Planning an event seems simple enough, right? You decide on a theme. You book a venue. You flesh out a guest list. And voila, everything’s done. Unfortunately, seamlessly executing the party of your dreams takes a lot more forward thinking, planning, and action than the previously mentioned easy steps. And if you’re attempting to balance a major event’s logistics with the demands of your everyday life, you might be in for a serious shock. Not sure if you’re in over your head just yet? There’s ten telltale signs that will help you figure out if the assistance of a professional event planner is needed.

1. You haven’t had time to visit potential venues.
The perfect location is arguably the most important detail involved in planning an event of any scale. If you choose the perfect place, you’ll be able to comfortably house all of your expected guests and event elements. But the wrong choice could lead to cramped space, bad acoustics, and a plethora of event day disasters. An event planner can handle this for you by visiting every prospective location on your list and providing crucial details as well as pictures. With a pro on your side, you won’t have to make your decisions in the dark.

2. You don’t have time to meet with third party vendors.
Odds are, if you’re throwing a large-scale event, you’ll need the services of a third party vendor such as a catering company or DJ. Just like choosing a venue, deciding on the best vendors to support your event can make or break your success. Your event planner can act as a liaison between you and your potential new business partners. They can work out the details, and all you’ll have to do is sign the dotted line.

3. Speaking of time, you just don’t have enough of it to plan anything.
If you repeatedly find yourself erasing event planning tasks from your to-do list or bumping appointments and research to the next week, you need help. Procrastinating on your event planning can leave you in a desperate situation where you have to choose the best of the worst event alternatives. An event planner can take the hassle out of juggling all the responsibilities and help keep you on schedule.

4. You can’t afford to fail.
Perhaps this event is the key to promoting your new business or attracting new clientele. A complete failure could ruin your chances of starting out on the right foot. Or even worse, it could land you in the hot seat at your current job. If you want to ensure 100% success, you need a professional in your corner to make sure every detail is perfect.

5. You keep going over budget.
Maybe your expectations about booking a venue on a Saturday night are unrealistic. Maybe your budget is a little too low. The benefit of working with an experienced event planner is their expertise. They can take a deep dive into your budget and your requirements. Not only can they ensure you stay within your spending guidelines, but they’ll also help you make adjustments if something just doesn’t add up.

6. You don’t have a plan B.
While hosting your tremendous outdoor event sounds incredible, have you considered what will happen if it rains? Have you factored the cost of tents or alternate venues into your budget? When we plan events on our own, we tend to lock in on our first great idea and fall victim to tunnel vision. Event planners are trained to explore all options so that your events can go on as planned rain or shine.

7. You don’t have a plan to get the word out about your event.
A strong invitation structure is important. But once the event takes off, you want to make sure you have as much impact as possible. This includes everything from a unique social media hashtag to professional on site photos. The life of an event doesn’t stop when the doors close. You need a professional on your side who can help you maximize the lifespan of your event vision.

8. You’ve never planned an event before.
You may have booked a dinner for a party of 8 or successfully pulled off a surprise party for your significant other. But a true large-scale event is a beast like no other. It can often be all-consuming, and you may not realize you need help until it’s too late. If you’re inexperienced, you need the guidance of someone who delivers top quality events for a living.

9. You keep losing track of important details.
If you’re having a hard time tracking who’s been invited, who’s already RSVP’d, and who still needs to be contacted, you’re probably on the road to disaster. An event planner already has an effective strategy in place to handle the minutia.

10. You keep losing your cool under pressure.
Event planning is A LOT to handle. It’s understandable that you want to pull this off on your own, but there’s a reason professionals work on these events full time. If you want to breathe again and relieve the stress of doing double duty between your normal life and your event, look no further.

Hiring an event planner isn’t a frivolous expense. It’s one of the most effective and efficient ways to deliver the best event possible. From keeping all the details straight to picking the best options within your budget, an event planner is a necessity to make sure things go off without a hitch.