Hosting events is my favourite thing to do. I theme most of my birthday parties, I throw parties for my friends and I get paid to throw parties for other people too. I was the girl at school who was always inviting people over for a ‘gathering’ and then when I finished school I actually ended up studying Events Management for a year at college before doing a 3 year Business Degree. I may have then gone on to start an interiors business but events have always followed me and I style events for a number of corporate clients.
So it came as no surprise to anyone that knows me that I wrote my second book with entertaining as the focus. I’m often asked by friends how I host events (relatively) stress-free and how can they replicate some of the things I do at my parties in their own homes… So here goes….
My Top 5 Tips To Focus on When Entertaining
This one had to come first! It’s my favourite thing to plan when researching party themes. I usually always create a Pinterest board when planning out a new event and flowers feature heavily throughout the Pinterest planning.
If you’re entertaining at home, do you have enough furniture to comfortably seat everyone or do you need to hire some furniture to suit? A quick Google search will give you hire company details so you can find furniture to suit your decor. If you’re entertaining in a different location, most will allow you to bring your own furniture and styling elements in with no additional charge.
Styling elements such as candles, dinnerware, cutlery and glassware are top of the list to get right. These elements help convey the overall theme of the party or event. As do items like napkins and other elements like signage for the bar or quirky styling elements on the table as decoration. Kmart is full of fun party props that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
If you have the budget, hiring a DJ with speakers and decks for the night is a GREAT way to get everyone up on the dancefloor after eating. I hosted a Halloween party at the end of last year and hired a DJ to take care of the music until well into the night. It was such a great decision as it meant no one was fighting to control the songs and guests could make requests to the DJ and he could add them to the playlists.
Alternatively, Spotify has plenty of cool mixes you can plug in and play without having to create your own playlist.
The venue you chose for your party is largely responsible for the overall vibe of your event. When I start working on an event from scratch, the venue is one of the first things to be decided before we even get to the decor and theming elements. Once you lock down your location you can go nuts on all the other fun things like flowers, styling, furniture etc. Many locations have furniture, cutlery, glassware and dinnerware included in their venue hire price which makes your life a lot easier too.
5. Food + Drinks
If there’s any areas you can’t get away with skimping on it’s the food and drink. Think about all the weddings you’ve attended over the years, chances are you’ll remember when the food was average and when the food was amazing. You may have forgotten all about the flowers on the table but you won’t forget if the alcohol service wasn’t up to scratch and the food was served cold!!
Spend time getting the menu right, whether you’re cooking at home or your selecting from a tasting menu for a wedding. If you’re serving the food yourself but asking guests to bring a plate make sure you tell them if there’s an overall theme so they can match the food to the theme. I love themed parties and there’s no point having a themed party if you aren’t going to also theme the food!
If you’d like to read more about hosting epic parties without stressing out, purchase a copy of my book Keeping House here.