Ever had a party disaster that could have been averted with a good plan? Party catering Sydney is able to provide unique and creative food pairings, drinks and event coordination with an unparalleled passion and meticulous attention to detail. My question to you before we even start this journey is, “can you afford to have a party at a venue or just at home”? It matters. A lot. I could tell you some horror stories of parties due to budget constraints. One party I attended ended early, no one wanted to stay as there was no food available. That also goes with cheap buffets, some people would rather go to the takeaway down the street, than eat tasteless sandwiches and mini rolls thrown on a foil plate and some won’t go back unless the beer is really good. I’ve seen horrible venues with sticky floors and disgusting bathrooms, sometimes the party could be OK but if the venue you’ve chosen is just awful, people will remember that more. And what about the day all the suppliers for a party showed up to the venue that was locked up and on calling and asking why found out they had no record of the booking.
Don’t let these embarrassing things happen to
you. If you’re having a party it has to be epic, even a party in your
home should be memorable for all the right reasons. Have a great plan,
these 10 simple steps will see you well on your way to an epic party.
The first 3 steps are the most important components
of your party and have these steps done before you do anything else.
These top 3 are the party makers and breakers, the top ticket items that
your party should have and if you have budget constraints, these 3 are
the only things you need.
1. Choose a Date.
planning your party at least 3 months in advance, 9 if you are really
organised. Venues are cheaper on weekdays, Sunday – Thursday. Friday and
Saturday’s are the weekend and ‘party days’ and can be more expensive.
Consider bank holidays as being great dates for parties, a Sunday night
that means no work on Monday, fab idea. Keep these things in mind when
taking the next step.
2. Choose your Venue.
a party, a birthday, anniversary etc. choose a venue such as your home,
a pub, social club, or function room, for a more formal occasion you
could choose a hotel, park, or estate house. After booking, pay your
deposit and get your booking in writing, it should be a contract but at
the very least a confirmation email with a receipt for your deposit,
that you can print as proof.
Do Not; Book a venue without having a viewing.
Do Not; Make any more party plans until you have your venue booking in writing.
of the venue that states free function room when you buy their buffet.
Remember the tasteless sandwiches and mini rolls thrown on a foil
plate… avoid at all costs! The only time to consider this is if you
have checked reviews and hygiene ratings, if all is well and it all
looks great, then book it, it could be a good deal.
a venue that has the facilities you need. E.g. does it have a bar,
wheelchair access, stairs, toilets, a place for the DJ to set up? A
smoking area, tables, chairs, tables for the catering etc.
to see if the place needs a little sprucing up like; do the bathrooms
need some air freshener, liquid soap, flowers? Does the stage look
grotty, put a glittery banner over it. When the lights are dim, these
things will look OK with these helpful tips.
your venue with your name and booking date and ask for the time of
access for suppliers servicing your party by 1-2 weeks before. This is
also a great way to have a conversation with your venue and confirming
your booking again.
3. Choose a Caterer
lot of people make the mistake of booking the food for their party last,
you really could end up disappointed. The caterer is one of the first 3
steps after booking your venue. Ever been to a party without food? When
people drink, they want food, even if it’s just a burger. I’ve been to
parties where nibbles and cake have been served, this is fine for a
teenage house party but not if adults are invited, people will leave
early in search of food, you don’t want this to happen. Consider your
budget, your guests and what food you love. Choosing a buffet should be
fun, choose the best one for your food tastes and budget. Get menus from
a few caterers and compare them. Make sure your caterer is fully
registered, insured, licensed and have a good hygiene rating. As soon as
you know which caterer you want to work for you, get them booked, pay
your deposit to save your date in their diary a.s.a.p. You don’t need
your guest count or even your menu finalised to secure your date in the
caterer’s diary. Make sure you get a confirmation of your booking and/or
a receipt for your deposit.
Do; Hire a caterer.
Catering is a lot of work and stressful work for those who don’t do it
regularly. You don’t want to be frazzled for your party, you should
enjoy your party and guests, not work it. Everyone remembers the food so
make it memorable but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg,
there are great caterers out there, who will provide burgers and wedges
along with a few flourishes, and your guests will be impressed.
out if you have any guests attending with allergies or have dietary
requirements like vegetarian, gluten free etc. and tell your caterer.
The steps that make a lovely party epic!
you need a cake for your event, book it next. I’m hoping I’m not
surprising you by saying this, but not all the best bakeries have shop
fronts in your local village or town, some of the most amazing cakes
I’ve ever had are from bakers who have their bakery in their own home
kitchen. I know and have used quite a few and I’ve never been
disappointed check Facebook for home bakeries, check their portfolio,
hygiene rating, reviews and get that cake booked.
you having a DJ or live band? A clown or bouncy castle? A soloist or a
string quartet? Whatever you have decided, do your homework, look at
profiles and reviews. A great place to get free quotes from is
FREEINDEX, they are the king for comparison shopping when shopping for
services. I always get 5 quotes on FREEINDEX, that I can compare against
each other. Other well-known sites you can get supplier quotes from
charge the supplier extortionate prices just to respond to you, and so
are not good if you want to compare quotes, you are unlikely to get more
than 1 or 2.
6. Venue Dressing
walk into your party, the wow factor immediately hits them through the
ambience created by your venue dresser. SO, how do you want your room to
look? what do you want? Something simple like colourful balloons?
Something more romantic like flowers and candles? Or do you want to go
all out with chair covers and sashes, tall candelabra’s, or even trees
with lanterns tied in them. Whatever it is you want, a venue dresser has
the ‘wildest dreams’ type of imaginations and are great people to
bounce off your creative ideas.
invites should be sent out 8 – 6 weeks before the event date and your
R.S.V.P. date should be at least 10 days before your party, you’ll find
that your caterer will need final numbers by 7 – 5 days prior to the
event date and once you get the guest count locked in, your caterer
won’t be able to decrease your numbers only increase them.
You don’t need these but epic parties do!
8. Free Drinks
you have a beer or wine put behind the bar for your guests and hand out
drinks vouchers in your invitations or you have a glass of bubbly on
arrival for everyone. Your guests appreciate the thought that the first
drink to get the party juices flowing is on you. If the bar at your
venue doesn’t do arrival cocktails like bubbly or mimosa’s, then get
your caterer to do it. If your venue doesn’t have a bar or you’re having
your party in a marquee in the garden, you can hire a bar from an
independent bar company or your caterer.
9. Party Favours
come across a lot of party favours in my time, from rolls of love
hearts, lottery tickets, bags of chocolate covered fruit, popcorn bags,
sweetie carts, cupcakes, cigars, luxury chocolates, the list goes on and
on. Although party favours aren’t important and you don’t need them,
they are appreciated by your guests especially when it’s a little
quirky. Sweetie carts can be a more expensive choice for a party favour
but people love it. A chocolate fountain is also a very welcome idea.
10. Event Photographers/Photo Booth
A great way to have a keepsake of your party memories. People love them and put them up all over social media, turning your lovely party into an epic event in the lives of those who attended. Don’t forget to tell everyone your hashtag for your party, have a sign at the bar, so everyone can see your pictures from everyone else in the same place online. #stephsgreatparty #johnis21 etc.
Lorna Robins is the owner and operator of Buffet Heroes in Stockport, Manchester. Buffet Heroes is a British – American family run catering service that specializes in the traditional British buffet and American fare. http://www.buffetheroes.com. If you found value in this article or would like our help with your next event. Get in touch.
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