Whether it’s a wedding, a baby shower, an office party or a holiday gathering, keep these strategies in mind as you plan for a memorable event!
Six Event Planning Strategies
1. Narrow your focus
If you’re planning a baby shower, your focus is the new mom. How can you plan this event so that she enjoys it? If it’s a work-related conference, what can you do to achieve your goal of unity or education? The goal of making everyone happy is too broad. You’ll never please everyone. Keep your goal obtainable and realistic. I kept this in mind during the planning of our oldest daughter’s wedding. I started to think of everyone involved and tried to please the group. Once I narrowed my focus to the bride, I felt less pressure and had more to offer.
It’s easy to fall into the pattern of taking it all on yourself. You know how you want things to look. You know what you want the program to say. If you find yourself overwhelmed, ask this: Is there something I’m trying to do that someone else can do? If so, delegate. If cooking is not your thing, let someone else handle the meal preparation while you focus on the decorations. Once you delegate, avoid the temptation to weigh yourself down by hanging on to your idea of how it should be.
3. Let it go
There will come a point where something comes up that you have to relinquish. Whether it is an exact head count, finding the perfect venue, the threat of someone canceling, or an unexpected twist of events, inevitably you will face the decision whether to roll with it or become mired in disappointment and frustration. I called these “snares” as we planned my daughter’s wedding. Something was more expensive than I thought, someone else had a desire to do it a different way. Would I hang on to my expectation or would I let it go? Bringing my mind back to the focus of the event – the bride and the groom – helped me let it go.
4. Take care of yourself
It’s easy to get caught up with the planning to the neglect of your well-being. Take the time to exercise. Go for a walk. Sit in the sun. Be aware of what you’re doing to cope with the stress. I found the closer we got to the wedding, my anxiety levels skyrocketed. I looked at what I was eating and reverted to a simple diet of bone stock and vegetables. (See this previous post on the Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet.) I kept my GAPS fast right up to the day of the wedding and experienced far less anxiety as a result.
5. Embrace the unexpected
Something will happen that you can’t predict. No amount of preparation will keep the flowers from spilling, the ring bearer from running instead of walking, or the snow falling in the middle of March. Whatever comes your way, embrace it and see what fun memories are created. Life happens at unexpected moments.
6. Prepare for a letdown
No matter how you pace yourself, you’re running on adrenaline toward the end of the event. The day after, prepare for a release and an overall sense of fatigue as your body recovers and your mind processes all that you’ve been through. Give yourself space to feel depressed and tired. Do something to treat yourself. After our daughter’s wedding, I tried to get back to the routine too quickly. Once I let go and gave myself room for the letdown, I found it passed. Within a few days, I was back to engaging in daily tasks.
Big events are the highlights of life – milestones that can quickly become millstones. With a little forethought and strategizing, your upcoming event may prove to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of your life!
Excellent post…one of my favorites. Glad you got all this wisdom down so quickly after your big event. Please send this to me when I’m working on one in my life lest I forget these great principles!!!!