6 Steps to Planning a Successful & Memorable Graduation Party

Plan Date/Time to Celebrate

Just be sure to check for conflicts with any other parties happening the same day and/or time. Your child or fellow parents of seniors will be great resources.

Setting a Budget

This is important, for it will help determine types of food, décor, as well as the venue you choose. Let’s be honest, it will determine everything you decide to finalize for this event.


Are you envisioning a backyard party, or would you like to rent a venue space? Backyards usually require more work and clean up. Actual venues already have tables/chairs and staff to handle most set-up and clean-up.

Choosing your Food & Entertainment

Will your family be contributing to food, are you going to work in your kitchen preparing all the food, or would you prefer everything gets delivered (and possibly served) by a professional catering company? Do you desire music (live band, DJ or use your Bluetooth device connected to speakers)? Both budget and your availability will help you determine these items.

Guest List & Invitations

How many people should be invited? This list can vary depending on your food/venue budget. Invitations should ideally be mailed no later than two months prior to the event. RSVP’s should be received two weeks before the party – for final count to be sent to caterer or just to help you plan the amount of food you’ll need to purchase.

Décor & Party Favors

What kind of party do you desire? A casual backyard affair or glamorous country club feel? Depending on the type of party you choose, your décor options will be different and vary in costs. Can you decorate yourself or will you need to hire a design/production company to assist you? Lighting, draping, audio/visual equipment can be provided effortlessly from professionals! Are you interested in handing out gifts to the guests? Pictures from a Photo Booth, chocolates beautifully packaged or journals with a pen are just a few ideas that your guests will enjoy. 

Graduation parties are meant to be fun and enjoyable for all involved!

Take time to plan, but do not stress over all the details. The opportunity to celebrate your graduate with close family and friends is more important than the type of music you play or the favors you hand out. If you feel like you need help, ask for it. Event Planners can walk you through each step, find your vendors and manage the party so you can relax.  


Planning a Corporate Event + No Experience = Harder Than It Needs to Be

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Organizing company events is a great way to share with others about what you do and why you do it. Planning and carrying out those events can be both stressful and frustrating to everyone involved in the planning process, especially if they do not enjoy planning and/or they have no clue on how to do it – so how can you properly plan an event and keep everyone happy in the process?

Hiring an Event Planner to help guide you is the best way to start. A planner will join you on the planning journey and will save you time, save you money and motivate your employees:

Save Time:

You, your staff and your organization, have daily responsibilities and deadlines. Taking time out of those regular/daily tasks to plan an event, may put you and your team behind. Event planners know who to contact and pull together pricing and availability, as well as carry out your vision while managing all the details!

Save Money:

Planning events for your employees and clients takes time away from your team’s regular work and responsibilities. And since time is money, you could lose money when your business loses efficiency. Event planners work on a contract basis without the extra cost of payroll and benefits, so hiring an outside contractor for projects such as events will save your company money!

Motivate Employees:

Most employees do not have extensive experience planning corporate events, so being asked to plan an important employee meeting, client appreciation event or party can cause extra stress on the employee or team involved and may lead to lower productivity and overall effectiveness of your organization. Event planners allow employees, management and clients to feel valued, and gives them an opportunity to focus on what is important – the people they serve!

Let's not make it harder than it has to be! We are working to change the culture of social events all together, are you with us?

Celebrating 8 Years!

Eight years ago, my dream of becoming a business owner came to fruition, and the journey of Simply Events began!  My background of human resources and planning company and corporate events, in addition to planning a variety of events since I was a teenager, rooted in me the love for planning experiences that serve a purpose and value others. 

The idea to begin my own wedding and event planning business became very real after planning my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding almost ten years ago. I loved every aspect of gathering information and pricing, going along on vendor appointments, developing a timeline, finding just the right venue and managing the day. I officially incorporated the business in January of 2010, and spent many hours studying, planning and networking. Then in 2011- my very first wedding gig happened! Looking back on that first wedding, I laugh because I had no assistant and it was just a few days after a major flood in the area.  Trees were down, roads were closed, and the caterer’s kitchen was flooded!  We all wondered if we could pull this thing off – but pull it off, we did.  All the vendors worked together to make it a beautiful day for the bride and groom!  The couple was happy, the day was perfect, and I knew then that I made the right decision to begin this journey.

Fast forward eight years, and I have an amazing team of lead coordinators and assistants that have bought into the vision of Simply Events and why we exist. We have grown the business every year, adding more events than the year before and moved into new office space (outside of my home office) last year!   I am excited about what might be ahead in 2018 and also look back on the last several years of learning, meeting incredible clients, venues and vendors, and I am thankful. Thankful to my husband, family and friends who have cheered me on every step of the way, and for all those who continue to allow us to serve by planning memorable and exceptional events!

