Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Not-So Subtle Post on Affording a Party Planner (or NOT)

Recently in an online party planner forum, a bunch of us were venting about how the average client can have NO idea how much work goes into a party. One woman said, "Someone should subtlety blog about this topic!" Ooooh, I love a good challenge! But let me tell you one thing: Kenna + subtle have never, like EVER, been used in the same sentence. Did I mention ever?

I am writing this post mainly to give some much-needed insight to potential clients who are dreaming of hiring a party planner; a little perspective on all of the work that would go in to making your party an "event to remember!" But, let's be honest... I'm also writing to vent. Miss Party Mom loves a good vent sesh.

First, I want to get some things out of the way. In my whopping one year of experience running Miss Party Mom Event Planning, I have made next to nothing financially. I mean, sure there's been a paycheck here and there, and thank goodness for that or I'd really feel like a loser, but what I'm saying is that if any normal person were to sit down and do the math on the hours I've put into an average client's party- they would come to this conclusion: what an idiot! 

One of the hardest things for me in this business is being a perfectionist who has party vision (which is a lot like tunnel vision) regardless of the money involved. I would rather dip into my own profit than skimp on a party detail. For the first year I said, "I want to be featured on all of the party blogs- so I will cut myself a lot of slack in the profit department!" I have no idea if this is a good idea, I am DEFINITELY not here to write about making smart business moves in this industry. All I know is that I caught the eye of the "big party blogs," got some exposure and made some fans. I am now entering my second year and I am REALLY going to try and make some money this year... a novel thought!

To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here are some of the things I've done that have taken extra time and most would have charged more for. These are things that I didn't ever consider I'd be doing in my party planning career:
  • Run to Walmart with 2 small kids at 8 p.m. the night before, to get hot glue sticks
  • Been a counselor, calming and de-stressing parents pre-party, saying things like, "It's ok- deep breath, it's going to be fabulous!" 
  • Stayed post-party to help clean the house 
  • Been snapped at to do things like, "Cut the cake, please!?
  • Worked until 4:30 a.m., only to wake at 6:30 a.m. to start loading up to leave for a party
  • Scrubbed a client's kitchen floor down on my hands and knees because it was gross and my dessert table was going in it
  • Bought a child's party outfit because the clients didn't have anything good planned
This is a just short list of a few of the things a client would potentially be doing in order to throw an amazing party: staying up late, entering into a serious monogamous relationship with the hot glue gun, burning at least one finger on that glue gun, making sure their child looks party-amazing, scrubbing their own floors, making late-night Walmart runs- and I don't know... taking a Paxil or 2...?

How much is this worth to you? Are these things you don't mind doing? How good are you at doing them? Do you own the tools to get them done? How good do you want your party to look? And what are you willing to do/pay to get that look? Put a price point on how much your sanity is worth to you and how much you want your 5-year-old to have that Fairy Party with those glitter wing party favors and hand made fairy wands. Now that you've put a price on it- let's dip a bit further into reality.

Obviously every planner is going to have different pricing, that's a given. Especially based on where you live. One thing I now know after a year is that I will not even consider a party for less than $550. So please stop calling about a $300 party, it's insulting. And NO, $550 does not include food, so please- stop asking that too.

If I agree to do a party at $550, it's going to be a dessert bar in one of the MPM party themes. If you are screaming, "$550?!" at the screen, then please leave the blog now. You can come back when I'm venting about the kids, a much more relatable subject. I pretty much hate this price point and unless the theme is going to rock my socks, I'm kind of already over it. Let me tell you- $550 to a party planner is like pennies. I can spend that so fast (and have many times!), that this amount tends to get me resenting the fact I even signed up. But what do you get? You'll end up with an amazing 6 foot fully stocked and decorated dessert bar, because I literally cannot stop myself from being a partyaholic- (a workaholic party planner). A plus for you for sure.

