bold statement pieces.
My blog is about all things wedding-related, we will cover tips, best practices, wedding etiquette as well as event design & styling. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
What is an Event Planner?
Let's start with the basics. What is an Event Planner? One who plans parties or social events such as fundraisers or corporate functions. It seems in recent times everyone is an event planner, the term "event planner" has been used so loosely that I feel it carries very little weight when trying to separate yourself as a professional planner from the hobbyist I digress. I often describe what I do for a living without saying the words "event planner" at all. I am a professional who organizes weddings and social gatherings for busy individuals who lack the time or expertise to hash out the details.
What does an Event Planner Do?
I hear this question more often than I hear ANYTHING else. Every planner is different and offers different services. As an Event Planner, we handle the logistics of an event, which is another way of saying we handle the "behind the scenes/uninteresting" yet highly important aspects of an event. Let's say you may want a fun colorful formal event with live music, delicious food, and champagne. Now we must find a festive venue, source the right band, hire the perfect caterer, acquire permits, and so on. Everyone has a role to do within an event and the planner's role is to oversee the entirety of an event to make sure everything runs smoothly operationally.
What are the types of Event Planners?
Most planners have a niche (an area of expertise) for example Starbucks specializes in coffee and specialty drinks, but they also sell sandwiches too. When I think of Starbucks, I don't think of sandwiches even though they sell them. The same goes for planners, we have specialty areas too. I specialize in intimate weddings and pre-wedding/post-wedding-related social events with a design-led focus.
How can you tell what a planner niche is? Simply ask, if your planner doesn't have a specialty/niche, I would consider telling you to end the conversation as soon as possible without looking back!
However, just because a planner has a niche doesn't mean they can't do other events it just reflects what areas they are an expert in or more passionate about, and possibly have more connections. For example, a wedding planner would probably use more sophisticated planning software, accept credit card payments and have a broader range of vendor connections such as lighting, table linens, and AV because it makes sense for their niche, compared to a planner who may only do Birthday parties.
Some other niches would be corporate events, non-profit events, fairs, and festivals and on the social side, you have wedding planners, bridal and baby showers, milestone birthdays and anniversaries, or kid's parties only, just to name a few. This is how you make sure you're hiring the right planner for your event type.
What about Event Design?
This may come as a shocker to a lot of people but not all Event Planners are Event Designers! These are 2 different services. It would be similar to expecting your hairstylist to beat your face. They are both beauty industry-related, and most people would normally get their hair done and put on makeup for an event but not necessarily by the same person.
This is an additional service, so it costs more when you need event planning and event design. If we really wanted to get technical event design and event styling are not the same either (that's a different subject entirely). Event Designers focus solely on the aesthetics of your event.
Is it Worth the Investment?
Having "the right" planner help you with your event will allow you to relax and enjoy your special day. If you want to wow your guest, consider hiring an event designer to make sure your event is the talk of the town, and if you are looking for convenience and less stress I would focus more on a traditional planner. I find that most people are looking for a little bit of both. Do you think you hiring a planner/designer is worth the investment, why or why not?