How to help your party go with a swing in the summer sunshine
The summer is a great time to entertain and meet friends and family, and throwing a party is a popular and enjoyable way for everyone to have fun in the sun (when it shines in our variable UK summers!)
Throwing a great party is one thing, but it’s key that you enjoy the process and this comes through planning ahead and covering all bases whether a smaller gathering for a handful of people or a larger scale affair.
The following pointers will help you throw a memorable summer party:
- Define the type of party you’re throwing
Without becoming too analytical and ‘businesslike’ about it, some proper consideration will help you focus on what type of party you’re throwing and what you’ll need to do to achieve it.
The purpose – is it a general gathering just to meet friends and family? Is it to celebrate or commemorate something?
Is it restricted by age or is it the sort of gathering where all sorts will be welcome? For example, is it a party where offspring – possibly young children – are invited?
Type and style – is it an informal gathering where everyone mingles with buffet food and helps themselves to drinks? Or a more formal affair with maybe a set eating time and some type of structure?
For example, if celebrating a milestone anniversary or birthday will there be a presentation or a spot for someone to say a few words and so forth?
Is it themed? If so decide on a suitable theme that your type of guests will enjoy partaking in. For example, there’s not much point in specifying Harry Potter if you can’t be sure your friends and guests are interested in it.
- Size and scope
Be clear on what size gathering you’re throwing and control the guest list. If you’re too loose with invitations (“bring all your friends”) it could get out of hand.
Entertainment – are you organising entertainment of some type such as a disco with a DJ? If so, ensure you hire an experienced one; try searching ‘DJ hire Essex’ if you’e based in the county and talk to them about your requirements.
Experienced DJs can target music to suit your gathering, so talk to them in good time and explain where they’ll be playing whether back garden, village hall or other venue.
Food and drink – what are the arrangements here? Will you be providing the food or will it be done by outside caterers? Maybe you’ll ask guests to bring a plate of food each?
For drink, is it bring a bottle? Will you hire a bar or be footing the bill and supplying most of the drinks?
Other entertainment – if a larger scale party maybe other entertainments such as a photo booth may be required? If so, ensure they’re booked in good time from professionals.
If you’re allowing children to come along with their parents – or maybe the party is very much a ‘adults and children’ gathering – don’t forget to arrange activities for the youngsters such as a children’s entertainer, bouncy castle and so forth.
Communicate with guests
When inviting guests, it’s always best to communicate properly so they know exactly what type of gathering they’re being invited to so give them the answers to:
- Theme or dress code – if there is a theme or dress code make it clear
- Food and drink – is it bring a bottle? Is there a pay bar? Is food provided and if so what type? You don’t want people turning up expecting a full meal if it’s just finger food or likely to have eaten unaware you’re laying on a full spread
- Times – is there a certain time you’d like everyone there by? Maybe to coincide with food being served or certain events such as presentations or speeches being made
- RSVP – specify if they should reply (it’s best if they do rather than leaving it open ended even if it’s ‘just’ a simple drinks gathering) and when they should reply by
If you’re throwing an outdoor party, always have a back up plan if bad weather strikes – even during a heatwave you never know if the weather will break.
Put a fall back in place such as access to somewhere under cover like a tent, gazebo or similar.
Enjoy your party!
Don’t forget to ensure you get some enjoyment form your own party. If it’s a larger affair, lay on some help such as people to serve drinks and maybe food to save you having to run around making sure everyone’s fed and watered.
Above all, plan ahead and book everything (where applicable) in plenty of time.