Here we are in June already. I can’t believe it. When June approaches, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs fade away…there’s that summer break thing with camp and camp and a little more camp—so we’re free and clear to mid or late August. Oh, and some families go on vacation.

That said, this is when many parents start their planning for the fall (or the following fall; depends on how organized one is).   We have clients that plan two years in advance, and then we have clients that plan two weeks in advance. No exaggeration, I swear.

What order, you ask? It seems that invitations, décor and the “details” are last on the list and they should be (I hate to say). Finding a venue and the vendors of choice are imperative because they really do book up far in advance. When they tell you that, it’s not a sales pitch, trust me. Depending on the vendor, they may or may not take a booking beyond a year out…that’s also something you must keep in mind.

Everyone’s priority list is different. Some people have a venue in mind that is a DO or DIE. As an example, I have a bride I’m working with that had to have a certain set of gardens at a local mansion as her venue (it was her dream since she was little). However, when she called they wouldn’t take a reservation until the January of the year before the wedding. Not even a hold. You can believe that the day she became eligible, we were on the phone!

If your venue comes with a panel of caterers or you can bring your own, this is just as important as reserving the room. A quality caterer with great presentation and innovative menus will be booked months out. There’s no need for a menu or tasting immediately, just get on their calendar so you can rest easy that you’re in good hands.

Others think that entertainment is most important and have a favorite DJ or band they want to engage. And I agree. Entertainment and the emcee make the bar mitzvah, wedding, gala or corporate event (my opinion). Next up, the photographer. For weddings especially, the photographer and/or videographer should be booked well in advance (especially if you are planning a video presentation).

Just a word to the wise. Before any of the above, decide on your budget based on your number of guests…it will help you when you make your choices. Any budget is possible, but your vendors have to fit within it. Put your dollars into what’s most important and base your theme, time of day, etc., on what you can afford and where you’ll get the biggest bang.



Now you have something to do at the pool.
Sherri Foxman, The Party Girl