With the Platinum Jubilee promising to be one of the biggest celebrations our country has seen in years, celebrating with friends at home has never been more popular.
We were asked by The Harpenden Collective to share some of our party planning secrets that people can use to host their own parties and celebrations.
Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary or you just feel like letting your hair down, deciding to throw a party at home is exciting! It’s a chance to bring your friends and family together and treat them to a special experience.
But as the RSVPs start flooding in, that’s when the nerves can start to kick in. How can you make sure your guests enjoy themselves? What if the drinks run out? And worst of all, what if no one mingles?
But try not to panic! With over 20 years of event planning experience, we’ve pulled together these 9 killer party planning tips and tricks that will ensure your party at home is one to be remembered.
Even if you can’t follow them all, combining a few will really help to set your mind at rest and ensure that things run smoothly on the day.
1. GET THE CATERERS IN
If you can, this is the quickest way to ensure a successful party at home. You don’t want to be stuck cooking in the kitchen when you could be chatting to guests and enjoying the party. But if you’d prefer to provide some of the food, then a cold buffet or tapas that you can prepare beforehand is a good way to go. And think about buying in the desserts – or your could We We even ask your guests to bring them.
2. HAVE A HELP – YOURSELF BAR
Hire a fridge and set up a drinks station so you don’t need to keep topping up the glasses. Leave out bottle openers and cocktail recipes. Or set up a gin bar with an assortment of spices and mixers. It’s a great way to get people talking and mingling.
3. BUT…LIMIT THE DRINKS ON OFFER
This makes life easier for you and can also help to steer the mood of the party. Think about what your friends drink and the vibe you want to create. Do you really want them doing shots at midnight? Ideally, allow for one drink per person per half an hour. And remember to get the right glasses for the drinks you serve. Sale or return at Majestic is a good bet.
4. SELECT THE RIGHT SEATING
Unless you are planning a formal dinner party, you want to encourage people to move around and not get fixed in one place, so provide some seating, but not too much. Guests mixing will add to the buzz of the party, whilst groups huddled together on chairs can quickly make things feel a bit flat!
5. MASTER THE MUSIC AND LIGHTING
Live music is the perfect way to energise a party and create an incredible atmosphere. There is nothing like watching someone perform to get people talking. It’s a good focal point for your celebration too. If live music’s not possible, then background music is a must.
And don’t underestimate the power of lighting to elevate the ambiance. Light up trees, string fairy lights or hang lanterns to add a bit of sparkle. And if there is one thing I never go with out to create incredible atmosphere, it’s candles. You can never have too many candles!
6. BE CLEVER WITH SPACE
Think about how guests are going to move around your home. Don’t let people get isolated or shut off, instead channel everyone towards the same area so they stay together. If you want people to congregate in the kitchen and garden, for example, then try closing the door to your lounge.
7. THINK ABOUT TOILET TRIPS
Not the most exciting element to consider, but you’d be surprised how a successful toilet trip can add to someone’s perception of a party! Definitely invest in plenty of toilet paper. And think about the toilet queues. Avoid toilet queue awkwardness by strategically placing some interesting artwork or coffee table books nearby. They make a great distraction for waiting guests and could also be an excellent conversation starter. Or if you are planning a larger gathering it’s always worth considering hiring in extra toilet facilities.
8. TELL THE NEIGHBOURS
If the party’s likely to end late, then make sure you tell the neighbours beforehand. There’s nothing like a visit from an angry neighbour to put a dampener on the atmosphere! If you get along, why not invite them? Or drop a bottle of wine round before the party starts to let them know you’ve thought about them.
9. CREATE A STYLED LOOK
Adding some design details can really enhance your event. Look at what you already have at home and see if you can use this to create some eye-catching focal points. For example, how you lay your tables can really create a wow factor. Use an accent colour or layer different textures. Or fill your vases with some show-stopping flowers. But if you really want to make an impression, consider hiring some key pieces, such as glassware and linen.
If you are looking for something a little bigger than a gathering of friends at home, why not get in touch to find out how we can support you. We are experts in planning large celebrations and armed with our little black book of trusted suppliers, we will work with you to design your perfect party.Get in touch