In our time managing a banquet hall in Orange County, we've learned that event planning can be a very challenging responsibility. More often than not, the success (or lack thereof) of an event heavily depends on a well thought out budget. We've seen a lot of corporate events, high end birthday parties and wedding receptions come through our event venue, and we've seen a lot of fantastic events put on with conservative budgets. 

Here are our tips for organizing a budget for your Orange County event:

Outline Your Budget With an Appropriate Tool

Staging a function successfully involves many different elements, all of which will require some portion of your budget. Finding a suitable banquet hall and catering costs will be your most obvious expenses, but the list will continue to expand from there. 
To organize and keep track of all your different expenditures, we recommend using some form of budgeting tool like etouches, cvent, or planningpod to outline your plan. While professional event planners use tools found in enterprise software applications, a large number of them still opt for basic spreadsheets within Excel, or Google Sheets to outline their expenditures. Whatever you prefer, the key is to ensure you use what feels comfortable to you and your team. There are a few categories you need to include in your outline: 

 

-Item: List every single moving part of your event that will incur a cost. Here, you must resist the urge to lump things together; instead, elaborate as much as you can on all details.  
 
-Description: This explains what each item is comprised of, and how crucial it is to the event. 
 
-Quantity: You want to balance between having all items in suitable amounts, while minimizing the risk of depleting your financial outlay. Highlighting what you need and figuring out how much will be necessary will help you structure your budget accordingly. 
 
-Costs: Your first task here is to figure out how much you'll need before an event. Having done this, your next move would be to track down the actual cost of every individual item. These two steps will help you create an outline of costs that you could rely on for future events. 
 
Call Around
 
If pricing information isn't available online for the vendors you're considering, we recommend calling to speak to them directly. Contacting vendors and suppliers to ask about the details will ensure that you don't skew your projected budget with numbers you estimated yourself. 
 
Monitor Everyone in Charge of Spending
 
Although this seems rather extreme, you would be surprised how quickly a budget can spiral out of control if multiple people are left to their own devices. Make sure that everyone in charge of spending is very aware of their allocation, and always ask for invoices and receipts to ensure the amounts paid out to designated parties are in line with your budget. 
 
Leave Some Wiggle Room
 
We may have saved this tip for last, but make no mistake – this might be the most important tip of all! When you’re planning a big event, it’s inevitable that unforeseen expenses will pop up. Whether it’s due to broken champagne glasses, spoiled food, or technical difficulties, it’s wise to leave a few dollars in reserve just in case you need them. 
We hope that you’ve found these tips helpful, and we look forward to hopefully helping you plan an event in the near future at our beautiful Orange County banquet hall!
 

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