Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Event Planning Companies Rated Highest in Quality?

SAN JOSE — You are the customer. If your goal is to choose an Event Planner that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified Event Planner. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated Event Planner and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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Darryl Scotti is owner of Darryl Scotti Events, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2014. He can be reached at (408) 755-6950 or by email.

Darryl Scotti

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Darryl Scotti: An Eventful Life

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SANTA CLARA — For Darryl Scotti, becoming owner of Santa Clara’s premier event planning company was the culmination of a gradual series of career developments, each of which served to equip him for success in his ultimate entrepreneurial endeavor. It all began in his early years, when he was hired as a guitarist for the band Spiral Starecase. “We were known for the hit song, ‘More Today than Yesterday,’” he says. “After seven years of touring in the ’70s, it got to the point where every town looked the same as the last, and I realized it wasn’t the life I wanted.”

Following his stint as a professional musician, Darryl found himself handling an entirely new responsibility after a need arose at his family’s business. “Soon after I left the band, my father became sick, so I went to help out at our family’s restaurant in Santa Cruz,” he remembers. “After he passed away, I took over the restaurant and continued to manage it for a few years, wherein I learned a lot about business administration. I also learned how difficult the restaurant business is, so I decided to get back into the entertainment industry—this time as a broker, agent, producer and promoter.”

It was during the course of his second music career that Darryl came across a unique and lucrative prospect. “As a producer and agent in the Silicon Valley, I was introduced to the burgeoning corporate marketplace, where I recognized a huge opportunity,” he remembers. “Utilizing my background in entertainment and experience in the hospitality industry, I decided to start my own event planning company that specialized in corporate events.”

Today, as owner of Darryl Scotti Events, Inc., Darryl says he appreciates the characteristic variety of his career. “When I was in the restaurant business, I enjoyed entertaining people, but the venue was always the same. What I like about this business is that we get to create a similar experience in terms of hospitality and entertainment, but in all different types of settings, which keeps things interesting.”

Outside of work, Darryl engages in a variety of activities, from competing on the golf course to spending time with his wife, Yvonne. “My main leisure activity is golf, which I play two or three times a week,” he says. “I also enjoy spending time with my wife, whether on our weekly Friday date night or taking weekend trips to Palm Springs.” Additionally, Darryl stays busy by being involved with his church and pursuing various music projects.

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Darryl says he’d tackle a couple of items on his bucket list. “I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland and play golf. I’d also like to write a book about some of the life lessons I’ve learned, particularly in regard to obtaining and sustaining personal serenity.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your earliest memory?
A: Sitting next to my mother as a toddler and learning how to eat an apple.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: An early bird—I see the sun rise every morning.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: I collect MLB memorabilia. In addition to having a massive San Francisco Giants collection from their three recent World Series wins, I own the 500 Club—that is, I have an autographed ball from every player who has hit more than 500 home runs.

Q: If you were a professional athlete, what number would you wear on your jersey?
A: Number 1, because that’s what I, like any competitive athlete, strive to be in my particular field.

Q: If you could talk to anyone living or dead, who would it be?
A: It’s a tie between Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi.

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How to Make the Most of Your Special Event


SANTA CLARA — If you’re planning a special event like a holiday party, fundraiser or corporate team-building retreat, you undoubtedly want it to be smoothly executed and have a positive outcome, and one of the surest ways to accomplish that… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Considerations for Event Planning

Complete Video Transcription:

SANTA CLARA — Host, Sarah Rutan: When planning an event, it's important to not only fully disclose your expectations, but to also set a realistic… Read more




INDUSTRY INFORMATION - Santa Clara County – Event Planner

Contractors State License Board (CSLB) (http://www.cslb.ca.gov/)
California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) (www.dca.ca.gov)
Event Planners Association (EPA) (www.eventplannersassociation.com)
International Special Events Society (ISES) (www.ises.com)
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) (www.mpiweb.org)
Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) (www.pcma.org)
National Association of Event Planners (NAEP) (www.nationalassociationofeventplanners.com)
American Planning Association (APA) (www.planning.org)
Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) (www.acomonline.org)
Northern California Chapter of the American Planning Association (NorCalAPA) (www.norcalapa.org)

