True Event

Thinking about a summer party? Now’s the time to plan!
I had tons of help planning the-e-fair, and plenty came in the form of the unflappable event planner ,Sarah True owner of True Event. While it never occured to me to use a wedding planner for my big day twenty something years ago (did they even exist?), a few things may have turned out differently. I wouldn’t have punched my dad or had a screaming match with my sister an hour before the ceremony. The bridesmaids bouquets would have been pink and lavender instead of yellow. My hairdresser managed to coif all the bridesmaids but ran out of time for me. My dress would have arrived sooner than the day before. My photographer shot hundreds of gorgeous photos, but not one of my grandmother and I don’t think she ever forgave me. You get the picture. If I had to do it all over again (egads), I would hire an event planner to sweat the details while I enjoyed the day. Whether you’ve got a wedding, bar mitzvah, big birthday or other large fete looming on your calendar, event planners are not just for celebrities anymore. Sarah shared some of her secret sources with The E List.
So, why hire an event planner?Sarah is well acquainted with every venue, caterer, photographer, florist and stationer up and down the Shoreline (and farther afield). The value of a planner comes from the ability to match your personality  with a vendor that suits your style AND your budget. She’ll build your team based on your budget (and she works happily with any size) and your vision for the party. Overwhelmed by myriad options? She’ll help you define your event and create a vision board for inspiration.
Sarah is loathe to play favorites and works with hundreds of vendors, but here’s a few from her packed rolodex: Foodies will love Gourmet Galley. Their modern menus are fresh and sophisticated. Looking for local? A Thyme to Cook grows their own herbs and sources their ingredients locally and sustainably for their elegant menus. They’re known for their presentation and creativity (and those mad yummy pretzel rolls!). Yumiko at Hana Floral in Mystic is famous for her full blown, feminine arrangements.
If you like the idea of sculptural, structured florals, try Datura in Middletown. Sarah works with a stable of photographers but she’s keeping an eye on up-and-coming Anna SawinSperry Tents is her top choice for their graceful lines and cheerful flags. Newcomer Sugar Bakery is on her short list for cakes (cupcake tower, pictured) and Papermoss for letterpress invitations. The Ocean House has been home to several of Sarah’s weddings (including one that was voted in the top 20 nationally for 2010 by the go-to wedding blog,, but she’s happy to arrange events at less costly venues and has great ideas on how to pull off a party without spending a ridiculous wad of cash.
Some local  venues include tented affairs on the dock at the CT River Museum or among the vines at Chamard Vineyards or Jonathan Edwards Winery, the terrace overlooking the Lieutenant River at The Florence Griswold Museum and the charming and rustic historic barn at Dudley Farm in Guilford.