Simply Ari: Simply Me
The Inspired Thoughts of a Ready Writer
"My tongue is the pen of the Ready Writer"
Being able to host The Simply Ari Soiree was one of the most exhilarating and proud moments of my budding entrepreneurial endeavors . It was also truly a labor of love. I wanted the experience for my guests to be one that they would look back on fondly. That was ultimately my goal. During the months that I spent researching leading up to the actual event day, what I quickly learned is that experience is created. But where do you start? and How do you create it without breaking the bank? Throwing this event was definitely a learning experience. Had it not been for the assistance and advice of my family and friends in business, I'm not sure how everything that went into the event would have come together. Thinking back on it, the Lord met me at every turn.
Thinking about throwing an event of your own? Go for it! But first, here are some tips that I've learned along the way. I pray that they aid you in your event planning.
Be PRAYERFUL- seek the Lord about what He wants from you and what He wants from the event that you're putting together. You and the Holy Spirit are a team. Remember that.
Utilize the Talents of Your Friends and Family- despite what you may think, you cannot do everything and be everywhere at the same time. If your family and friends are making themselves available to help you, take them up on their offer.
Truth moment? My strength is not in executive functioning or organizing for large functions. So it was important to find people who knew how to do that and do it well. By God's grace, I didn't have to look very far, my sisters and my Godmother have been blessed with both of these gifts. We collaborated on ideas and they took the dream that was in my heart and the vision that was in my head and made it a beautiful reality.
Set and STICK TO YOUR BUDGET- At the beginning I had a budget, toward the end...I blew it. What I realized is that I did not have realistic estimates of what the food, the cutlery, the party favors and above all the venue would cost. I wanted to replicate the idea I saw it my head, but I quickly learned that that was going to come with a high price tag.
Tip: DIY can be your friend. Find ways to save wherever you can.
Just Because It's Cute Doesn't Mean You Should Buy It- I found so many things to purchase for our event, at one point my Amazon cart was more full than I had ever seen it. I negotiated with myself over and over again and slowly eliminated products from my cart to salvage my budget. The items I kept were the perfect touch for the party favors and overall aesthetic that I was seeking to achieve for the Simply Ari Soiree.
Let a Business Savvy Person (That You Trust) Be Your Second Pair of Eyes - This is especially important when it comes to contracts of any kind. This is one of the many reasons I am so grateful for The Simply Ari A-Team. They have my best interests at heart and protect me from potential business danger. They are spiritually discerning, honest, talented, and efficient. For me it was imperative that I not be the only one reading over the contracts I had to sign.
Customizing is Expensive- I really enjoy customizing...well anything. So when it came to customizing items for this event, I had to keep in mind that too much customization is corny. I wanted to have statement pieces that preferably I could reuse. The rule here is not to get carried away. I advise limiting your customized items to two.
Pay Heed to Wise Counsel- As it pertains to the big picture, I've heard it said that, "sometimes we can be so close to the trees that we can't see the forest." It is good to step back and run your ideas past someone else on occasion to gain a different perspective.
Have a Clear Vision-and Understand Your Why- for you as the planner, this is super important. Event planning can at times be a bit overwhelming, so remind yourself of your goals for the event (vision) and know the purpose behind those goals (the why) and then sell that to your guests. When you believe in your "why" it gives others permission to do the same.
Trust Your Gut- if you are second guessing something...DON'T DO IT. Often times that "gut feeling" is the Holy Spirit tugging at us. Let that Him be your guide.
Enjoy the Moment- Lastly, when it is all said and done, take the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Take in each moment and acknowledge a job well done (and be sure to thank those who assisted with bringing your ideas together, having an attitude of gratitude is key.)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.