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Planning parties: A Quick How To…

February 8, 2022

There are lots of things to think about when planning parties. From venues to menus, guest lists and entertainment options. It can all be a bit overwhelming…

But there are a few key factors that, if properly addressed and taken in hand in a timely manner, can make planning parties far easier.

Choose your date

There’s not a lot that you can do until you’ve chosen your event date. You can’t get invitations out; you can’t book venues or suppliers and you can’t write it on your calendar and start to get excited either!

Themed Marquee planning parties

Image courtesy of MGN events

When choosing your date, it’s worth considering a few important factors.

Is it possible that your party could take place on a weekday instead of a weekend? If so, you’re likely to have a wider choice of event service providers and venues.

Weekends tend to be highly sought after, so you’re more likely to find greater supplier availability during the week. If you’re lucky, this could translate into discounted services too. Suppliers that aren’t normally busy on weekdays may be willing to offer better prices for midweek bookings.

The most popular dates tend to get booked up fast!

Be sensible and be as flexible as possible. The more time you leave between selecting your event date and the event taking place, the better. This means more time to research suppliers and venues, more time to send and receive invitations and a greater selection of suppliers and venues available to you. More on this subject below!

Guest list, invitations and RSVPs

planning partiesOnce you’ve chosen your date, set your get list and get your party invitations out there as soon as you can! You don’t want to be juggling responses at the last minute.

You’ll need time to plan seating arrangements, you’ll need to make your bar supplier aware so that they can order glassware and drinks.

Guest numbers and details are crucial for your caterer too.  Depending upon the type of food that you’ll be serving at your event, your caterers might need to know exactly who is sitting where so that they can plan a fast and efficient dinner service.

They will certainly need to know if any of your guests have allergies, or of any special dietary requirements, who is vegetarian, vegan, or whether halal or kosher options need to be sourced for example.

Book your venue early

It’s never too early to reserve your venue. That goes for marquees as well as for brick-and-mortar spaces. The best venues and the best marquee suppliers tend to get booked up very early; this could be years in advance for certain dates – so it’s never too soon to make enquires.

Party Marquee planning partiesThere’s also plenty to think about when it comes to theming and styling. The sooner you know which space you’ll be in, the sooner you can start to plan and – if required – order props, theming and styling equipment.

The choice of venue could have a knock-on effect on a variety of other important factors. Your choice of entertainers, the caterers, bar supplier for example. Some venues will have their own list of preferred suppliers such as caterers, some will supply and run their own bars. There may be noise level limits and fixed start and finish times too.

Some venues won’t allow certain types of entertainment, such as burlesque…
It’s advisable to research and at the very least, shortlist your preferred venues very early in the process when planning parties.

Talk to suppliers ASAP

There are lots of different event service suppliers out there; caterers, bar suppliers, florists, theming and styling specialists, party and event planners to name but a few.

wedding marquee and party Catering planning parties

Image courtesy of Vanilla Bean event catering

You may not need them all but be aware that – like great venues – great event service providers tend to get book up very early too. This is especially applicable to weekend dates during the summer and other popular dates throughout the year. Think Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Easter, Valentines and so on.

Once you’ve made contact with suppliers you can ask them to keep you posted regarding any other enquiries they get for your preferred dates. This way they can give you first option so that you don’t miss out.

It can take a while to meet all and then shortlist, all the various suppliers involved in creating a great event. When planning parties, it’s advisable to start the process as soon as possible.

Check out reviews, get recommendations, see suppliers in action

Party Entertainment planning parties

Image courtesy of House of Lemon

When it comes to suppliers it’s important to make sure that you get the most suitable for you and your event. Read reviews carefully, ask friends for personal recommendations and if possible, experience their services for yourself.

Most caterers offer tasting services, photographers will have portfolios, entertainers will have videos or may even be able to invite you along to see them perform at a rehearsal or live event.

Don’t forget that you’ll need time to do your research and to meet everybody. If you run short of time you may end up booking a supplier that talks a good game – but you won’t know whether they can actually deliver on all of their promises until the day of your event!

Planning parties? Check out our supplier directory

Supplier directory planning partiesWe’ve compiled a directory of trusted suppliers, from caterers to bar suppliers, photographers, florists, event planners and more. We’re also more than happy to recommend specific suppliers to you if you give us a call to discuss your event.

Our supplier directory has been designed to make planning parties, weddings, and events easier. And so have our marquee hire services… We offer a Stress Free Guarantee on every marquee installation. If you are planning parties or events, then why not give us a call for a no obligation chat and a ballpark estimate? 01372 459485 or email sales@inside-outside.co.uk

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