Know What You Want
Very Special Events Start with a Detailed List of What You Want and Expect

Special event planning companies in Santa Clara County, including those that serve clients in Gilroy, Cupertino, Campbell, Palo Alto, Milpitas and beyond, appreciate knowing all of the information you have in mind for your event. The more information you can give them, the more likely it is that they’ll be able to plan the event that you’re hoping for.

For this reason, you should begin the process of searching for good Santa Clara County event planners by spending a little time thinking about what you want, need and expect from your event and the professional party planner you’ll hire to help you accomplish that event.

The following questions will get you started. Write down your answers and make a list of what you decide. This will help you impartially evaluate party planners during the interview phase. You may also want to have a folder of ideas, swatches, samples and photos that showcase your ultimate event.

  1. Do I want a Diamond Certified special event planning company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee?
  2. What type of event am I planning (a work party, a holiday party such as a Christmas party or New Year’s party, a graduation party, a retirement party, a charity event or fundraiser, an outdoor event such as a golf tournament or fun run, a shower or wedding reception, a memorial or life celebration, etc.)?
  3. What is my budget for the event?
  4. What services do I want my event planner to provide? (This may include full-service party planning, at-party coordination services, vendor selection, menu planning, entertainment selection, etc.)
  5. When is my event? (This may be a specific date or could be a preferred range of dates.)
  6. Do I have a particular venue, caterer, florist, entertainment or other items I want my event planner to try to incorporate into my event?
  7. Are there any other event details that my event planner will need to know in order to help plan the event I’m hoping for? (The more details you can give your special event planner, the better. This will give them a great idea of what you’re looking for and how to better meet your expectations.)
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What To Ask In Person
Interview Local Event Planners in Person for a Clearer Picture of What They Can Offer

Too many in-person interviews can be a waste of time and can give you too many options, which can make it harder to make a decision. So experts recommend meeting with your top three to five Santa Clara County event planners, based on your telephone interviews and information you’ve gleaned from websites and other sources.

The following questions are some that you may want to ask. Add to this list some more questions that will help you make a final decision between the Santa Clara County party planners in Sunnyvale, San Jose, Campbell, Gilroy, Morgan Hill or beyond that you’re interviewing. Remember, it’s wise to write down the answers you get so that you are sure to remember which event planning expert gave you the most satisfying answers, and which you felt you could work best with.

  1. Will you be the one responsible for planning my special event, or will you hand off the duties to an assistant or less-experienced event planner?
  2. What is your usual event planning process?
  3. Can I choose among different event planning packages?
  4. Do you have preferred vendors you work with? Or will you give me a choice among several local vendors?
  5. Will you receive commissions or kick-backs from the vendors you recommend for my event?
  6. Will I pay each of the vendors for their services, or will I pay you for the vendors and make it your responsibility to pay them?
  7. If I have a vendor I want to hire, will you work with me to contract with them?
  8. Can you help me book the venue I want or find a venue that works best for my event?
  9. How much input will I have in the event planning?
  10. Can you help with the small details as well as the overall planning picture?
  11. Can you work within my preferred theme if I have one?
  12. Will you be available during my event to ensure that everything runs correctly?
  13. What is your emergency contingency plans if a vendor backs out, the event venue is double-booked, weather interferes with the plans or there is another unexpected problem?
  14. Will you disclose to me your terms and fees before I sign a contract?
  15. What deposits are due, and when is the balance due?
  16. Are your fees included in my budget, or are they in addition to it?
  17. Will you give me a list of references for whom  you’ve recently planned events similar to the one I’m in charge of?
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  • What To Ask References
    Talk with Recent Event Planning Company Customers About Their Experiences

    It’s best to choose among Diamond Certified event planners because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a event planners in Santa Clara County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence hiring a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find Diamond Certified event planners in Sunnyvale, San Jose, Campbell, Gilroy, Morgan Hill or within reach, you’ll have to do some research. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your event planners. Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by event planners are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the contractors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do call party planning client references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the event planning company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    The following is a list of sample questions you may want to ask references to help you make the best decision on the local event planning specialists for you and your property.

