© Melissa Nowakowski October 2010

Yes, an Event Planner or Wedding Planner has to love what they do. It's quite difficult to excel at something if you don't have a passion for it. Yet I think I can speak for all Planners out there when I say that planning celebrations isn't the only thing that we love to do. Like everyone else, we have outside interests and/or hobbies.

What's funny is that when I sit down with a client to discuss their celebration and answer their questions as to how I may be of assistance, I have rarely been asked what my interests are aside from planning.

Now don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm practically bursting to share my interests or hobbies. And understandably, a client's main priority is to gather as much information as possible about their perspective Planner's skill set, knowledge and experience. However, you can learn a lot about your Planner by simply asking what their outside interests are. There may be a hidden strength that you (nor your Planner for that matter!) hadn't considered before and, depending on your needs, this may just be an advantage in the planning of your celebration.

Here are a few "special interests" and what they may say about your Planner:


This Planner is forever devoted to gourmet cuisine and has a supurb appreciation for it. He or She has a refined palate and knows all the best restaurants in the city and beyond. (Heck, they may know the Chefs on a first name basis!) This Planner loves new tastes and you can usually find Him or Her at the Grand Opening of a new restaurant, at a special tasting event or trying out a new recipe in their own kitchen.

If food at your event is extremely important to you, a Planner who has a special interest in cuisine may be of benefit as they'll likely have the sophisticated palate to guide you in your menu pairings. They'll also be extremely aware of the strengths and weaknesses of caterers within your area and may have the ability to effectively brainstorm creative menu items with them.


This Planner will likely don the newest fashion trend or will be so well put together that Heidi Klum would be jealous. He or She will know what's 'in' and what's 'out' for the season and will be aware of the hottest new designers as well as the classic go-to's. In their office their bookshelves may be stacked with event resource material but in their nightstands they'll likely have a collection of the most popular fashion magazines.

Everyone wants to look good at their event, whether it's that impact-at-first-glace at their wedding, that GQ look that will turn some heads at their grand opening or that transformation from girl to woman at their 'Sweet 16' party. If your Planner is a serious fashionista, He or She may just be your go-to resource for the most stylish attire for your event. If your planning in advance, your Planner may be able to advise as to what will be the "in" style of the following season before it even hits the public runways. They may know where to get the real thing and where to get the mirror-image knock-offs or where the best deals are. Heck, if you yourself are a fashion-devotee you may have just found someone with whom to gush over the latest Kate Spade bag as a stress release.


This may seem like an interest unlikely to be of any benefit, but in fact, it has poses many unseen positives. Those who are engaged in physical activity on a regular basis -- meaning those who are engaged in team-focused sports, rejuvenating group session activity or aggressive activity like martial arts -- may prove to be an abundance of energy, spontaneity and determination. Studies have shown that those engaged in regular physical activity tend to not only have an overall positive outlook and lots of energy but also tend to handle stress factors better than the average couch potato. Perhaps that is because those who are physically active on a regular basis have a routine outlet in which to relieve their stress that is healthy not just for mind but for overall health as well.

A Planner who is active on a team or within a group may have the ability to focus on the "bigger picture" and may have a strong knack in communicating with His or Her "team" of vendors. They often tackle tasks in a strategic manner and are not afraid to draw in others to help them when needed. If they lead a group activity, they may have a natural ability to gain and keep trust as a leader as they know how to manage a large group. A Planner who engages in aggressive activity -- like the martial arts or boxing -- may be more aggressive in negotiations with vendors and may have the ability to relay calm and think quick in stressful situations through focus and quick reflexes. And of course, any Planner who is physically active will have the stamina to tackle physical tasks with ease and..well, let's face it...look good doing it!


This Planner has worldly vision and for good reason. He or She loves to travel the world and discover new cultures, ideals and locales. For this Planner, it's not about getting away from it all but experiencing something new and exciting and learning from that experience. The World-Traveler doesn't just visit the typical hot-spots like the Caribbean or Europe but hits exotic locales like Thailand, Egypt, Tunisia and more.

