Steps to Planning a Social Event: Part 2

How to plan a successful event can vary depending on the type of event hosted, but within the category of social versus corporate event or fundraiser, the process can be outlined into 5 major steps. Part one was featured on Tuesday, with steps 1 and 2. Next week, we’ll outline basic steps to planning a corporate event or fundraiser.


3. Work with vendors to get details done – create invitations, select flowers, food preferences

Professional, experienced vendors will effortlessly lead you through this process and save you the trouble of knowing what you have to determine and what steps to take when. Generally, each vendor will contact you for needed information, or as you work with your event coordinator, they can handle all of those emails and calls and as host(ess), you can have them as your single point person.

Black and white invitation is classic for an event and one option you can select and send to guests.

Invitation courtesy of Tiny Prints

Catered hor d'ouevres - can be fancy or simple but they set the tone for your event and should be in line with your theme.

Some details can’t be finalized until closer to the event date, but we recommend you try to get these processes going as soon as possible, as that leaves you time to relax before the event, as opposed to constantly formulating details and meeting with vendors. Many of these steps can be taken care of by your event coordinator, if you don’t have the time or desire to do it yourself. At the very least, we provide a planning timeline to every client that outlines specific dates for each task to get done, so that you don’t have to worry about what to do next!

4. Get into specifics – site diagrams and timeline

1-2 months out from your event, you’ll need to determine specifics for your venue and vendors. If you’re doing a smaller affair, perhaps one at your home, this can be done as late as 2 weeks before your event without a problem. The two key things you’ll need to determine are site layout (how do you want to design the room(s), based on your guest count and type of event), and timeline of the day. Depending on the event, these can be very simple documents or they can get long and extremely detailed. With your event coordinator, often you won’t have to do this step yourself at all! With us, we always create a detailed diagram and timeline for you to determine changes and approve, then take care of getting it to venue and vendors (and ensuring it happens and everyone’s on board!).

Site layout for Hotel Los Gatos Monte Sereno room. For both weddings and events, it's important to determine site layout and specifics before the event. A coordinator can best do this job for you.
5. Final confirmation and then have fun!

One week before your event, you’ll want to confirm all details with your vendors. Ensure you know their arrival time, specific responsibilities per your meetings with them and departure time. Make sure you know when final payment is due. Provide them with final timeline and any last-minute changes in guest count or preferences. Your event coordinator will likely handle this entire step for you!

Oval tables adorn the banquet hall at Kohl Mansion, making a great floorplan and layout

Photo courtesy of Rhee Bevere Photography

Then relax and have fun! Your coordinator will ensure the day goes to plan – whether we’re there, or whether you’ve opted to simply use us for planning work and not for day-of, our work guarantees that your event will run smoothly and be exactly what you’ve hoped for. Our priority is that you enjoy your own event and pleasures of being a host(ess)!


If you would like to discuss your event with us, please feel free to contact us. We offer consultation-only services and a la carte help through full coordination. We can also provide you with a proposal for your event to show you how we can help plan, design and coordinate your event. If you’re interested, set up a complimentary initial consultation!