    1. What type of event did this Santa Clara County special event planning company plan and carry out for you?
    2. If the firm has multiple employees, did you work with one particular party planner or event planning specialist? If so, who was it?
    3. Were you pleased with how they planned, organized and managed your event?
    4. Did they stick to the budget you’d initially agreed upon?
    5. Did your special event turn out as you’d hoped?
    6. Was this event planner good at communicating with you during the planning process and while the event was in progress?
    7. Was this event planning company responsive to your needs? Were they faithful at returning phone calls and answering your questions?
    8. Did this Santa Clara County special event planner recommend vendors, materials, décor, seating, program details and other items to make the event planning process and the event itself run more smoothly?
    9. If the event you hosted was in a rural area or San Martin, East Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Permanente, did the event planning services charge extra to come to your location?
    10. What was the best thing about working with this event planning service?
    11. Was there anything you were not been pleased with?
    12. Would you recommend this local event planner to friends or family?
    13. If you need party planning services in the future, will you consider hiring this event planning company again?
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  • Review Your Options
    The Final Steps to Hiring Good Event Planners in Santa Clara County

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Before deciding on the best event planners in Santa Clara County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions. Review the interview notes you took when talking with each event planning company, and use the information you’ve gleaned to make the right decision for you.

    1. Is there a special event planner in Santa Clara County that meets your needs in terms of the date you need, timing, abilities, connections, communication skills, personal touch, fees, special event planning packages and other details you’re looking for?
    2. Will this event planner coordinate events in Milpitas, Palo Alto, Cupertino, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Gilroy or your area?
    3. Are the Santa Clara County special event planning firms you’ve interviewed knowledgeable about the venues, caterers, florists, decorators, entertainment services or other vendors you’re in need of for your event?
    4. Did one party planner stand out above the others? It is very important that you like and can work with your event planner on a professional level, so don’t discount the importance of or ignore your personal feelings.
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  • How To Work With
    What to Do Before Interviewing and Hiring Event Planners in Santa Clara County

    There are a few simple steps you can take to make the process of hiring a local party planning service easier, and ensure a more successful special event.

    First, think about the event you’re planning. The more information you have to share with the event planning services you’re considering, the more likely it is that you’ll find local party planners that can meet your specific needs. You should have some idea about the type of event, preferred venue or location (indoor, outdoor, convention center, upscale location, etc.), time of day, approximate amount of time from start to finish, number of guests, type of food (full dinner, light appetizers or finger foods, beverage service, open bar, etc.), type of décor, and other details.

    You should also know an approximate budget. This may be a budget range or a not-to-exceed amount. This is very important to know from the beginning, as it can help the Santa Clara County event planners you’re interviewing know if they will be able to help you or not and whether your budget is realistic for the services you want.

    It’s also wise to have an idea of what services you want your Santa Clara County event planner to provide. Some people want a full-service party planner to do all of the work, while others want to be very hands-on and do much of the work themselves. You should be upfront with the event planning experts you talk with about the scope of services you’re looking for and what, if any, you want to do yourself.

    What To Do Once You’ve Chosen a Local Event Planning Company
    Once you’ve chosen an event planner that serves San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Gilroy, Campbell and Morgan Hill, Saratoga, Stanford, Alviso, Coyote, Campbell, New Almaden, Monte Vista, or the area in which you’re hosting your event, try to meet with them in person to get started planning the event.