Let's dissect the $550 price point, since you're still screaming, "$550!?" but are somehow STILL reading my words... I'm kind of addictive aren't I? A fully stocked dessert bar at Miss Party Mom for 30 guests (or less! No discounts!) will include a Small Cake, Cupcakes, Cake Pops and Custom Sugar Cookies (bagged as favors). So let's see... we'll need all of the ingredients to make all 4 of those desserts (in bulk), dessert decor (sprinkles, etc), gel food coloring, cake pop sticks, paper straws, dessert baggies, parchment paper, cupcake papers, custom printables (cupcake picks, pennants, thank you tags), ribbon to string pennants, glitter spray, things like: rhinestones, ric rack and tiny bows, spray mount, hot glue, glue sticks, card stock, printer ink (a big one), dessert plates, napkins, silverware, ETC- not to mention the fact I usually bring an assistant with me for set up (ya, they cost money too!)... this all adds up to about $300 (or at least I keep telling myself that). I mean, addition is some pretty simple math, people!

Subtraction is pretty simple math too, and all that leaves me with a profit margin of $250. Think about how crazy it is that I'm even taking this party! Crazy like, she must think this is going to pay off in a big way someday crazy. A profit of $250 for a minimum of 40 hours pre-party: making things, shopping online & in store, working with a graphic designer for a minimum of 6 hours to get the printables designed... only to pack up the party, load it in to the MPM truck, drive to said party, set up the party, stay at the party, take down the party, and in the mean time let my house go to hello operator the entire week before the party, come home from the party, feel dead from the party, unload the party, reorganize all of the party stuff back in to the Party Cave, catch up on all of the leftover housework created from the working on the party... for $250?! I can work less and make better money waitressing... oh and if the party's on a weekend, I am missing out on my waitressing money! I must really love doing this!

I know some people in this industry are reading this and may scoff at that price. And good for you, seriously. For me, in the small town I live in, where a party planner for most people would be about as necessary as hiring a chauffeur to drive you to Target (not that this doesn't sound awe-some!)... $550 is a place to start. And you can't imagine how many people have literally hung up the phone at that quote. If you want a full blown party with games, handmade favor bags with favors to go in them (think: fairy wands), a photo booth, more decor and a drink bar (I'm talkin' lemonade, not martinis) you're looking at a minimum of $700 in a theme I already have... and you guessed it- still no food! Gasp!

So, if you're thinking about hiring a party planner- let me assure you of something... They will be working their tail off for you to have a great party (with little to no stress on your part). And to reiterate: the week before a party, it is guaranteed that a planner will be up crazy kinds of late, unless they have a daytime nanny or something- in that case I'd like to yell, "NO FAIR!" It is also a fact that we will be driving around so much, we'll suck down at least a tank of gas which I have not even included in the cost because I can't mentally even go there. We will go to Michael's, Joann's, Target, Hobby Lobby and the local party supply so many times they will all know and fear me, (I mean us?) Lastly- and I can't take all party planners down with this one- but for Miss Party Mom, the laundry and dishes will be piled high, the kids' hygiene will have slipped waaay below health code standards, and my own hygiene? Oh dear, let's not even go there. I will most likely lose 5 pounds, unless Hannah force feeds me like my mom's been trying convince her to.

After all this, the only thing we ask is that you have your house party-ready (as in sparkling clean),  a smile on your face as guests arrive and a plan for cleaning up the party mess so we can go reunite with those people who once called us mom and like, take a shower... or 2? Oh and a, "Thank you SO much- I know you must be exhausted!" and maybe a Facebook status along the lines of, "@MissPartyMom Rocks, find her at www.misspartymom.com!!" also wouldn't hurt. No, really.

In conclusion I want to leave you with this. If you want to hire a party planner, be prepared to spend some cash. Put the party into your budget and own the fact that parties are expensive. Party newsflash! Even a middle-of-the road party at Chuck E Cheese for 15 kids is about $400. Go to their website if you don't believe me. And beware of any "cheap" party planner... I'd be worried if I met one. Hiring a party planner is a luxury item and it's not for everyone. I'm not saying it's only for rich people, I'm saying that gathering friends and family to celebrate {in style} would have to rank pretty high on your priority list.

