Who doesn't enjoy a good party? The chance to socialise with friends and let your hair down is always something to look forward to. However, planning your own party perfect house party can turn in to a real headache if you don't know what you're doing. Planning well ahead and paying attention to the details are key, according to Mike Walker, Managing Director of Surrey based MGN Events, who organise high-end parties and corporate events. Here are a few more tips from Mike to help you create your own perfect house party.
Preparation is key
If you want your party to go well – make a plan! Here are some basics that you should think about to help get you started:
- Think about the date and check that your day doesn’t clash with a big external event like a royal wedding or an England football match which may affect attendance.
- Timing – do you want a lunch party or an evening party? Logistics will be different for each so think about what you feel most comfortable organising. Don’t forget to think about which day of the week might suit your guests best too.
- Numbers of guests - make sure the numbers can be comfortably accommodated at your home. If necessary you can always use a marquee to create more space,
- Invitations – send these out well in advance so that people save the date and you stand the best chance of getting a good turnout.
Choose a theme
A themed event is a great way to create a memorable party and introduce a wow factor for your guests. A new, more sophisticated style of themed event has grown up over the last few years with the rise of immersive experiences which have become the “must have” trend for social entertaining. Immersive is a very wide term and can mean anything from guests entering a parallel universe where they become completely involved in a story complete with actors and sets – think Secret Cinema - to a small private party which contains immersive elements to add atmosphere and intrigue for guests. So for example, if you were organising a Gatsby themed house party, you could include immersive elements like actors playing different roles and interacting with guests, musicians and dancers playing and dancing to music to fit with the 1920s theme. Remember that it’s these detailed touches that make all the difference.
Immersive elements can create a real buzz and sense of fun but you can also create atmosphere with great live bands, DJs and mixologists who can put on a great display. immersive photo booths and unusual mix and mingle acts can also work well.
Indoor or outdoor
Marquees can be a great way to design a space to match your party requirements: the great thing about marquees are that they are flexible spaces that offering you a blank canvas that you can decorate as creatively as you like. You can choose a particular or unusual marquee to add an extra layer of theatre to your party, such as a Tipi or Stretch tent – which are great for a garden party. You can dress it up to give your space a theme. From a mysterious and exotic Moroccan themed party to a more informal festival style event, the space is yours to decorate.
If you don’t fancy using a marquee, make sure that the indoor space you use can comfortably accommodate the number of guests. Dress the room according to your theme and if you think people may want to spill out into the garden, make sure you have appropriate lighting and seating outdoors as well as indoors.
On a practical note, make sure you provide good signage so that guests know where toilets are (don’t forget to stock up on extra loo roll!) and if your party takes place both indoors and outdoors, they can find food and drink in both areas.
It goes without saying that there should be enough food and drink to keep your guests happy with canapes or bowl food generally being the food of choice.
Think about hiring waiting staff to keep your guests topped up with food and drink through out the day or evening.
With some careful planning, you can make the food another talking point. Quirky or unusual is what you are aiming for so you could serve themed drinks and canapes in matching colours or interesting taste combinations to fit with your chosen theme for the party. If you are planning a festival style gathering then outdoor food like hog roasts, pulled pork burgers, salads and even making your own pizzas in an outdoor pizza oven can work really well.
Alongside a standard range of party drinks, mixologists can add a real buzz to the evening as well as creating fabulous cocktails or mocktails. Another eye-catching idea that creates a real talking point are mist orbs which allow guests to suck up vapours tasting of different flavours.
Creative use of lighting can lift your party and add instant atmosphere. Coloured LED lighting works well - use different colours to really set the mood for each part of the evening – right through from welcome drinks to a meal and dancing. If you expect your guests to use outdoor space in the evening, ensure that steps and uneven services are well lit to avoid accidents.
Create a magical atmosphere by having lanterns along outdoor walkways and combine that with lighting up your home and gardens - if you have a large tree or impressive gardens, show them off. Even the simplest lighting schemes can impress your guests if they are done well.
If you would like some help in organising your own amazing house party that will really impress your guests, talk to our experienced team here at MGN Events on 01932 223333