Event Planners Make Your Party Easier — and More Fun

BY STEVE DINNEN

Sometimes a gathering of friends just seems to merit a little extra attention, and so that dinner party mushrooms into an event. There’s food to be bought and prepared, for sure, but what kind? And then there’s music; again, what kind? And when alcohol is involved, who’s going to shake or stir those martinis?

You might want to get an event planner involved. Perhaps someone like Gina Cramer of Johnston, who operates Make It Happen Events. Like other event planners in Greater Des Moines, she focuses on weddings. But she often does parties — Dad’s retirement, perhaps, or a special birthday — that are just as celebratory, only without a bride and groom and your favorite rendition of the Chicken Dance.

Cramer says it’s typical that a host or hostess will approach her with one or two ideas to theme a party. They then will work through the logistics — of what type of food to serve, how to serve it (plated or buffet), and even the venue for the party. Repeat customers, especially corporate clients, will work on altering the theme.

Event planners have connections to decorators, caterers, musicians and bartenders who can deliver a complete entertainment package to a client. Cramer is currently marshaling all those forces for a Christmas in Hawaii party, and may have to call upon a haberdasher to choose Santa’s luau shirt.

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