Stressed spelled backwards is desserts! Leave both the stress and desserts up to your caterer/ event planner to handle!! I take pride in customizing fresh, exquisite dishes for a variety of industries and clients. Planning each event requires a keen eye for attention to details, creativity for unique and delicious menus, and the ability to remain calm yet efficient in stressful situations. My goal at each event is for my clients to have a stress-free night, so they can enjoy the food and the company of their friends and family while I take care of the rest. However, feeling anxious or stressed is natural when you put time and effort into something you care about. The most common event planning mistakes include using incorrect resources, poor time management, budgeting issues, and poor communication. In order to help alleviate stress in planning the perfect event, I have devised four key stress relievers to make your party a hit without reaching your wits’ end.
1) MAKE A LIST
First and foremost, be prepared. Grab your pen and paper and make a checklist of things you need for your event. Do you need a caterer, an event planner, tables, chairs, napkins, serving dishes, a DJ, live music, cocktails, menus, party favors or other necessities? Are you having an elegant outdoor dinner with 6 guests or are you throwing a corporate event with over 100 attendees? Do you want passed hors d’oeuvres or a stand-alone food table? Having an experienced caterer on board will help with the stresses of planning a party to meet your budget and expectations. After meeting with my clients, I always make a list of the materials and ingredients I need for an event. In doing so, it helps create great communication with my team so they know what is needed to ensure success. By prioritizing my tasks, I make things easier on myself in the long run. From experience, I have learned to take care of the most important and tedious tasks first, such as the logistics, so that I can put my creativity into the design and artful food creations I plan to serve. I suggest making two lists to avoid confusion—one for the necessary tasks or items and another for potential entities that may pop up.
You have heard it time and time again. Just breathe. Pausing, if even for only a few seconds to calm your nerves and anxiety, is very beneficial. Everything will fall into place once you take a moment to stop, clear your mind, and just breathe. According to health experts, breathe-counting meditation helps make us more aware of how our mind tends to jump from one place to another. When we concentrate on our breaths, we become more relaxed and are able to see things in a different light. I love experimenting with new recipes to bring new and unexpected dishes to events. However, perfecting recipes when you are a perfectionist can cause additional stress. Therefore, I plan ahead and remember to allow myself to breathe when I am feeling the pressure. Using this method has yet to fail me!!! I recommend doing this in a quiet place to void out all of the noise.
3) AVOID THE UNNECESSARY
It’s one thing to feel stressed but it is another to cause unnecessary stress. Avoid the unnecessary by letting your caterer or event planner take care of all of the planning, so you can relax and enjoy your party. You deserve it. Although taking a step back can sometimes be difficult, taking on too much than you can handle can also be very stressful. I am extremely hands on and like to make sure all of the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed when it comes to catering or planning events. I’ve learned that sometimes the best thing to do is to take a step back and trust my team to do their job so I can focus on mine. I no longer have to avert my attention to things that are not necessary, such as whether or not the table clothes are perfectly aligned or the tarts are properly filled, so I can focus on the overall design and look of the event as well as the quality and presentation of each item on the menu. In doing so, I avoid unnecessary stress while still throwing successful, one-of-a kind events.
4) HAVE FUN
Having fun is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress. I enjoy catering, because it is fun to create new dishes and see how a simple idea can turn into a full on event. It has been proven that we work better when we find something enjoyable or entertaining in our work. No matter how stressful things may get in the kitchen, nothing satisfies me more than hearing people rave about my food, building new relationships and having happy clients. When all else is said and done, have fun and enjoy your event! Like I said earlier, you deserve it.