It can be an overwhelming experience throwing together a party, especially if you are not well versed in the best practices, so I have designed a simple 8 step recipe to allow you to be the chef and create! If there is anything I have forgotten, or your needs are more specific simply ask me
Your cheat sheet for the perfect party:
1. Theme, No matter what the occasion whether it be a birthday, christening or leaving do, creating a theme will give focus to all your plans. Do not underestimate the value of having a theme, even if it is just ‘casual’, but where possible try to keep it original and interesting.
2. Location, For planners watching the pennies, then home sweet home is the most desirable option. The great thing about your home is that you have free reign to carry out your perfect plans and you know the venue inside out. For those wanting to entertain in a different environment check out my hot spots section for plenty of inspired choices.
3. Guest List, When on a budget, exclusivity is the key word- don’t invite more than 15 guests as you have to feed and entertain them all! Where possible avoid high maintenance guests as they have a habit of trying to steal the show and that does not sit well in this kingdom.
4. Menu, It is time to get your guests salivating. Choosing an appropriate menu can really lift an evening. Food can help bring people together and in some instances be an ice breaker- fondue for example is a perfect sharing concept for more intimate affairs. Plan your courses carefully, do not go beyond your means and consider dietary preferences. Canapés may be suited to an event, or perhaps outside catering for a dinner party. Alternatively invite your guests to bring certain courses, saves you ruining the manicure.
5. Music, You need a sound track to your party, whether it be music, a film, games or other sources of entertainment. Make a play list before the bash so you are not forced to keep skipping, exchanging CDs or searching for ‘that one song’. Ensure you keep on track with your overall theme and also consider the age group of the guests. Nine times out of ten the music is there to compliment, not dominate so choose accordingly. If you want to go the extra mile hire a DJ who will not only have the music and speakers to keep things pumping but will often add the element of lighting and engage the guests.
6. Invitations.,This is the first taster of what is to come for your party guests, so make sure it oozes your style and the feel of the event. The invitation should make the invitee feel privileged, intrigued and excited. Many stores stock invitations, but there are also online options or even handmade cards done by yours truly. Allow enough time before the event usually 14-21 days, have an RSVP and send a courtesy reminder 4 days beforehand to the confirmed guests.
7. Decorations, Like adding the frosting on a cake, decorations are the final touch that can really set apart an event. If it is a dinner party don’t forget name cards and centre pieces, if it is a themed party use decoration to create impact- whatever you do make it impressive, glitzy and memorable. Not having decorations is similar to running a marathon and not crossing the finish line.
8. Enjoy, Now it is time to enjoy the party. Make sure you greet all guests by their names, have a designated area for coats and introduce people so you are free to oversee the event. Keep track of what people bring with them in case you want to send thank you notes to follow up your party. This is your time to shine so enjoy!
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