DO - Set the date
To ensure a good turn out I recommend sending a ‘save the date’ email to everybody as soon as you’ve decided. The earlier you book the venue, the better – unsurprisingly, good venues go quickly. No matter how prepared you think you are, there is always someone out there even more organized.
DO - Discuss budget
The size of your budget will ultimately have a huge impact on the type of event you are dreaming of. From food to booze to venue, be sure to consider it all and stick to the budget you set.
Leave some money aside as a back up. Unexpected costs can always crop up with any size of event, so don’t splurge your entire budget right away.
You’ll need to decide whether you are planning a daytime event, evening event--either of which can affect your budget.
DO - Decide if you want a theme for your party
The theme is the heartbeat of your event and should be integrated throughout every aspect of the day or night.
Choose a theme and research it thoroughly. Some popular ideas include traditional Christmas, vintage, 60s, 70s, 80s, quintessentially English, pantomime, circus, Chicago jazz, winter wonderland, ballroom, colours, film inspired, wild west, spy, Caribbean and Santa’s workshop.
DO - Fill bellies
Food is a key part of any party and can easily be incorporated into the theme you choose.
Depending on what type of venue you have chosen you will need to decide between using in-house catering (which will work out much cheaper) or hiring in external cater. Choose how you want drinks to be served. Again, this will depend on how you choose to manage the allocation of the drinks budget but you will need to decide whether you want waiter service or for guests to order from the bar.
DO - Choose the right music
Dancing at a party is usually a must and it’s the perfect opportunity for everyone to really let their hair down. But it does of course depend on the type of group you are catering for and how you want the event to pan out. But if music is key to your party then make sure it is done properly. First, hire Darling Events/D.E. Music Entertainment to provide your music entertainment. See our packages page to select what's right for you. We will ensure you have all the kit required, such as stage, dance floor, sound systems and, lighting. These represents our most popular packages but we can customize anything you have in mind.
DO - Visualize the event
When planning any event it is crucial that you get a clear picture of how you want things to work on the night, that way you can be prepared for all eventualities.
Take some time out and visualize each stage of the event from a guest’s point of view. Picture how you see the party unfolding, ensuring that you haven’t left anything out, and note down all the timings as this will form the basis of your itinerary. Make sure you allow guests plenty of time to leave work and get ready for the party, build in time for late arrivals and plan plenty of time for all the food courses to be served.
DO - Put together a full itinerary
Darling Events/D.E. Music Entertainment offers "day of" services to ensure the day's itinerary remains on the right track for a smooth-running event. Call to discuss in person for quotes.
DON'T forget to check the weather
Always check the weather forecast before your event. Surprise showers happen. Hail happens. Heat waves happen. Whether your event is outside, or not, unexpected weather can have unexpected consequences on your event. If it rains and your event is outdoors, do you have covering? If it rains, and you are indoors do you have a canopy or extra umbrellas for arriving guests? (Many of whom will probably have hair and make-up that, when faced with water, will melt faster than the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz.)
DON'T forget to have a coat check
Having a coat check is especially important in the colder months, when your guests will be arriving laden down with heavy winter jackets. A good rule of thumb: an unencumbered guest is a happy guest.
DON'T forget to have a parking plan
Don’t leave out legalities. Lastly, don’t assume it’s easy. Even smaller events need appropriate, dedicated time. Not only do you have to make an event that people will enjoy and buzz about, but you have to figure out what the cost of that will be.