How to Stay Stress-Free When Organizing a Special Event

The last thing anyone wants before and during a special event is stress. Yet, stress is what most people get during special events. A recent Healthline survey found out that over 62 percent of the respondents found the holiday season–the time when most people prepare special events–stressful. In fact, event planning has been described as one of the most stressful activities in the world. You can reduce the stress associated with planning that special events. Whether it is a wedding, graduation, or anniversary celebration, don’t let stress rob you of your joy on the special day.

Get Reliable Volunteers and Contractors

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The type of volunteers you use can make or break your special event. Using an unreliable volunteers can lead to undesirable consequences on your special day. Well ahead of the event, it is wise to draw up a list of volunteers you will use before, during, and after the event and to assign them specific roles. Communication in the early preparation stages is important. Get your volunteers involved as early as possible and empower them by giving them the information and authority they need to carry out their responsibilities. For example, if you want a volunteer to coordinate with the venue, it might be wise to introduce the volunteer to the venue management well ahead of the event. You may also need to hold a brief meeting with your volunteers to make sure that everyone is on the same page to minimize the possibility of misunderstandings.

Your choice of contractors is not any less important. Food is critical to the success of most events and it is important to hire reliable catering services. Also ensure that the photographer, videographer, seating contractor, sound system vendor, and other contractors are reliable. Keeping the lines of communication with the vendors open in the days leading up to the event can help stave off failures due to scheduling conflicts. You can gauge the reliability of a contractor by checking out online reviews from websites like Yelp.

Stick to the Budget

Some of the most stressful problems when organizing events are budget-related. Failure to draw up a budget when planning an event usually creates uncertainties. Even people who draw up a budget can run into problems when the event overruns the budget, putting pressure on family and friends. It is, therefore, imperative to make and stick to a budget. Have a contingency plan and always dedicate a portion of the budget to unexpected events. Professional event planners suggest dedicating funds equivalent to 5-25 percent of the budget to contingencies. There is a wealth of apps dedicated to budgeting and tracking expenses for special events and it is useful to make use of apps like Expensify and Planning Pod.

Get a Reliable Venue

Your choice of venue can determine the amount of stress you will have in the days leading up to the event. Seeking out an unusual venue to make the occasion unique may seem like a good idea. Yet, the use an unusual venue may sometimes create extra stress due to the effort involved in getting the venue ready for the event. Be mindful of the weather forecast and the season when the event will take place. Avoid outdoor locations unless you are sure the event will come at a time of the year without snow falls, rainstorms, or other inclement weather events. You also want to make sure that the venue is reliable, safe, and complies with the requirements of the local authorities.

If possible, seek out venues which provide the other services needed for the event. Families that choose events which come with perks like seating, public address systems, lighting, Wi-Fi, and IT technicians are less likely to be stressed in the days leading up to the ceremony.

Scrutinize the Fine Print of Contracts

One of the potential causes of stress before and during special events is misunderstandings between the event organization team and the vendors. Misunderstandings about fines, venue availability, type of photography, and similar issues are common. Such misunderstandings are more likely to happen when you sign generic contractors which are subject to manipulation and misunderstanding. Always ensure that the contracts you create or get from your contractors contain as much details as possible. Insist on having full quotes with details on taxes, scheduling contingencies, and any hidden fees. To minimize the chances of vendors bolting at the last minute, include clauses in your contract that forbid vendors from backing out beyond a certain date and details about the penalties in case they cancel.

Many families look forward to special events to strengthen family bonds and to create lasting memories. But some people find out the hard way that planning and pulling off a special event can be very stressful. You can minimize the stress associated with organizing special events by sticking to your budget and getting reliable volunteers and contractors. You can also reduce the pressure that usually surges in the days leading to the event by using a reliable venue and reading the fine print of your contracts with vendors.

Cover Image credits: Photo by from Pexels

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