Are you about to plan a party and not sure where to start?
You are in the right place! Our team has put together a little guide on how to plan an epic party even if you have no previous event planning guru experience. So let’s do it!
Here’s your step-by-step event planning checklist;)
Find a venue.
It’s a very personal decision, so we do not have much to say here. But just a few things to keep in mind when you plan your epic party:
Always ask who is responsible for catering.
Is it an in-house team or you will have to bring your own. There are pros and cons of both options, of course. If they do in-house, make sure to try the food before paying the deposit.
Can you bring your own cake or drinks?
You will be surprised, but some venues do not allow you to bring your own cake, cupcakes or alcohol while others encourage you to do that offering cake fees and corkage. You can even negotiate to bring it all without any fees if you negotiate it early enough;) So to avoid last minute surprises, discuss the options beforehand.
Is live music allowed and what’s the story with the music licence?
Again, you may find it strange, but some venues do not have a live music licence or have very strict rules regarding the type of music or volume level you can have. If you don’t want to have a quiet party, make sure to get the right venue:)
We don’t want to bore you with tons of details, but this one is important!
Access time on the day.
All those gorgeous party setups do not appear by magic – your party vendors will need at least a few hours before the guests’ arrival time to make it all work. Plus, if you have live music, allow up to an hour for each band or performer to set up and rehearse. Some places will try to sell you just an event time slot, so apply your negotiation power to get setup and rehearsals time for your suppliers. If it’s a late evening event, try also to negotiate a next morning collection for your suppliers – it will save you money on the late night collection fees.
Photo credit: Coppa Club
Choose a theme!
Trust us, it’s always more fun and adds a touch of your bespoke style. Switch on your creativity mode and start visualizing. We personally love setting up a mood board(for those who are not familiar with this “technical” term, it’s a photo grid created from event setup photos for you to visualize, inspire and set the right mood while you only starting to plan a party). Once it’s done you can easily share it with your party vendors so that you are all on the same page:)
PartyMaker hack: You can use your event album in PartyMaker App or partymakerapp.com to create your event mood board.
Choose your party vendors.
Now when you have your venue and your themed mood board, write a list of vendors (or friends) who can help you to recreate your dream.
You know where to get all the stuff you need? – Fab! If you are not sure, ask our London Events Team for any advice or quotes to help you with the party planning.
PartyMaker hack: Use PartyMaker App or partymakerapp.com for planning and collaboration. It offers a fab TO DO LIST FEATURE to create and schedule tasks, assign your friends or family to help with some of them, share ideas and stick to the deadlines 😉 Just your little planning helper.
Create an invitation and invite your guests.
Easy! You send text, Facebook message, email or post a letter to your guests. All of these will do the job. But it will still require your time to manage responses and chase replies. It’s helpful to have an idea of the exact number a week before so that you can submit a catering order on time. If you like Excel tables, it is useful to keep the records in one table: “sent invitations with contact details”, “confirmed”, “not sure”, “declined”, “no reply”, “dietary requirements”.
What information to include in the actual invitation? We recommend to include the core details of the event to avoid endless emails or phone calls with clarifying questions.
And that would be:
- Event start and end time
- Venue and location (include the map if you can)
- RSVP details (can be your email address or phone number)
- Dress code and event theme
- Brief event agenda (lunch, drinks reception, dinner, afterparty, etc.). You can also mention your chosen cuisine type or any special catering arrangements so that your guests know what to expect on the day.
- Wish list for presents
- Entry requirements (bring this invitation for entry, reservation name, ID required etc.)
PartyMaker hack: Use PartyMaker App or partymakerapp.com to create, send and manage your invitations and guest list. It offers customized templates for any occasion and helps you to monitor and manage RSVP.
Be a Star and keep smiling at your event!
If you have quite a few guests make sure you have arranged for some help with meet and greet so that you can fully enjoy the atmosphere with a glass of bubbly:) You can ask your family or friends to help or simply hire event hostesses to take care of it.
Assign a photographer’s task to some of your friends or book a professional to catch all those spontaneous sweet moments.
Send a “Thank you!” note to all your guests after the event including the link to the event photos. Why not share those special memories with them? 😉
PartyMaker hack: Use PartyMaker App to take photos and create your event album shared with all your event guests.
Have fun planning!