If you choose to forgo hiring a professional- I want you to do something. I want you to add up ALL of the expenses from your next self-planned party, seriously. It will be a good exercise to see if you may even benefit from hiring a planner next time around. And lastly, please do not call your local planner asking for a discount, especially if that local party planner is me. I am working at a discount, trust me!

If you are a party planner by trade and I have left something BIG out that party planners do (I don't have nearly as much experience as some of you) feel free to leave it in the comments section if you'd be so bold! I will even let you be anonymous if you'd like (wussy).

                                                                   xo Party or Die xo
                                                                             kenna

Update: A Part 2 post was written on this subject by my editor who writes from the client's perspective- another interesting take on all of the work party planning takes! See that post here.



We packed up the car for our first party ever by 8 a.m. and were at the house by 8:30 a.m. Party planners work LONG days with LOTS of sweat and heavy lifting involved. I'm surprised I'm not in body-builder shape by now.
Did I mention I dressed up? Add it to my list.
Almost all of my favors are custom made. I'm not ordering from Oriental Trading Company over here! A custom party takes time. And time is money.

 We pitched a flippin' tent at a party. I mean, who does that? As if I'm not busy enough with set up- I've now committed to putting up a TENT? Oh first year, you were a crazy one.

Our cookies do not just make themselves, Hannah @ Hannah's Cookies and Treats makes them. And no you can't just pick up camping themed: fish, sleeping bag, acorn and tree cookies at your local market.

 Sizing things properly like these labels (graphic by Dimple Prints) will make you wish you never even had this idea.
This was one of my smaller parties, and the set up STILL took a full day, from 9am-5pm, don't get me started on taking it all down and reorganizing it all... did I mention it started raining leaving a lot of my decor ruined? Ya. An expense.

I was obsessed with the idea of this sign (designed by joliodesign) being spray glittered... so much so that I made 4 trips to Joann's for spray glitter because it kept clogging. Take into account that once you've started glittering something- there's NO turning back. Do YOU want to go somewhere 4 times for spray glitter?

Custom decor like this Hello Kitty face really helps a party to stand out and break away from the "store bought look." The time commitment on something of this size to go over a dessert table: about 4-5 hours.

This isn't Target party aisle decor we're talking (not that I don't love a good Target party aisle). Do you want to hand roll yarn ice creams late into the night, or would you rather pay someone to do it?

For this party, another one of our firsts- we hand scooped ice cream for 30 kids and wore soda jerk hats to complete the look. All in a day's work at MPM!

Things like Tink's Pixie Dust are not made quickly or easily. There is a tooth pick on the bottom of Tink's foot to get her to stand in the glitter- are these things you really want to figure out trial and error wise OR leave up to a pro? (Graphic by World Wide Party by Elena)

Ask yourself, how much do you want those handmade fairy wands and custom made favor bags??!

Just remember: they only turn 4 ONCE... Why NOT have an AMAZING party?
Said like a true party planner.



60 comments:

  1. Amen, Sista! People want a $5000 party for $50! It makes me crazy! I have been doing it for 7 years so I have seen my share of craziness! I spent all night sewing Jedi robes including a midnight run to Wal Mart for fabric and got a total of 30 minutes sleep before packing the car and hosting a Star Wars party for a celebrity client. Thanks so much for the rant!

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  2. I can FINALLY comment on your blog -- you're in trouble now! ...Like all your others, I'm loving this post. LOVING it. Every time I have thoughts about party planning professionally I change my mind! So far I've only done showers/etc. for friends and family, but not a one happened without an all-nighter the night before, store trips at awful hours all week long, and don't even get me started on money blown. No matter how organized you are leading up, "party week" plays by its own rules! Party planners deserve every penny they get - times ten!!
    "...will make you wish you never even had this idea" True statement!! Don't know how many times I've said that one too!

