I invest my heart and soul into every event I help plan, but ultimately it is the client’s event and guest list, so I want to make sure it is everything they’ve pictured and more!

Sydney Schatz

Owner/Lead Planner

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

A Piece of Harmony Events is a full-service wedding & event planning business. Owner and lead planner, Sydney Schatz, has been committed to organizing seamless events since 2014. As a dedicated planner, she has organized more than 700 events.

Before founding this business, she has previously managed two venues and been an event coordinator at another. She can work with however many visions you may or may not have to help bring your dreams into being.

Through her extensive experience, Sydney can recommend trusted, high-quality services and businesses that a client may wish to use. Sydney has received certificates in wedding and event planning, corporate events, and event decor.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced while planning an event and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge I’ve ever faced happened back in 2017 when the premier structure, a 100-year-old barn, at the large venue I was managing burned to the ground midway through the season and just 10 short days before our largest wedding of the year. We immediately went into crisis management mode.

The food and beverage manager and I worked round the clock for days to contact our remaining couples and keep them apprised of the situation. We really tried to become “yes men” as much as we could, while also keeping their expectations and emotions in check. Over the next week and a half, the maintenance crew, along with several members of the community, worked tirelessly to clean up and salvage what they could of the property.

Then on a sunny day in August, we created one of the most memorable and beautiful weddings for two of the most understanding and wonderful families I’ve had the pleasure of working with. We hosted an additional 5 weddings that season and at every one of those, I had guests tell me they wouldn’t have known there was a structure missing because it was still such a beautiful property. Honestly, that always made me feel so good because we worked so hard to make sure that, no matter what, those couples still got to experience their dream weddings.

What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?

When working with a tight budget, I recommend first mapping out your three major priorities. What are the must-haves versus what are the simply want-to-haves? This will help guide the budget towards the important items where you need to allocate most of the money, and where other things may either need to be DIY projects or maybe aren’t needed at all.

My second tip would be to make it personal. Whether it is a baby shower, wedding, Christmas party, or birthday party, you don’t need to spend a whole lot of money to add little personal touches that your guests will cherish and remember long after the party is over. I helped plan a wedding for a couple who had less than 50 guests, but most of them were traveling from out of town, so as their place cards, the couple decided to write personalized thank-you notes to every guest. It didn’t cost them much other than their time, as they just got the cards from the dollar store, but every guest left that party feeling loved and appreciated.

My last tip would be to hire a professional planner! I know it may seem like extra money to spend when you are already on a tight budget, but we know the right people to work with and where we can stretch the budget to get the most out of your dollar while still creating that elegant and memorable event.

How important are your relationships with vendors and what are some ways that you successfully cultivate and ensure good rapport?

I am constantly talking to my clients about putting together their “Vendor A-Team”! It is so important for each vendor who is part of an event to be working together as a team, and when you are in a bit of a smaller area, like me, a lot of times that means working with the same vendors several times a year.

I really value creating actual relationships with these people because I think it instills trust in each other’s work and makes for a more successful event. I try to nurture these relationships by putting together styled shoots where we can all have fun creating something beautiful, often with a little more creative freedom.

After working a couple of events with a vendor I like to go on and write a nice review on their page(s) so future clients can see that not only do past clients recommend them but so do other professionals in the industry.

Lastly, I am all about giving credit where credit is due, so if I have worked with a vendor on multiple different events I will try to give them a shoutout or highlight them on my social media pages because I know just how important word of mouth is in the event industry!

What’s the first event you can ever remember planning and how did it go?

The first big event I ever helped plan was a wedding for someone who was actually my boss at the time. I was still in college and still learning the ropes, but I remember loving the entire process and really feeling like this is what I am meant to do with my life.

Then, the night before rehearsal day I had a mini panic attack because, heck, I didn’t really know how to run a rehearsal! I laugh at it now, but I remember staying up late Googling “how to run a wedding rehearsal” along with tips/tricks. The next day I marched in there like I knew exactly what I was doing, took charge and it all went as smooth as butter, the wedding day included.

From there I was able to grow my confidence and now I feel like I can walk into any event space, whether I have a specific plan or not, and put together whatever the client needs from me!

Anything else you’d like to comment on while we have you?

When potential clients ask me what I can do for them, I tell them that I am there to be their event or wedding planning “guide”. I consider myself a guide because I know that, most times, they have no idea what they are doing or where to start. In addition, I want to make sure they feel like they are involved in the process and being heard when it comes to their vision and what they want their event to look like. Sometimes clients truly don’t know what their vision is so I have to be a little more hands-on, but I think it is important for them to still feel like they are calling the shots and I am there to help make sure all the boxes are checked, everyone is where they need to be, and the clients can enjoy their event without being the ones stressed out. I invest my heart and soul into every event I help plan, but ultimately it is the client’s event and guest list, so I want to make sure it is everything they’ve pictured and more!

Susan Null
Author: Susan Null

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