Decide on the date – many people end up choosing the same popular dates and then find some of their friends have already agreed to go elsewhere. Check it out first. If you’re having your party in a marquee, it doesn’t need to be in the middle of summer. The UK weather has changed over recent years and is often better in April or September rather than the June / July / August.
Better heating systems make marquees a viable choice even in the winter months.
Decide how many guests you want Then invite 20% more. Typically around 80% of invitees will attend – unless you’re parties have a reputation for being ‘unmissable’! It’s becoming fashionable to send invites by email, some still prefer the old ‘line them up on the mantel piece’ regime.
Choose a venue There’s plenty of choice. Hotels and purpose built venues, a marquee in your own garden, a marquee at a hotel or stately home… Take a look around. You’ll find some of our favourite venues here.
If you fancy a marquee, why not try one of these marquee hire firms.
Choose a theme;
Weddings don’t need a theme as such – ‘wedding’ is a theme, however there are variations such as ‘shabby chic’, ‘vintage’ or ‘Tea Party’
For other parties there are plenty of themes to try, such as:
- James Bond
- Black and White
- Movie Stars
- Pop Idols
- Historical Characters
- Masquerade Ball
Or, why not just choose a particular dress code;
- Black Tie
Colours and theme will effect the whole look of your party.
What about food?
If you’ve chosen to have your party or wedding in a Hotel or purpose built venue, they’ll have their own catering team – you maybe just need to make some menu choices.
If you’re having any more than around 40 guests, in your home, marquee or village hall, I’d strongly advise you call in professional outside caterers.
These people are used to the challenges of catering to many guests in what are sometimes, less than ideal arrangements.
The menu will be dependant on the type of party you’re throwing.
For some, a few nibbles or hors d’oeuvres handed round on plates will be fine, others may want a full 3, 4 or 5 course dinner.
If you’re catering for yourself, try and choose dishes that you can have ready well in advance – the last thing you want on the night is the stress of cooking for lots of people.
Big casseroles like chilli or curry along with rice or baked potatoes are an easy way to cater for bigger groups. The traditional cold buffet is another easy option that, if done right, will suit many different occasions.
For home parties – you can’t beat a trip to the local supermarket to stock up.
My tip is ‘You can never have too much!’
For larger parties – it makes more sense to get in a professional bar or cocktail company in.
You may also need:
- DJ / Band
- Chairs and Tables (Hmm… I think we can help there!)
- Sofas or arm chairs for relaxing in
- Garden furniture
- Coat rails and hangers
- Table decorations, Candelabra, centre pieces
- Bar stools and poseur tables
- Easel and Board for table plan
- Baby’s high chairs
- Dress mirrors for entertainers
- Lectern for speaches
- Generator for power