(Image via Betty LIVIN)

Dear Preston,

I’m throwing my husband a 50th birthday party, and I’m pulling out all the stops: the guest list includes 350 of his friends, family and business associates. I’m no stranger to entertaining, though. I’ve also planned a couple of weddings. And I’ve already secured a venue, caterer, florist, and band. Everything is in good shape, but one of my daughters keeps insisting that I hire a planner. She’s worried that without a planner, I’ll end up “working” the entire party and not enjoy myself. But I’ve already done so much of the work! Is a planner really worth the money at this point?

Wife, Mother, & Planner

Dear WMP;

Your daughter is looking out for your best interests, and I think she’s right. The reason folks hire planners is to make their lives easier. You will enjoy the planning process and the party itself so much more if you hire a good planner who you like and trust.

I’m not sure you realize just how much planners take care of. Hiring vendors, for example, is only one very small part of what they do. They also manage those vendors, juggle the logistics of your event, keep everyone and everything on schedule, and help you make good choices by giving you lots of well-researched options on everything from table linens to lighting to valet companies. I could go on and on…

The bottom line is that if you’ve never worked with a good planner, you have no idea what you’re missing. Listen to your daughter.

The real question, though, is are you willing to cede control and let a planner do her job? I suspect that might be hard for you. If you don’t think you can embrace and appreciate a planner, then you are probably better off planning your own event.

Dear readers, for those of you who are planners, has a potential client ever said to you, “I already did all the work, why do I need a planner?” What was your response? Please share your experience in the comments.

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