If your event will be taking you to another destination or will be infused with specific cultures, a Planner who travels extensively may be of benefit in that they can suggest unique destinations that will create an experience for your guests rather than a vacation. A well-travelled Planner may be knowledgeable in a vast array of cultures and their traditions which could help to associate with family members or your guest-list. Or He or She may be creative enough to borrow traditions from other countries to make your event that much more original. This Planner will also have an appreciation for the delicate details and symbolism behind traditions and will be able to bring this symbolism out beautifully in the small details of your event.


There are many interests and hobbies that prove to be a benefit when it comes to planning events. These are just a few examples. And this is not to say that Planners who do not have these interests lack any of the above mentioned skills. Far from it. Most Planners are well equipped with creativity, a good eye for detail, a distinct palate, the ability to work within stressful situations and have an appreciation for the beauty of various cultures and locales. But as your personal hobbies or interests can be of benefit to you in certain aspects or times of your life, so can a Planner's outside interests unknowingly be of benefit to their own skill-set in planning your event.

Aside from the benefits to event planning, a Planner with outside interests, whether it be their family, their social life, a hobby or simply trying new things, may be more well-rounded in their life overall and have a good idea of how to balance work and pleasure. This can be of great help and inspiration to you as you balance the planning of your event and your daily life.

Go ahead, ask your planner what they like to do aside from planning events. You may just be surprised!


Cootie Catchers!!!

Photo courtesy of KatsKrafts

What better way to add fun and whimsy to your event than to give a throw back to our childhood? Remember cootie-catchers? They were the highlight of recess in elementary school! And no matter what the occasion, these paper-packs-of-fun are an adoreable alternative to ceremony programs, favours or even menus!

Photo courtesy of Post Darling Paper Girl

The Ol' Switch-a-Roo!!!

Remember when it was complete taboo for anyone other than the Bride to wear white at a wedding? Well move on over sister because these days, Bridesmaids are taking over the shade! This planner is swooning over Brides that bask in bold colour letting their gal-pals don the pearly whites. After all, the white wedding dress was a fad that Queen Victoria started and...well...these days ladies are looking for inspiration from celebs.

Invitations made from Metal and Wood!!!

Photo courtesy of Orlo Press Invitations

Who says that invitations have to be made of paper? This planner love, love, loves anything that steps out of the norm and invitations carved from metal and wood fit that description perfectly! Perfect for any fete, metal and wood can transform an invitation from flat and typical to sleek and modern-esque or classic and romantic.

Photo courtesy of

Boy Bashes!!!

Photo courtesy of Avayah by Karen Stott

Gone are the days when guys would stand around at parties with their hands dug deep in their pockets, looking incredibly bored or men who considered a party to be a keg of beer and a BBQ. These days, guys are taking a super-charged interest in their celebrations -- whether it's a Birthday bash, Bachelor party, wedding or more. Not only is their interest in how these parties get planned ever-growing but their tastes and "big-picture" ideas are becoming more defined. This planner is over-the-moon that the masculine gender are more open to stylized events, unique concepts and to making a statement when it comes to their event.

Photo courtesy of The Papery of Philidelphia

Touchwood Rings!!!

Sleek and unbelieveably smart, Touchwood rings are a chic and ultra-Eco-friendly alternative to the traditional wedding bands. Who would have thought that something as simple as wooden rings could be so beautiful? These custom, hand-carved rings are made right here in Canada (British Columbia to be exact!) at Touchwood Rings and no two rings are alike as each set of rings is made from scratch. Choose from a wide variety of trees from Birch ("the giving tree") and Pine ("the tree of peace") to Oak ("strength of character") and more. With deep personal meaning attached to the materials used and a clear environmental conscience on its wearers, these rings leave more than just lasting memories of a beautiful wedding day...they leave a lasting impression on our planet.