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How to Host the Perfect Event*

Prior to becoming a mother and a writer I used to work in hospitality and catering. I’ve done everything, being a bar maid, a waitress, receptionist, front of house and even an events planner. Of everything events was probably my favourite and it was definitely the most rewarding. These days the only events I seem to plan are children’s birthday parties but there are some things to think about that are the same across the board for hosting any perfect event and I thought I’d share them with you today;

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What Kind of Event Are You Throwing?
Firstly you need to look at what kind of event you’re having. Is it going to be a huge gathering, or a small intimate affair? Is it a wild kids birthday party or a formal dinner? Deciding what kind of event you want is a crucial first step when putting together plans. How do you visualise your day going? Do you want it to be calm? Or exciting? Or magical?

Think About Who To Invite?
Of course there is the age old idea of inviting everyone especially to big events such as weddings and big birthday parties, but sometimes it’s better to sit down and have a good think about who you’re sending that invitation to. On a side note, make sure you get invitations that reflect the event, a sophisticated party probably should avoid children’s birthday party invites. Lets face it, not everyone is going to get on and if you have some members of your friends group or even family with explosive personalities it might be better to go for a small intimate gathering instead. Not only that but maybe your budget won’t stretch to feeding the 500. It’s always better to live within your means that throwing thousands of pounds away serving food to family members or Facebook friends you haven’t spoken to in years.

Where Are You Hosting It?
Once you’ve decided on how many people you’re inviting and what kind of event it’s going to be you can start looking for places to host it. If it’s a small gathering you could have it at home or in your garden if the weather is nice, a child’s party could be at a venue such as the cinema or a local restaurant and a wedding if the service is on site needs to be licensed, you can’t just get married at the local park!

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What Food & Beverages Will You Serve?
Lets face it, people expect to go to an event and be provided with some kind of food and drink. And the longer the event is the more you need to think about providing. If you’re having an all day wedding, two meals are the norm, an evening reception only needs some kind of buffet or hog roast. A child’s party you need some kind of party food, are you being healthy or traditional? Are you making it yourself or hiring a caterer? Then drinks. At a wedding are you having an open bar, cocktails or a welcome drink only?

Who Is Capturing Your Memories?
I’m obsessed with taking photos and videos. If I was throwing an event and spending a lot of money on it I would want someone there to take photos while I was playing the perfect host. Yes, everyone will be taking social media snaps but it’s not the same as beautifully shot photographs, especially if this is your wedding. You can ask friends for local recommendations or put your trust in Google by searching your area and what you’re after, for example “London Photographer” as a lot have websites with their portfolios on. You could also look into having a videographer there to film you event.

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Are You Having Entertainment?
Finally, but one of the most important points.. are you providing entertainment? If it’s a small intimate gathering background music and good conversation could be enough like at a dinner party but for something larger you can can’t rely on conversation to flow all night.  If you’re having music are you having a DJ or a live band? What kind of music will they play? A kids party are you having party games or a bouncy castle? Is it fancy dress or will you be having someone there to pain faces? For more ideas I put together a post on ways to make a kids birthday party unique.

By asking yourself these 6 questions in the planning stage you’ll be well on the way to making your event a success!

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