Tag Archive: party planning

  1. Planning A Christmas Event – Part 1

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    If you are hosting a Christmas party or event, it can seem like a daunting task. But fear not! This week we share some of our top tips to help you create the ultimate Christmas bash! Today, steps one to three…

    Step 1 – Decide on The Feel of your Party

    Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 17.21.35

    Before beginning your party preparations, it is important to decided exactly what kind of party you want it to be. Do you want a sit-down dinner with a sophisticated feel? Or a fun drinks party with dancing and karaoke? Do you want your guests to play games? Or just mingle and relax?

    Will it be a daytime or evening party? Small and intimate or a large scale affair? Once you have decided on these factors, you can begin the planning process.

    Set your dress code accordingly and be sure to include this information on your invitations.

    Step 2 – Decide on your Venue

    HHe xmas party

    Depending on your numbers and party style, you can now select your venue. If you are organising a party for large numbers, a standalone venue or function room is a good option, smaller numbers may be better suited to a restaurant or bar where private rooms can be used.

    Think about how you will want to use the space. Will you need areas for dining and a separate area to dance? Will you want to incorporate a photo booth, or games area?

    Photo by Adam Riley Photography

    Certain venues will offer complete Christmas packages where catering, music and drinks are included for one price. This option is very useful for large numbers and corporate events.

    Step 3 – Food!

    Once your venue is organised, it’s time to start thinking about keeping those guests fed and watered.

    Email your guest list and make sure you list any allergies or special dietary requirements to pass on to your venue in plenty of time. If you are working with an outside catering firm, arrange a meeting to discuss your budget and ideas.

    Think about your party theme and style and tailor the menu ideas accordingly. If you are hosting a sit down dinner where the food is the focus, a more extravagant menu will work well.

    Heathcotes meal
    Food by Heathcotes

    However, if you want to focus more on games, dancing and socialising, then smaller dishes such as bowl foods, mini foods or grazing boards may be more appropriate.

    vina bowl food
    Food by Vanilla in Allseasons Photo by Jonny Draper

    So, that’s a few things off the checklist. Check back later in the week for part 2 of our guide.

  2. The Key Ingredients, Part 5

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    So it’s the final part of our perfect party-planning guide. We are, of course, in no way saying that these 5 items are the only things to consider when planning your event, however, with these things organised, you will be well on your way to hosting the perfect party!

    Today, it’s a very important consideration, the food! Whether you are serving simple canapé’s or a 5 course sit down dinner, planning ahead is key.

    If your event is an all day affair, think about how often food will need to be available. Early drinking and lots of standing around can lead to bored, hungry and grumpy guests. No one wants that!

    If your day is starting early think about canapés or finger foods, and if the party is going on into the night, it can be a good idea to have a ‘second round’ of food for later on in the evening.

    Think about your budget, if you are working to a smaller budget it can be better to choose more simple dishes over extravagant meals. In the summer, a served buffet or BBQ can be a good option; in the winter a simple, hearty dish such as sausages and mashed potatoes is something that most people will enjoy.

    If you are looking for something more refined, try to think about dishes that the majority will like, and perhaps offer a choice. Remember to find out if any of your guests are vegetarian or have any allergies, and incorporate this into your chosen menu.

    Either way, it is important to speak to your organisers or caterers well ahead of time, so that you can get an idea of costing and sample the suggested menus.

    For late evening food, many people choose to offer a buffet so that guests can graze. A cheese selection or pie table works well for savoury food, and some people choose a to have a sweets selection or chocolate fountain, which always goes down well with guests.

    If you don’t like the idea of a grazing table, late evening food can be served on trays; people always enjoy a sneaky bacon sandwich, mini burger or small cone of hand cut chips.

    Make sure the food you choose to serve reflects your event and personality. Don’t feel pressured to only serve ‘fancy’ foods that everyone will expect. You can always do something different; pick a food that you love and talk to your organiser about how best to incorporate it into your menu.

    We hope this week’s mini guide has been useful to you. If you are planning an event, whatever it may be, and would like some guidance, please feel free to give us a call. Our team has many years of experience under their belts, useful contacts and invaluable advice. Why not get in touch and see what we can do for you?

    If you have any tips, questions or pictures, please do send them in to us. We would love to hear from you!

  3. Party Planning – The Key Ingredients

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    Today: Guests

    Organising any event can be a daunting and stressful task. From a smaller, more casual gathering to a full-scale formal event, there are many things that have to be taken into consideration, and the to-do lists can seem endless!

    Whatever type of event you are planning, there are a few key items that should never be overlooked. Those vital ingredients that can really make a party one to remember, for all the right reasons.

    This week we will be taking a look at these most important factors, our guide to planning the perfect party. Today, let’s look at that most important consideration: your guests.

    The first and perhaps most obvious consideration when planning your event, is the people you decide to invite. Choosing the right mix of guests is vital for creating a fun and friendly atmosphere.

    Now, of course, there are certain events where you may need to invite people who are, lets say, a little more… difficult. We all have an embarrassing uncle or unruly friend or family member. But don’t panic! With some careful consideration, awkward situations can be avoided.

    The seating arrangements are key to building the right vibe; invest a little time in this one. The traditional way is to draw up your table plan and write out the names of each guest on small squares of paper so that you have each persons name individually written on their own piece, but if you prefer something a bit more high tech, there is some great table planning software available, some of which can be found at www.perfecttableplan.com

    However you choose to do it, organise the groups by table and consider who will be sitting next to whom. You can easily move the guest names around until you have the right mix. This can be tricky so allow some time to get it right.

    Those sitting together don’t necessarily need to know each other; it is part of the fun to meet new people. Consider what those guests may have in common and whether they will find it easy to converse.

    The trick to dealing with those more difficult guests is to sit them with people who may have a more calming effect and won’t be easily offended. Sitting a sweet old lady next to your lairy, drunken rugby friend is ill advised! Ask some of your closer friends to keep an eye on anyone you are concerned about so that they can quickly and subtly diffuse any awkward situations or whisk someone away to the dance floor.

    Remember, try not to worry about the guests and how they will behave, people are generally on their best behavior at a formal event and simply want to have fun and celebrate with you. With these plans in place, you can relax and move on to the next item on the planning list… take a look tomorrow to see what it is!

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