To celebrate our 8th year, we have given Simply Events a new look, and we are so excited to share it with you! We want others to look at our brand and know exactly what we do. The three leaves on the new icon represent: Corporate, Weddings and Social events. These are the three planning areas we focus on with a tagline of, “Event Planning for Work & Life”. So, if you ever want to plan an event – work or personal, big or small - define your purpose of the event, and allow us to help you make it happen!  Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation - 717.725.8028.


Recently Engaged?: Guaranteeing Yourself a Happy New Year During the Wedding Planning Process

You may have heard it said…"A New Year, a New You!". If you are one of the many couples who became engaged over the recent holiday season, you’ll be dealing with many “firsts” in 2018! You’re now in a new season of life, the planning season, and it may make you feel like a new and different person.

Here are a few tips as you begin your planning process:

Wedding Planning is Supposed to be Fun

  • Soak up the moments from the time you said yes, through the announcement to your family and friends. Enjoy being engaged and do not feel like you need all the decisions made within the first week of your engagement.
  • Take time as a couple to process your feelings and excitement, and then discuss your dreams and expectations with each other. 
  • Pick up a few wedding magazines. It will be so much fun paging through, looking at the latest fashion trends as well as reading about other couples and how they planned their day! Ask your married friends what they loved most about their wedding planning experience.

Decide on a Budget Before Doing Anything Else

  • If parents will be involved financially, be sure to ask them specifics about what they will help with. Be sure to ask what their expectations are of you, and what they feel you should be responsible for.
  • Once you have firm numbers in place, then you can begin your search for a venue and wedding vendors. 
  • Weddings can be expensive. Although you can “plan” your own wedding day, it is wise to consider hiring a wedding planner to help you with the process. Believe or not, wedding planners can save you money in the long run!

Make Plenty of Lists

  • Create things to do and have a timeline of when to accomplish each item
  • Bride and Groom should both list items they feel are most important in the process and for the wedding day
  • Venues and vendors to contact

Research and Schedule Appointments

  • Narrow list down to 3 of each vendor you need
  • Schedule appointments
  • Make sure you know what questions you want to ask before you meet with vendors

Make decisions

  • Decide on pros and cons of each vendor
  • Review contracts thoroughly before signing, and be sure to know when payments are due
  • Discuss as a couple ideas for what you envision married life to be like! Set goals and understand . that your marriage will always be more important than the wedding day itself – but how fun will it be to plan so well, that you not only have the perfect wedding day, but a beautiful marriage to enjoy together!
 Jeff Benzon Photography

Jeff Benzon Photography

There are many more things that go into planning a perfect wedding day, but these are ideas to help you get started on your journey. Do not be afraid to ask for help and always be honest when others ask you questions and/or offer suggestions. This is YOUR wedding day, so it is important to have what you have always dreamed, while staying within your budget and planning as a couple! Do not allow stress to take away from the joy you should be experiencing, in the midst, of all the planning. 

Feel free to contact Deb Erb, owner of Simply Events, with any questions you have or visit www.simplyeventsinc.com to learn more. Start off 2018 right, and plan with a purpose.

Congratulations as you begin this journey and best wishes for a beautiful life together!

Tasked with Planning Your Company's Holiday Work Party? Here are a few quick tips:

  1. Know Your Budget
    1. You cannot plan properly if you don't understand how much money you are able to spend.
    2. Design a Budget Spreadsheet incorporating all the areas that you need to consider during the planning process.
  2. Decide where and when the party will be located.
    1. At your office location or another venue?
    2. If you are booking a venue, does that venue offer services for all your needs, or will you need to hire additional outside vendors?
    3. Are other important events happening in your area on the same date?
    4. Consider parking and easy access for your guests
  3. Come Up with an Agenda for the Evening
    1. Will you have a Cocktail Hour?
    2. Sit down dinner or heavy hors d'oeuvre’s?
    3. Outside entertainment or...will Joe from accounting tell his infamous holiday jokes?
    4. Do you need an outside speaker?
    5. Want to plan games or giveaways?
    6. What type of music will you provide?
  4. Know Your Needs for the Evening
    1. Table sizes?
    2. Name tags or no name tags?
    3. Linens
    4. Décor
    5. Giveaway Prizes
    6. Setup and cleanup
    7. A/V
  5. Hiring an Event Planner is always a good option when given the task to plan your Holiday Work Party! Professionals know how to review contracts, understand the best questions to ask venues and vendors and can suggest the best logistics for planning your event, and you can enjoy the party too!