The success of a party is largely determined by the planning process and there are a number of things that need to be considered to ensure things goes ahead without a hitch.
First and foremost, a budget needs to be drawn up. It is often an element that is considered but not entirely appreciated as this really does have major implications on what can be done for your party. We are fortunate to work at the top end of party planning, but we are still very budget conscious and always ensure our clients’ investment are wisely spent. It is always useful to consider what you don’t want to spend, which is a good starting place.
Secondly, think about who and how many will be invited. This may have an impact on the choice of venue since a number of factors may need to be taken into account from room capacity to accessibility for older guests and wheelchairs, as well as the location for anyone travelling from afar.
It is important to have a date in mind for the party. Once this is decided a venue can be sourced accordingly. Venues get booked up far in advance so it is important to view early to avoid disappointment. The date picked may have some impact on the final choice of venue and depending on whether it is on a weekend or a week night may determine who can and cannot attend.
The venue chosen by the host can say a lot about their personality. Some venues might be more suitable for a relaxed affair, whereas grander spaces compliment a black-tie soiree. A converted warehouse could be the perfected space for anyone looking for an edgy vibe. However, for a romantic feel a castle in the countryside may be more appropriate. Furthermore, choosing the right venue can make a huge difference when it comes to creating the desired look, enhancing a theme and providing ‘wow’ factor.
To ensure there are no last minute logistical challenges many things need to be contemplated from the size of props to the size of furniture chosen. A canapé reception as opposed to a sit down dinner may allow for greater numbers and offer a different set of logistical factors. Parking also needs to be considered, particularly for suppliers and service providers. If you choose a band, it is important to make sure they can fit in the venue, as well as style options, furniture and set design.
Many factors can influence a theme, including the time of year the party is taking place, a particular hobby, interest or heritage. Props may need to be sourced appropriately that complement the theme and work with the overall event aesthetic. Bespoke table decorations, floral arrangements and objet d’art can all be sourced to create a unique design.
Once the venue and dates are finalised, invitations need to be sent out. This should be done as far in advance as possible to ensure as many guests can attend. Invitations are the first thing guests see and can offer a glimpse of what they can expect when attending an upcoming party. The quality of the invitation says a lot about the host, so try to be bold and try something new.
Food and drink
It is important to determine how you will feed and water your guests. A mixologist could be hired to create delicious cocktails and offer an alternative to beer, wine and sparkling drinks. When planning a menu, dietary requirements need to be taken into account. Canapés and grazing stations are often a popular choice for parties as guests have more freedom to mingle and investigate at their own pace. Buffets are no longer reserved for low-cost gatherings; rather they can offer a stunning display of gastronomy. Whatever you decide, the golden rule is to make sure guests never go hungry!
Food by Alison Price & Co.
Lighting and sound
The choice of venue will have an impact on lighting and sound quality. A large space may echo and also make it difficult to hear speeches, presentations and music. Hiring a sound engineer might be an idea and greatly enhance the guests overall experience. Lighting is equally as important and can dramatically change the look of a space. Mood lighting and candles provide a romantic feel perfect for evening parties and instantly lighten a dark space.
Many factors determine the entertainment chosen. A DJ is often the most popular choice for parties over the more costly option of a band. However for those music lovers there are many ways to source musicians at a reasonable price including approaching buskers. With a little creative thinking anything is possible. Something else to consider is whether or not it is an adult only party. If children will be in attendance it might be an idea to organise entertainment for them in a separate room which will not only keep them amused but give the parents a break. A magician could provide the perfect entertainment for guests if there is any waiting around or a cartoonist could be hired to draw guests – a quirky way to document the party!
Photographer and gifts for guests
Event photography is an important way to capture special moments- do plenty of research so it is an investment worth making. When planning a party, it is also important to consider if you wish the guests to receive gifts. Whether placed on the tables or given in party bags at the end, they are often a great momentum.
If having a sit down dinner, a seating plan is essential to the parties’ success. It is important to arrange the tables so that the right mix of guests are seated together. This can often be a dilemma at parties but with a little careful planning, problem solved!
Of course by hiring The Events Mill all of the above, and more, will be taken care of for you. We offer a full 360 degree planning service, award-winning design and creative consultancy. Get in touch on 0207 207 7698 or email email@example.com
Written by Sarah Guthrie, for and on behalf of The Events Mill
Image credits: John Nassari | Huffington Post | Alison Price & Co.