Do you want to plan a party, but have no idea where to start? You’re not alone. Every party is unique, different venues, budgets, guest lists, themes and so on, there’s a lot to consider, especially if you want to create the social event of the season!
To plan a party successfully, start here:
No matter what type of party you want to throw, there are a few key steps that you should always think about.
Take a look at our quick how to, designed to help you plan a party and keep your sanity:
Parties come in all shapes and sizes, with budgets to match. Do you want to throw the kitchen sink at it, or keep it simple? Whatever you’re thinking, when you plan a party, it’s always a good idea to start by setting a budget.
You’ll want to budget for some, if not all, of the following:
- Event planning and management fees
- Venue hire
- Furniture hire
- Drinks and bar hire
- Invitations – including postage
- Post event clean up
Plan a party with a theme
You don’t have to have a theme as such, but it’s always a good idea to at least give your guests and idea as to whether your party will be a formal affair, or a casual get together.
If you do have a particular theme in mind, then you’ll have some work to do pulling things together. It’s a very good idea to set your theme early, because you’ll need to talk to theming specialists, prop hire companies, party supply stores and so on.
You’ll also want to let your guests know as soon as possible, so that that they can organise outfits or fancy-dress costumes if needed. This means that you’ll need to include this information in your invitations too.
If you’re looking for theme ideas, a few recent, and popular themes include:
- Favourite holiday destinations
- Prohibition parties / Great Gatsby
- The Oscars
- Favourite movies
- 1970’s / 1980’s
- Ibiza / chill out
- Festivals and carnivals
Set a date
Set your party date as early as you can and get those invitations out there. People are busy and dates get booked up fast, especially during party seasons such as summer and Christmas.
Unless you are holding your party in your home, doing all of the catering yourself, buying the drinks at the supermarket and streaming your own music – you’re date is likely to affected by the availability of your chosen suppliers.
Contact them as soon as you can.
Talk to suppliers
Caterers, entertainers, bar suppliers, florists, party planners, theming specialists, furniture hire companies and venues. The best suppliers get booked up very early, so get the ball rolling by contacting your preferred suppliers as soon as you can.
Give your suppliers an idea of your preferred dates and you’ll soon get an idea of who is available, and which look like the best days for you to get your party dream team together.
Ask your suppliers for first refusal on key dates, if you’re talking to them early enough then they should be happy to do so.
Check out our article, ‘Find the best suppliers for your event’ for more information.
Find a venue
When you plan a party, the venue is key. We’ve already suggested that you contact your favourite suppliers as early as possible. This is ultra-important with venues.
When choosing a venue consider key factors such as availability of accommodation, on site or nearby, parking and accessibility, start and finish times, flexibility to choose your own suppliers and exclusivity (do you get the whole venue to yourself or will there be other people around).
If you are planning on holding the party at your home, then consider your space carefully; does it work with your guest numbers? Where will the bar go? Is there room for dancing?
You could consider a marquee. Either as an extension to your house, or as a stand-alone party space.
Discover ‘How to choose the perfect party venue’ here.
Set your guest list
Start by figuring out how many people you want to invite. Next, make a list and start narrowing it down. This can be hard work – but you can’t invite everyone (or perhaps you can…).
If it’s a joint or family party, then everyone involved will need a say. This can be hard work, and can cause arguments. It might be a good idea to give each person a set, maximum number of invite allocations to use as they wish. Plus, controversial though it may be, one or two vetoes each, that you can use to cull one another’s lists!
Once your guest list is set, get the invitations out.
Get them out as soon as you can. You’ll need time to manage RSVPs, re-jig the guest lists, create table and seating plans etc.
Decide whether you want to send your invitations by post or electronically. There are some great paperless invitation and guest management systems available and going paperless is great for the environment too.
Online guest management systems are designed to make managing RSVPs and elements such as menu selections easy. That said, it may depend on how ‘tech savvy’ your potential guests are. You don’t want Autie Doris missing out because she didn’t know how to check her emails or didn’t understand where to click.
Similarly, invitations sent from a third-party system could end up in junk mail and spam boxes, so be careful to ensure that all your guests receive their invitations.
Plan a party with Lifestyle marquees
If you are considering a marquee venue – stand alone or extension, then talk to us. We can offer quick, obligation free estimates over the telephone. Call a member of our team on 01483 322070, or email email@example.com to find out more.
Plan your bespoke, unique party marquee and amaze your guests with a party that they’ll remember, and talk about for years to come.