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In my days as an in-house coordinator the biggest thing I used to hear was “I didn’t realise how much effort went into organising a party” so we thought this week’s blog could help to  inform those of you who are thinking about planning a party on just how much there is to do!

First things first… a date!

The ideal and obvious place to start is with the date. This is the key piece of information to start all event plans. Even if it’s a particular weekend you are looking at then this is a great place to start for your venue searching. 

2. Venue 

The Old Weighing Room at Doncaster Racecourse
The Old Weighing Room at Doncaster Racecourse

So the next step in your plans to decide and pick on the venue for your location. If there isn’t somewhere where you had already decided on e.g. your house then this can lead to planning and organising site visits and various trips to venues to have a look to see if it suits. One of the benefits here of having an event planner is that you can give us a brief of exactly what you are looking for and a rough idea of budget; we will then do all the hard work and just propose a select few venues for you to think about. Don’t forget when thinking about venues these are some of the factors to consider;

  1. Location – is it easily accessible for your guests? For those guests travelling to your event, is there parking or a hotel for people to stay over?
  2. Size – does it accommodate all your guests comfortably with enough extra space for catering / dj etc.
  3. Practicality – is it suited for the event you are planning? For example, if it’s for a children’s party then a venue full of steps isn’t ideal. 
  4. Venue Capability – can your venue of choice pull off all the things you’ve imagined for your special event? Some locations are more flexible than others but it’s always good  to know from the beginning what’s possible, and what’s not.

3. Catering

Open Greek Sandwiches
Open Greek Sandwiches

Food glorious food! The thing we all plan our lives around. Have you thought yet about the food you would like to offer? There are obvious choices to make such as events during the summer tend to have BBQs whereas children’s parties tend to have buffets… the choice is endless. But the decisions don’t just stop there. It’s important to decide on essentials like crockery and cutlery, and also table layouts. No one at a buffet needs a formal table setting, and guests to a sit-down 3-course meal wouldn’t  want to eat with their fingers! 

Another element I would tend to put under catering is all the other additional elements of food that can really lift an event and make it the talking point for weeks after! A few examples are maybe a cake or sweet table, a donut wall or ice cream cart. In our experience these always go down well and make your event that extra bit special, but don’t forget that these will all need booking in advance, and often through separate companies.

And then there’s the bar! We couldn’t forget the bar. If you choose to book a venue then they usually have either a fixed or temporary bar in place which  is perfect as you can tailor the drinks to your tastes. If you are planning on an outdoor event or even a party at home, then don’t forgot to plan how you will keep guests glasses topped up. We know some great companies who can provide exactly what you are looking for whether this  be a full bar or just a prosecco trailer! 

4.  Entertainment

First Dance at L&B's wedding
First Dance at L&B’s wedding

The word ‘entertainment’ can cover such a wide spectrum from a DJ  and a band all the way through to entertainers for children’s parties and singing waiters. Nowadays you can pretty much book anything you wish so let your imagination run free… just don’t forget to book it! 

5. Décor

The way to make everything look pretty – from flowers to balloons all the way to the sprinkles on the tables. Décor is a key way to make your event look and feel perfect! Considered how you would like your tables to look or if you’d like something special like a flower wall to have those all important photos for your social media account! 

Also sitting under décor is those other little things like a table for your presents to go on, table plans (if you are thinking of having one), raffle tables, cake table etc. Again this  all needs to be incorporated so the style and image of your event all ties into one. 

We LOVE Pinterest for a basis for all ideas!

6. Final bits of information 

Our final little section is all those extra little nuggets of information which may be worth considering too. 

  • Payments – a lot of the elements I have mentioned above will request a deposit upon booking. This is traditionally 25% of the booking value of which will come off your final invoice.  The final payment is then usually due anywhere between 6-8 weeks before your event. 
  • Transport – don’t forget to think about how you will get to the event and how you will get home. It is so easy to become so entwined with the planning and thinking about your guests  that you actually forget about yourself!!
  • Getting everything home – if you are planning on having a drink then don’t forget to think about any presents or raffle prizes that you may have from your event. Most venues will ask  for you to take these on the night so that they aren’t responsible. 
  • Tidying up – depending on where you choose, there is always the morning after when you need to tidy up! Some venues will do this for you but always best to check at the beginning so  you know exactly where you stand from the start.

This blog was all about providing you with some of the information of the basics of planning an event. This can obviously be quite time consuming  which isn’t always the most practical  so if this is going to be the case then why not consider using an event planner to take all those stresses away.

If you have any questions then let us know, if not see you for next week’s blog post!

Rhianne xx

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