Tuesday, September 18, 2012

TBS Tips for Planning the Perfect Party

Here are The Bridal Solution’s TOP 10 Tips for Planning the Perfect Party!

1. Decide on a Theme
Deciding on a particular theme may be hard to nail down at first, but after you do, it will make the planning process much easier.  When I am choosing a theme, I really look at why I am throwing this party in the first place.   A theme can be as easy as colors, patterns or a particular style.

2.  Create a Custom Invitation [set the scene]
I happen to think this is super important.  Take the time to create the perfect party invitation.  When someone receives a one-of-a-kind invite, they automatically get excited… it true!  The invitation will set the entire mood for the party-to-come.  It’s the first impression … so make it a good one! 

3.  Carry out your Theme
Once you decide on your theme, you need to bring in all the elements to tie it together.  This includes décor, food & beverage, games and favors.  For my son’s first birthday, we threw him a “lil’ quarterback tailgate party.”  So to carry out our theme, we set up a tailgate … brought the truck around back, set up a tent, pulled out the grill and served all the food we would at an actual tailgate.  Beverages were all cans set in coolers around the yard.  There were tailgate games out like bean-bag toss, football and college themed music playing in the background.  From the straws in our drinks to the highchair turned goal post, no detail was left untouched.

4.  Create Custom Signage
This is one of my favorite parts of planning an event.  I always tell my clients, don’t skip on the signage, it will make your party look professional.  These should go directly with the theme and look similar to the invitation, etc.  When I say “custom signage”, I mean you should label your drinks, food and directions for guests.  Weddings do a great job of this, but it’s important to bring it to other parties as well.  

5.  Kick Start their Senses
When you engage your guests using their five senses, it creates a memorial event, one which they will remember.  To do this, you’ll want to make sure the design aspect of your event is pleasing to the eye.  Decorate the room with pops of color, or use a monochromatic approach.  When the guests steps inside the venue, they should be greeted by the host and music.  If you’re in an intimate ceremony, music should be soft, but if you are hosting a sixteen-yea-old’s party, the music should be loud and enticing.  Smell is difficult because everyone’s nose preference is different. Try not to go too heavy on smells.  I like to have fresh flowers on my centerpieces and I always have a batch of freshly made cookies in the oven when I host parties at the house.  Taste is a no brainer.  The food should be fun, prevalent and taste good.  If you are making the food yourself, try to make as much as you can before hand.  Last, but not least, bring in textures to your event.  I use a lot of natural products like pine cones, birch and river rock when I am decorating.  I also bring in textures through linens, think burlap and lace.  When all of these come together, it will leave your guests wondering what made your event so different from what they have been to in the past … promise!

6.  Set up Stations
Nothing gets older than going back and forth to the same table multiple times a night for the same food and drink.  Everyone say it with me … BORING!!  Try setting up stations, and get your guest moving.  Have the dessert table in a different room than the dinner food.  Have the drinks spread out throughout the venue.  Utilize outside space as well.  I always bring my galvanized buckets with me to fill with ice and place different types of drinks all around the house.  Your guest will love it, and this will become a conversation piece.  

7.  Lighting

Lighting is a simple way to turn your event into a beautiful event.  Bring in candles, use twinkle lights, or create a more dramatic feel with uplighting. Whatever you do, use light to your advantage.  

8.  Get your Guests Involved

Guests love to get involved in the planning process, the food and the décor, but try instead to involve them more in the event itself.  Have activities for them to partake in.  Photobooths are all the craze these days because it gets the guests off of their feet and interacting with each other. 

9.  Set Up & Prep the Night Before
I highly recommend doing all the prep work the night before, it will keep you organized.   You will also have enough time to run last minute errands the next day if you end up forgetting something.  I will set up all tables, place settings, centerpieces and signage the day or night before the event.  I will also go back to my kitchen and prep all the food.  I will chop the carrots, or mix ingredients together so all I have to do for cooking the next day is put it together.  You’ll have enough to worry about the day of, why get behind when you can check a few items off your list ahead of time.  


10.  Give Yourself Time
Lastly, give yourself some time ahead of the party and enjoy the moment.  Get yourself ready, have a glass of wine and put your feet up for a few minutes, you deserve it!  Everyone knows that they best parties are where the hostess is awake, smiling and laughing along with the guests.  If you’re involved, your guests will be too!  Fifteen minutes is all it takes!

Happy Planning!
Natalie Imhoff

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