    Take along any items you’ve compiled, such as photographs, swatches, samples or lists of wants and needs so you can present them to the party planner. At this point, your Santa Clara County event planning expert may present ideas to you, or they may take notes on your ideas and get back to you with suggestions and ideas to help you achieve your dream event.

    You’ll also want to talk in detail about your budget and how the event planning company will work with you to stay within your preferred range. Be sure you know whether the party planner is including their fees in their total estimate, and find out how their fees and those of the vendors will be covered. Ask your Santa Clara County event planner to disclose their terms and fees up front. Rind out whether they charge by the hour, a percentage of the total cost or by the package deal.

    Talk about deposits for the event planner’s services and for the venues and other vendors that will be providing services. You’ll also want to know whether you’ll pay for those services by simply paying the event planner, who will pay the vendors, or if you’ll pay the vendors all separately. You should also be sure to ask if the Santa Clara County event planners get any kickbacks or commission for hiring or recommending certain vendors.

    Once all the details are to your liking, sign a contract for services. Good contracts will include all pertinent details for your agreement with the party planners. This includes the responsibilities of both you and your event planner, payment terms, guarantees or cancellation terms, and other details you want confirmed in writing. Add in any verbal agreements you’ve made to ensure that the event planners are held responsible for these promises, too.

    Read through the contract, including the fine print, and ask any questions before you sign it. The contract will protect you and your event planning company, so it’s critical that you understand all terms and exclusions with which you’re agreeing to. Once you sign the contract, you are legally bound to the terms you agreed upon in writing.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Special Event Planning Client?

    It’s your event planners’ responsibility to plan the event of your dreams in accordance with the agreement you’ve made and the contract you’ve signed with them. But you play a big part in the success of the special event, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring Santa Clara County event planners.

    • Be honest with the event planners. Let them know your goals for your special event, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way.
    • Before you hire special event planners in Santa Clara County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local event planners occur because of a breakdown in communication. Being clear about your expectations and theirs can help you avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your special event planners if you should call to check on the progress during the planning process or if she will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your party planner has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re planning your event. They may need to reach you with updates, for input or to fill you in on the progress they’re making.
    • Return calls, email s and messages promptly to keep the event planning services on schedule.
    • Pay for the event planning services promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Santa Clara County event planners in Gilroy, Cupertino, Campbell, Palo Alto, Milpitas and beyond prefer working with clients who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good client behavior sets the tone from your end and helps foster a positive working relationship.

    The event planning process may very well go smoother, any problems may be more easily resolved, and your entire event may be an even greater success thanks to your commitment to being a good client.

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Check The Work
Review Your Contract and Invoice Before Paying Your Final Bill

After the event, your Santa Clara County special event planner will give you an invoice for services rendered. They may also bill you for items, materials and even vendor services and materials, depending on how you arranged payment when you initially signed the contract.

Regardless of what services or items you are paying for after the event, the invoice from your event planners company should include the following:

  • The event planners name and physical address.
  • A complete list of all services rendered.
  • An itemized list of all materials purchased.
  • The total cost for the event planners services, including the itemized amount charged for labor.
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Written Warranties
Ask for Written Guarantees if Available

Depending on the event planning company, you may find they are willing to guarantee their services. Some will guarantee their ability to meet deadlines, book certain vendors, or stay within the agreed-upon budget.

It is rare for party planners in Gilroy, Cupertino, Campbell, Palo Alto, Milpitas and other areas to offer warranties or guarantees on their services, but if your Santa Clara County event planner does, ask for those promises in writing.

The following items should be included in any written guarantee document:

  • The Santa Clara County event planner’s name and physical address.
  • A description of what the guarantee is and how the event planning company will make right any items they fail to produce as promised.
  • Any exclusions to the guarantee must be explicitly stated.
  • Any actions or inaction on your part that may invalidate the guarantee.
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Top 10 Requests
Popular Services Provided by Santa Clara County Event Planning Companies

Most good event planning companies can provide a wide range of services to meet almost any needs or requests posed to them by clients. However, some types of party planning services are more popular than others. The following are the most commonly requested services that clients hire event planners to provide in Santa Clara County and the rest of the Greater Bay Area.

