Is It Too Early to Start Planning?

Dinner party on deck, with individual portions on display.

Event planners and self-planning advice articles and blogs will tell you, “No, it’s never too early to start planning.” As with everything else these days, that answer doesn’t feel so simple anymore. So much is improving, and we all can’t wait to just get out there and get back to life. But concerns remain, and planning that big celebration is still a challenge.

Countless clients of mine have started planning big, only to shy away from those plans as they get closer to the date. They have also received cancellations from guests who seemed happy about the celebration, but decided they just were not comfortable with plans as the day drew near. Some clients dramatically change their plans, and some abandon them altogether, marking their milestone event with little to no celebration at all.

What can be done? I think the key is to start planning early and to build in flexibility from the beginning. Allow plenty of time to imagine how the celebration will go, to come up with creative solutions to our current challenges, and to make changes along the way to accommodate your own wishes while making your guests comfortable as well. This may help you avoid a full cancellation, while ensuring you and your guests fully enjoy yourselves on the day.

My clients who have fared best from the smallest and most intimate celebrations to the slightly more ambitious have enlisted the help of families, friends, and professionals early. Getting a lot of input from different perspectives, including experienced planners, has given them the greatest advantage in planning an event that remains a wonderful celebration. It also provides time and space to decide what elements are most important to you and your guests, to add new ideas to make it all special, and to let everyone get accustomed to the plan, avoiding last-minute cancellations.

Socially distant backyard ceremony.

This same strategy holds true for enjoying public spaces and performances as more begins to open. Research what’s happening locally, and plan early to purchase timed tickets if needed, learn about special guidelines for attendance, and decide how you will most enjoy the day. As the weather warms, and more businesses open, there’s so much more for us to see and do. Plan early — and make the most of it!

Renée Kashuba is a private chef, baker, and writer in Tarrytown. Find her online at www.foodmadebyrk.com, Instagram/foodmadebyrk, Facebook/MadeByRK, and Twitter/MadeByRK.

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About the Author: Renee Kashuba