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253 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, CA, 94133
United States


Solutions for private events of under 40 people: a downtown San Francisco venue, event services, and a sharp collection of rentals.


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Planning: A Committee of Two

Jen Wu

  1. Only plan with one other person (or max two others).

  2. Set boundaries for overbearing people.

  3. Designate one main planner for vendor communications.


Photo: Sierra Fish

1. Only really plan with one other person (or max two others).

Of course, it depends on the people. You may have a tight-knit group of friends or family members that are just always in sync, and it could even be enjoyable with four or more co-coordinators. But usually, when you've got more than one or two others helping to make decisions, the enjoyment of planning the event takes a rather large tumble.

You can still involve those who want to be involved! Just have them help with the hands-on tasks (if you're DIYing a lot, you'll need the extra hands) - for example, picking up and/or arranging flowers the day before, designing and making printed menus or a menu board, or putting together a playlist. Since all these details can come together before the day of the event, you won't be running around with tons of people and details to coordinate at the event.


2. Set boundaries for overbearing people.

Think about family members trying to make you do things that they'd like for their own wedding. This is still sometimes true for more casual celebrations, just to a lesser extent (but sometimes with more people). Even for business events some co-planners have grandiose plans that don't consider the budget or deviate from the main purpose of the event.

"I appreciate your thoughts on it, but we're not going to go in that direction" is a direct phrase you can use repetitively if they push.


3. Designate one main planner for vendor communications.

When you have more than one person booking, asking questions, and paying, you get confusion. It doesn't matter if the vendor decisions are made by groupthink; one person should be in charge of all the vendor communication (for all vendors), from reaching out to final payment, and sending any information like rules or prices to the appropriate other guests or hired staff. When you don't, you run the risk of information being sent to a a person that may not read it or pass it along to the correct people. The main communications person can copy a co-coordinator, just so everyone's in the loop, but it's best for that person to remain the contact person outside of extenuating circumstances.


Planning becomes streamlined with a custom package. Cookhouse handles a-la-carte vendor selection according to your preferences and budget (changes are certainly allowed), and you just tell us the time of the party and the number of guests, and show up for your event. Check out our personal celebration options for some ideas of how we can help put together an event with personal touches and no hassle on your end.