Corporate Event Planning
Corporate events including trade shows, retirement parties, training sessions, award ceremonies, holiday parties, grand openings, anniversary parties, breakfast meetings, customer appreciation events, corporate luncheons, professional banquets and more are often coordinated by professional event planners.

Family Event Planning Services
Local party planners can provide planning services for family events including family reunions, weddings, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, anniversary parties, sweet 16 parties, wedding showers, bridal showers, birthday parties and more.

Fundraising Event Planning
Fundraisers including fundraiser dinners, dances, raffles, silent auctions, golf tournaments, fun runs, color runs and mud runs, school fundraisers, nonprofit organization fundraisers and more may be planned by Santa Clara County event planners. They may offer coordination or consultation for the fundraising committee or employees to organize, or they may offer full-service fundraising.

Day-of Event Management in Santa Clara County
Many Santa Clara County event planners provide day-of event management services. This includes managing the event itself, including setup, coordinating the catering, entertainment, decorations, seating, vendor management, clean up and other services before, during and after the special event they’ve been hired to plan. This frees up the client to enjoy the event, because they don’t have to worry about the event details.

Vendor Selection
Vendors including florists, caterers, musicians, entertainment, suppliers, seating, rental companies and other services that are hired to provide materials and services during the special event all need to be carefully vetted, hired and managed. Santa Clara County event planning experts who provide vendor selection may create a short list of quality vendors whom they’ve vetted for a client to choose, or may be in charge of hiring the vendors.

Party Planning Services
Party planning services plan and execute parties such as bridal showers, work receptions, birthday parties, holiday parties, anniversary parties and other celebrations in Milpitas, Palo Alto, Cupertino, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Gilroy and other locations.

Venue Selection
Venues may include private and public buildings, indoor and outdoor locations, hotels, convention centers, parks, civic buildings, town halls, and other locations. Event planners in Santa Clara County and the rest of the Greater Bay Area can narrow down the potential locations, can choose the location, or can work on their clients’ behalf to secure a desired location.

Menu Creation
Food is often a very big part of special events, and good event planning services in San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Gilroy, Campbell and Morgan Hill and the rest of Santa Clara County may offer menu creation services. They put together an entire menu or sample menu which the client can approve for their event.

Event Coordination Services in Santa Clara County
Event coordination from beginning to end are popular services that clients hire Santa Clara County event planners to provide. These include all planning, execution and clean up from special events.

Event Planning Consultant Services
Clients who want to execute events themselves but who need some assistance in coordinating and planning the event may hire a local Santa Clara County event planner in San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View and Milpitas and the rest of the Bay Area.

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Glossary Of Terms
Terms Associated with Special Event Planning Services

The following glossary highlights some of the common terms used by event planning companies and their definitions. This handy resource will help you understand more about event planning and its components, and may enable you to better communicate with your special event planner.

Of course, not all terms are represented here. If there is anything you don’t understand while talking with your special event planning contractor or in the contract or written plans they give you, ask for clarification.

a la carte
Any event planning services that can be purchased separately, as opposed to as part of an event planning package.

Also known as: single-choice event planning services, custom party planning, customized event planning services

The facilities and features of a particular event venue or location.

Also known as: event amenities

auditorium seating
Auditorium seating is an event seating plan in which the chairs are set up in rows facing the speaker or main stage, like those in an auditorium or theater.

Also known as: theater style seating, theater seating

banquet style seating arrangement
Banquet-style seating is a table arrangement in which rectangular tables are placed in rows with seats at both sides. This set up allows for a head or top table to be placed at the front of the room.