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    1. Yay! I'm so glad you can comment! I know there's a book being written by Soiree Events about starting a party planning biz- maybe you should get it and see if you could start off profitable, I KNOW you have the talent! Like I mentioned, I am NOT a business woman! I am lead by my heart and creativity and nothing else! Don't let me deter you, lol...

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    2. I just started this business and my first job was for a friend who helped me with some of the expense. I have had a spa day party for a friend, and decorated a lobby before a Children's play at a local theater to get my name out. My first paying customer, we got our lines crossed and I am out my time, but that is fine but last night I really thought. . is this worth it. Love this article and was a great thing to see the professionals all have gone through this. Would love for you to see my fb page and ALWAYS welcome any constructive criticism or things that are definitely don't ( I would love to learn by someone else's mistakes LOL) Thanks so much and my fb page is ttownpartypreppers

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  3. I love the examples you show…one ice cream cone yarn ball would put me over the edge, for sure!! It brings to mind all my late late nights hand-trimming each and every wedding invitation…I certainly never charged enough for those! I love that you are passionate about every little detail…and I hope you get some parties that help you actually make money this year!!

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    1. Creative people never charge enough! Sometimes I wonder if any amount would be enough!

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  4. Girl, I could have written this myself. You rule for this.

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    1. Why thank you! Now can you tell my clients that ;)

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  5. I produced a $30,000 party for a four-year old one time. The client stressed me out so much I couldn't eat or drink for three days leading up to the event, and got so sick.

    After the event, went home, put on some sweats and headed to the ER for dehydration and had to have IV's put in.

    So. Not. Worth. It.

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    1. Wow!! I don't blame you for being anonymous, although I am dying to know who you are! Our biggest party was a $10,000 budget and I got so skinny my mom almost fainted when she saw me- I'm pretty sure I was dehydrated as well. The more $, the more stress- for sure! At some point the only time it's worth throwing a party with that much effort is for my own child, with like 1% percent of that budget ;)

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  6. Kathleen @ Wonderland Party Props

    We experienced the same thing when we started 5 years ago when we provided all those little handmade custom details, but after suffering and licking our wounds from lost profit, we decided to eliminate the crazy details. We decided to create a limited number of themes to offer customers. Beleive it or not it worked for us and we have had such success. Our theme props are booked 6-8 weeks in advance. The party props and decorations we created are kepted in stock and used over and over again. We have not needed to spend any additional money or time creating anything new for the past 3 years. Our week days are relaxed and enjoyed with friends and family. We only work loading up on Friday nights, delivering and setting up on the weekends. We always refer other vendors for Costumes, Cakes, balloons, entertainment, ect....... it took away alot of stress. Sometimes we just can't be the " DO IT ALL " person.

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    1. Wonderful advice. My problem is that I'm an ex-Barbie designer and I really do enjoy (obsess) the details. Everything else isn't of interest to me. I even have a problem with being able to envision the overall party set up (which is what I have my assistant to help with) bc I am that caught up on whether or not the bows are tied perfectly. A double edged sword for sure!

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  7. OMG you are hysterical and this post totally rules. I think I should be taking this post as a "do not do it" with my start up party planning biz but I must be THAT insane that I am still going forward with my plans. There have been many times that I have thought about hiring my own party planner because I know they are worth every single penny but being the crazy person that I am I personally need to get my hands dirty (and burnt by the glue gun). :)

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    1. Although I had started this post before your email, it was definitely spurred on by our convo! In getting to know you through 3 emails, I totally think you could do it! Just don't follow my model of no profit, it'll probably lead to burn out, I'm just crazy stubborn. Hopefully in Jersey you can charge more?! I'm in the sticks!

