Develop a plan. As soon as you have set the date, start organizing your research and make decisions! First, think of your event in a holistic sense - how do you envision it?
Give yourself some deadlines and create a timeline. What are the lead times? What vendors have specific deadlines for final counts and deposits? Be sure to allow some buffer time on all items, especially for RSVP's!
You can't do it alone. Having a small group to use their strengths accordingly will have the greatest impact. Brainstorming ideas about menus, decorations, and invitations will surely enhance your event. The day of your event, be sure you have a few helping hands to finalize any last minute tasks. Things ALWAYS come up at the last second!
Choose a theme that fits your event. You may go with a Fashion Show, Alumni colors, or a contempory color scheme that fits the event space. No matter what the theme, stick to it! In every decision through the process, the theme will help drive your decision process.
Budgets. Not the fun part, but necessary. Figure out what will work for you and stick to it. There are always creative ways to enhance your event or to shave some costs.