Also known as: dinner style seating

banquet event order sheet
Banquet event order sheets are detailed documents giving the venue instructions and a time line for how the event, banquet, meeting, or other special event will run.

Also known as: BEO, function sheet, event order sheet

banquet table round
Round banquet tables usually seat between 8-12 guests, depending on the diameter.

Also known as: banquet round, round banquet table

bid document
A proposal submitted by vendors bidding to provide their services. Complete bids usually include the scope of work, details about what will be provided, and approximate costs.

Also known as: bid, bid for event planning services

black tie
Black tie dress is very formal, including tuxedos and evening dresses.

Also known as: black tie dress, black tie attire, formal dress

buffet dinner
A buffet dinner is food service in which the food is prepared and set up at tables where guests serve themselves. This can often be a more affordable type of service as compared to individual plate service, and allows guests more control over what they are served and how much. It also offers planners and hosts more flexibility in the number of guests, as there won’t need to be an exact number of plates prepared.

Also known as: buffet food service, self-serve buffet

business attire
Business attire means the required dress for certain events is that which is usually worn at the office, including business suits, ties and jackets.

Also known as: business dress

business to business
Business to business event planners plan events that allow businesses to network with or serve other businesses.

Also known as: B2B

business to consumer
Business to consumer special event planners plan events for businesses that serve and cater toward individual consumers or customers.

Also known as: B2C,, business to customer, business to client

cancellation clause
Part of the event planning contract that details penalties if cancellation occurs. This usually includes penalties for the client and the event planning service, whichever is the party that cancels the event.

Also known as: cancellation penalty clause

casual attire
Casual attire events are those that require dress that is between business formal and street wear.

Also known as: business casual, casual event attire, casual dress events

change order
A change order is a document that outlines changes in the original agreement, whether between the client and the party planner or between the venue or vendor and the party planner or client. Change orders may or may not involve additional fees.

Also known as: change requests, change order fees

Total number of guests expected.

Also known as: headcount, guest count

The actual number of meals served is known as the cover.

Also known as: cover charge, covers served

A deposit is a partial payment to secure a product or service. Some event planners or vendors require a deposit to reserve their services.

Also known as: service deposit, vendor deposit

family style service
Food served on platters at the center of each table so guests can serve themselves while seated is known as family style service. This eliminates lines at buffet tables and the need for individual plated service.

Also known as: family-style food service

off-site caterer

A person or company that prepares food off-site and delivers the prepared food to the event venue is known as an off-site caterer. Off-site catering services may or may not be allowed at certain venues, so be sure to ask if this service is possible if it’s important to you to hire an off-site catering company.

Also known as: outside catering, offsite catering

on-site catering
Food prepared at the event venue is known as on-site catering.

Also known as: onsite food preparation

peak season
Peak season is when the event planners are busies and rates may at their highest. This is usually wedding season, during mid-summer.

Also known as: high season, busy season, wedding season

preferred vendor
Some event planners have preferred vendors. These are specific vendors from which clients must choose. Caterers, florists, entertainment, and other vendors who are not on the preferred vendor list are not allowed.

Also known as: preferred caterer, preferred vendor list

The location of an event, event venues may include hotel ballrooms, auditoriums, convention centers, outdoor locations, parks, and even private homes.

Also known as: event venues

A walk-through is a chance for clients and their event planners to inspect a facility and its amenities. This often includes a review of the event itinerary and details.

Also known as: facility viewing

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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ About Event Planners and Local Event Planning Services

The following are some common questions asked of local special event planners and event planning services in the Greater Bay Area and beyond. The answers below are representative of common answers that can help you know what to expect from companies in the event planning industry; however, they may not be exactly what every local event planner offers. You’ll want to ask the event planners you’re choosing among for answers specific to your questions.

Q: Why choose Diamond Certified event planners for your special event?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose among local event planners with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only event planners rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing Diamond Certified event planners for your special event.