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  8. I love love love to plan parties. But, could never do them for hire. I take months to get everything ready and most people would never pay for the "little" things I do to make my parties stand out. Every party I throw (for family only) there are several people who always say, you should do this for a business. Are they nuts! No one would pay me to even break even if they knew how much things cost...let alone my time. I don't know how you pros do it.

    I used to decorate cakes. I loved it too. Then I started to sell them. Took all the fun out of it and now I never make cakes. I don't want to do that to my parties. I really enjoy throwing parties. But I won't do them for others. Most people don't have a clue as to what goes into making a party special. Really $500 is nothing! If people think that's to much, I'm with you...move on and do it yourself.

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    1. Agreed Joanne, $500 is nothing and most people DO have NO clue!

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  9. Love this post. I'm not a party planner, but I am a photographer, and I have a lot of the same issues. Clients want magnificent photos for almost nothing, not realizing that taking the photo is just the start. For $20 per pic file, I will take out your kid's acne, fix your husband's rotten teeth, remove your gray hair, and make sure that photo is absolutely perfect. That can take me up to four hours, depending on what all needs to be done. Don't even get me started on the actual shoot time. I will calmly round up your children, wait patiently for everyone to look at the camera, and politely remind you to brush your hair. All that I ask in return is that you not have a family member standing over my shoulder, taking advantage of my composition with their iPhone and making it impossible for me to get everyone looking at MY lens, instead of half of you looking at the iPhone behind me. I managed to make a $250 profit last year.

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    1. This made me do my infamous scream-laugh in the middle of a Starbucks line, so thank you for that awkward moment. I texted my photographer to read this asap bc she is always getting on me for standing behind her! Oooopsie.

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  10. haha! I love it! I'm glad my Party People vent lead to this! :) Thank you! xo, Itsy Belle

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    1. Yes, yes it did... I never need to be coerced in to a blog vent, they come rather naturally! ;)

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  11. I was so excited to write I put this in a reply instead of comment!!

    I just started this business and my first job was for a friend who helped me with some of the expense. I have had a spa day party for a friend, and decorated a lobby before a Children's play at a local theater to get my name out. My first paying customer, we got our lines crossed and I am out my time, but that is fine but last night I really thought. . is this worth it.

    Love this article and was a great thing to see the professionals all have gone through this. Would love for you to see my fb page and ALWAYS welcome any constructive criticism or things that are definitely don't ( I would love to learn by someone else's mistakes LOL) Thanks so much and my fb page is ttownpartypreppers

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    1. Hi Party Preppers,
      I checked out your page! I can see you have some real talent and I love your mermaid backdrop! My only suggestion would be that you should probably invest in a custom logo to bring it all together. I have friends in the graphics industry so I lucked out with my webpage and logo design but I think the average person puts some good money in to this if it's not their in their skill set already. For me personally, it just ties everything together and makes your business looks more professional. Best of luck!!

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  12. Thanks for this article! I'm a graphic designer, so I stick to designing printables – but I do style my own parties and photo shoots and I know too well the hours and hours that go into planning these events.

    I have many professional stylists who are clients and I often wonder how they manage to make a profit with all the effort they put in.

    As a designer I get clients scoffing at paying $5 for custom-designed, personalized printables! Give me a break. It takes a lot to learn how to say "no", but now I do – often.

    Elise

    Congrats on writing a "warts and all" post about the secret life of party planners!

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  13. I really enjoyed reading this post! I think you verbalized what we all feel and go through in such a funny and amusing way! Kudos to you all the way from Canada!

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    1. Thanks, I'm glad it resonates all the way in Canada!

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  14. Oh Kenna, I feel your pain. I don't do parties, just cakes but it amazes me that people think it's really no trouble to "throw a cake together" at last minute and for the price they can get one at Walmart."What? It's just flour, sugar, eggs, and oil, right? That doesn't cost very much. I can do it at home for $5" THEN DO IT YOURSELF! Because when you ask me to do it it takes time away from my babies, electricity to heat my oven, good to keep it from sticking to the pan, cardboard sheets to stack it on, wax paper/parchment paper to move it around, toothpicks to color the icing, not to mention the color itself and the icing and fondant. And time. My time is worth something. It really is. A few weeks ago I spent 6 hours decorating cupcakes that I sold for $24. Cost to make them was about $10 so I made a whole $2.40 per hour. And that doesn't account for time it took me to clean up after. Is it worth it? Yes and No. I enjoy it. I'm good at it. It's kind of a hobby that's turned into some money. Most people pay to do things they enjoy but I get paid for it. At least that's how I looked at it in the past. Now I think it's time to raise my prices. People want custom cakes they're going to have to pay for them. What they're worth. Don't like my price? Great. Go somewhere else. Aint nobody got time for that.

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    1. I feel like this is Hannah commenting on this because this same thing has happened to her!! But it's not!? This is so weird! Dang, I forgot the gel coloring! It's so expensive! I'm adding it in! Ain't nobody got time for that is right, Lawd Jesus!

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    2. Well, I'm Hannah's ex sister-in-law.... so... I guess I'm distantly related to Hannah, lol.

      Have you ever bought fondant? Sooooo much more expensive than coloring. Coloring is Nuthin compared to fondant. 5lb tub is $35. It lasts me 3-4 cakes. And that's just the white. I have to have black on hand too because it's nearly impossible to color myself (just not worth it. I've tried.).
      Everybody wants the smoothness of the fondant but they don't want to pay the price. Well this girl has had enough. Period. ... ok, except for my nieces. I'll always make their cakes anyway they want them for free.... but at least I don't have to buy them a present :)

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  15. Hi, I just wanted to say that I loved reading your blog post! I'm an aspiring children's party planner who lives in Okinawa, Japan but will be relocating to the San Diego area soon. I've had parties for my children and a couple for friends and know EXACTLY how much time and money is spent. I ordered the ebook you mentioned earlier from Soiree Event Design which offered a great deal of helpful information. I'm running into the problem with how to price my services and still make a profit. I'd LOVE to be able to charge $1,000 knowing that's how much it's all worth...but will I have anyone willing to spend that??! I can't wait to read second half of your post tomorrow! Here is the link to my FB page if you'd like to take a look:) https://www.facebook.com/ThisPartyRox

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  16. You page looks great! I am not sure about the going price for parties in San Diego- there's some very wealthy areas around there you may be able to tap in to! I don't think it should be too hard to find out competitive pricing- $1,000 is what I'd love to charge for a dessert table!! Best of luck to you.

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  17. $500!!! Had I known that, I'd be running to you and Hannah for Eli's first bday party! I already spent half of that on supplies... the other half, I'd be paying for your guys' creativity!!! But really, though, you inspire me! I may not be throwing a super fancy party like yours but I do look at your past parties to get some ideas!

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    1. Just remember $500 is a dessert table only in a theme we already have ;) I'm sure you'll do fantastic! I know more than 30 people will be there too!!

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  18. I love your post, thankyou! We are just starting out. Here is my recent blog post about unrealistic cupcake expectations!
    http://chicnsweetcandybuffets.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/cake-expectations-of-unrealistic-kind.html

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    1. Even if they didn't meet your expectations- they still looked tasty to me! ;)

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  19. Hi Kenna, LOVE LOVE LOVE your post. I'm an aspiring party planner in NYC, got a blog and FB page already but haven't quite spread the word yet about my services because I'm still figuring out what to charge in this city. I'm so glad you wrote this because I keep talking over and over with my friends about how people don't value our time. I met with a prospective client a few weeks ago, and he wanted me to do a teddy bear party for his son's first birthday. I showed him a picture of what it would look like and then after talking to his cousin in some other language, he told me 'that's just throwing a teddy bear on the table, that's easy and I can do that!. Of course, he didn't notice the customized teddy bear center pieces with his son's initials, or the custom cookies, and cupcakes, banner with name on the backdrop? So I just stood up and told him, then do it yourself! And I was only going to charge him $200. I have to admit that I'm a bit disheartened, but still hopeful that people will appreciate all the work and passion we put into organizing their parties and maybe someday profit from it. Thank you for writing this