Q: Why should I hire an event planner?
A: Event planners help you plan and organize every step of your special event. They help you plan the event basics, find good vendors, choose an ideal location, negotiate with vendors on your behalf, design and decorate the venue, and can even set up and monitor the event on the big day. This can take a lot of pressure off of you as the host and can make your event run more smoothly.

Q: Do I need to hire an event planner if my preferred venue offers an on-site coordinator?
A: On-site event coordinators can be helpful, and the fact that your preferred venue offers this service could be a nice addition to your party. However, remember: on-site coordinators offered by local venues are employees of those venues. Their job is to manage the venue staff and other venue interests; while they may be helpful to have at your event, their focus is not on you. They answer your questions about the venue, assist with venue-provided menu choices and venue-related paperwork. However, they may not even be on-site during the actual event, or they may leave before the end of the event. They also rarely provide additional services, such as help planning seating, giveaway items, program planning or other personalized items that are usually part of events. Private event planners that you hire are accountable to you and are there to take care of you, your guests and your interests. They will help you plan your day, including the large picture and small details, and they can even work with on-site coordinators to make your day even more special. For those reasons, it is probably a good idea to hire a local event planner to represent you and your interests during all phases of the planning and actual event.

Q: Can I afford a special event planner or local event planning service?
A: The rates local event planning companies charge vary depending on their experience and location, the type of event, and the amount of work they commit to in the contract. However, you may be surprised to find that most event planners offer very reasonable rates for their services. Think about how many hours you will need to invest in planning your event, and whether you have the resources and knowledge about local vendors you’ll need to plan the event of your dreams. You may be wise to hire a professional to handle these duties. In addition. Many event planners work with vendors repeatedly, and they may know the best places to get the best value for your money. If budget is a big concern for you, talk with some local event planning companies about the service packages they offer and see if they have a plan that works within your budget.

Q: Why is it important to know and share my budget with my event planner?
A: Event planners often want to know what your budget is from the very start. This will help them best plan your event and coordinate each part to fit within your budgetary constraints. Knowing your budget will give them a starting place when they search for vendors, create sample menus, and look for the ideal location for you. It’s very important that you have a clear idea of your budget (an ideal budget and absolute not-to-exceed number are a good idea to have in-hand when meeting with your event planning service) and are honest with your event planner about what that number is. Good event planners understand that clients have budgets and do their best to stay below or at that number. Most event planning companies factor their planning fee or packages into your budget, but you’ll want to check to ensure that the fee you’ll pay your event planner is included in the package fee so that you won’t exceed your budget limit.

Q: How do event planners charge for their services?
A: That depends on the event planning company you choose. Most have package deals that include specific services for a set fee. These packages vary in cost and are designed around the services clients want and the level of involvement of the event planner. Some other companies charge fees based on the total budget, but beware of those agreements as that can discourage the event planner from looking for savings or from asking for better deals from local vendors. You may also find some event planners that charge hourly fees for their services; again, be aware that these planners may be less inclined to work as efficiently as others. Always ask the event planning companies you’re choosing among to tell you how they charge for their services, and ensure that they offer a good value based on the services and quality you’re getting for your money.

Q: How soon should I book an event planner?
A: Most event planners recommend booking an event planner as soon as you know you have need of their services (as soon as you become engaged, or know you are planning a work or family event, for example). This brings them into the process early on and can help save you time and money from the very start. This is especially important if you are planning an event during a busy time, such as a Saturday during peak wedding season or over the Christmas and New Year holidays. During these times, event planners can fill up as far in advance as a year or two, so call and book the services or planner you want as soon as possible. It’s always better to have your date and event on the calendar than to wait too long.

Q: Will local event planners travel out of the Greater Bay Area to plan special events?
A: Most event planners will travel anywhere their clients have need of their services. Check with the special event planners you’re considering if you are planning a destination event to ensure that the companies offer long-distance planning and if they will travel to the location.

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