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    1. Hi Natalie, glad you enjoyed the post. I want you to look in to Keren Precel Events if you haven't yet. From what I can tell she is killing it as an event planner in NYC and that should give you a good range for your prices. I have NEVER ever been able to come in at $200 for a dessert table, let alone a party- so scratch that price off of your list right away. Please private message me your info, would love to take a look and add you on fb :)

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    2. I'm so sad I'm just seeing this now. I'm emaling you now :-)

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    3. I can't seem to find your email address anywhere. Anyways, my info is not secret:
      www.angelinasdreamparties.com and facebook.com/angelinasdreamparties... :-)

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  20. OH KENNA! Girlfriend....you speak NOTHING but the God's honest truth, mama!!!! Love you even more now than before, after reading this one!

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    1. Thank you Keisha! I'm glad I've hit a nerve with other professional planners! We all know how much this job requires, it's more than just hanging a "Happy Birthday" sign!

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  21. very nice!! :)


    www.mypartyproduction.com - party planner in usa

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  22. Oh Boy! I just loved this. I thought I was reading about myself. Now where do we go from here. We want to create beautiful parties and people won't or can't afford them. I am trying to hold strong and keep optomistic that things will change and I will eventually make some kind of money of what I am doing but boy it is it hard to market yoursef to then get people that think you are too expensive after all the hours I put in. I hope we all find our way in this business. I guess persistance is the only way as of now. Thank you for letting me find out I am not the only one out here struggling. Best of Luck to you. I will be following you that is for sure.

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  23. LOOOOOOOVE this post!!!

    So true! So honest! So funny! SO REAL!!!

    You're my new hero!

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  24. Nice blog. I am planning to give a birthday party to my friend on my upcoming birthday. This blog will be helpful for me to plan m party in professional way.

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  27. Kenna Baaabbbbyyyy,

    You have saved me from myself!! Glory be to God that I found your post! I'm just a mother
    trying to create memories, no where near a professional! But every word written her needs to be posted as a warning label or a prerequisite for party planners world wide when they are considering this profession/ hobby!!!!!!!! My family are my biggest critics! Oh my, and the self destructive mode, that hit home for me really hard! I planned a prom send for the LAST of my four children! The other three have graduated college, successful careers! So i figured I'll send this one off proper! LONG STORY SHORT! The party was an absolute hit. However, I am to be seen in NONE of the pictures. I looked like a homeless person and smelled like one too! But my baby and party decorations were blazing! Do I have any regrets?! I'd be stinky and disheveled all over again if I had too! I'm sending you a thousand pats on the back, party planning is not for the weak!
    Loved this post!!!! Awesome sauce!

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    Replies
    1. This has been my favorite comment in a while, so congrats for that! ;) I hope you get around to reading my newest post (link below) on taking your party planning hobby and turning it in to a business... From one pre-party homeless looking woman to another I wish you much success if you do get insane enough to try this nutty profession out. It's only for us crazies ;)
      http://misspartymom.blogspot.com/2014/06/10-tips-for-turning-party-planning.html

      Delete
  28. I found your website the other day and after reading a handful of posts on
    Christmas Parties Planner, thought I would say thank you for all the great content.


    ReplyDelete
  29. I truly understand, this is my first year starting so I've just been trying to get my name out there. I want to appeal to all budgets so I've been planning parties for my family and only charging 50$ for my services, but in my pricing because so many I've worked with have very small budgets (like 200$ for an entire party including food) I have them give me a budget for décor and they buy their own décor. I still like to customize the party so it doesn't look "store bought", this is my passion and I put a lot of time and effort into planning every party. the lowest budget I had was 125$ for a Minnie mouse themed pool party for 14 kids plus their parents. I still don't know how I pulled that one off, but I gave the client what they wanted, even though they still wanted to spend less

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  30. I know this is going to seem insanely crazy to post on a two year old post but today is just one of those days where I needed to read this and realize I'm not alone. I had a family friend who asked me to give her a quote for her daughter's sweet 16. Like you I have a minimum for everything and it's probably too low. My minimum JUST for decorations, set up and break down for a teen party is $1000. For my friend's sweet 16 I was going to do the venue rental, dj, decorations, day of coordination, food, swag bag...... yea you get the idea. This is for a mardi gras themed party. Because I love her dearly I told her it would be $4100. This is EASILY a $7000 job. She told me that's what she spent on her wedding. Well yea cause you didn't have me as your planner lol.

    Right behind her I had a client ask for a 1 year old party with a bouncy house, costumed character, face painting, dj etc etc etc. I quoted her $1800. I haven't heard from her since. I know that one of the main services I provide, Day of Coordination, is worth sooooo much because the client gets to enjoy and relax. I handle all the normal party nuisances and leave them stress and worry free. That alone is worth $1500 lol. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who is probably not charging enough and still getting the "girl are you crazy out your mind" reactions lol

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  31. Earlier I used to think that hiring an event planner is wasting money, but when I say a planned party of my friend’s birthday I came to know the value of a planner. The party was really polished and my friend was enjoying the party without any stress.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thankfulness to my dad who informed me relating to this blog, this website is really amazing.Party Hire Brisbane Northside

    ReplyDelete
  33. These are actually wonderful some ideas in the blog. You have touched good quality points here. In whatever way continue writing.entertainment

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  34. Loved reading this post. Thank you. I am not a party planner, but I have always wanted to be. (I kinda LOVE doing it for my kids.) I am an artist and avid crafter and have the same issue with people who don't want to pay $35 for a wreath or $20 for an unmatted print, let alone $150 dollars for a one of a kind conte drawing of a buffalo. I am sort of everywhere with what I want to do from home. Parties, painting, crafts, teaching painting classes, etc. which is why I thought of Party Planning, but this post has sort of discouraged me. I feel like I won't make enough money (or any) with the rates I would have to charge in rural Ohio.

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  35. OMG! I am so glad I read this. I am NOT a party planner, I just decorate the office or for family. I was hired by a co-worker's wife for a surprise birthday party. I made all of the decorations myself, set-up and took down the decorations on short time constraints. Provided cloth table cloths for 10 tables, no charge. I charged $300. She told me she could not afford to pay me. After explaining I had ordered materials online ($200) and the labor ($100). She stated she had not planned on spending that much on decorations, but she didn't want cheesy or dollar store decorations. She didn't give me a budget instead she went on a cruise for 5 days. She did not even know what she wanted, so I took it upon myself to come up with props for a Tropical Theme. I agreed to charge her $150 because the person who recommended me begged me to continue and paid the other $150. So I got my $300. The wife was not a nice person and when asked how she liked the decorations she replied, "their alright". I have a job and had to work the day of the event. I was on my way to the party she sent me a text 2 hours before the party was starting to tell me my services were no longer needed, because I did not communicate with her that day. If I had a dream to be a party planner, this experience shattered that dream. I don't want to deal with people's attitudes!

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  36. I absolutely love you for writing this! You have made me feel so much better for turning down jobs and not feeling horrible for quoting the prices that I do (and i'm not even as high as many event planners are). You are so right, its the small details that add up and people often times don't think about that. Thank you, thank you and thank you a million times.

    ReplyDelete
  37. This is so true! I have my biggest event ever in August and I have to give price to the client to plan the entire event in a camp site for 150 guests. Including invitations, dessert table, cake table backdrop, center pieces the whole nine. I live in NY and I'm finding it hard to come up with a good price without running off the potential client. How do I come up with a reasonable price...

    ReplyDelete

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