Planning a party can be stressful at the best of times, especially when you have to take everything from venue and lighting to catering and theming into consideration. That’s why SoGlos has picked the brains of Dany Fremantle, events director of Oasis Events, to get her top tips on making sure a party goes off without a hitch.
About the expert – Oasis Events
With over 20 years’ experience in event planning and management, Oasis Events take care of all that’s involved in throwing some of the biggest parties across Gloucestershire, the Cotswolds, Warwickshire and beyond. Transforming venues to match client visions, Dany and Mark Fremantle specialise in bespoke events – from birthday extravaganzas to corporate celebrations.
Whether you want to throw a luxurious summer party or design your own unique corporate event for your team, Oasis Events will create stunning, inventive and memorable experiences to wow your guests.
For more information, visit oasisevents.co.uk.
What advice would you give someone who has never planned a party before?
Invest in experts. Play to your strengths and enjoy the process, don’t sweat the things you can’t face or can’t manage. For example, you may be into cooking, good wine, or mixing cocktails but be aware that planning on a large scale requires different skills. While hiring a bar and/or catering team might seem like an excessive spend, their expertise in managing quantities, chilling, warming, professional service and disposal of empties and general clear up is very valuable. It goes without saying that a planner, even if you just get some expert advice in the early stages, is going to save you time, money and effort in the long run. If your planner looks after the whole thing for you from plans to fruition, you will benefit from feeling like a guest at your own event, which is pretty special.
Do you have any top tips for getting organised?
If your party planning is DIY, try to spend time planning for what could go wrong as well as everything that you’re planning to go right. It’s easy and a lot of fun planning for the elements you’re excited about! Make sure you think about the practical things too – maybe adverse weather or temperatures, heating or cooling for your venue, and power. Ensure there are plenty of cables and sockets to run everything you are bringing in. Work closely with all of your suppliers to understand their needs and whether or when there may be a power requirement crunch point.
What advice would you give someone with a smaller budget?
Plan ahead. If you don’t hire a planner, use your time wisely and get ahead. Give plenty of notice to make sure people can make it! Give yourself as much time as possible. The best pick of venues and suppliers get booked well in advance and deals and offers can be missed if you’re not on the lookout. Spontaneity can be fun of course, but it’s harder work getting it right and at the right price, with little time on your side.
Set a budget. Think through what you are willing to spend before you focus on any details and produce a considered list of everything you would like. You can then weigh up what should have the greater spend or the lesser. For example, if music matters, you may decide to prioritise that over a more low-key plan for food and drinks.
What are your top tips for making party planning less stressful?
Delegate to friends so that you feel rested and energised to host. Friends who are given a clear request, ideally to make, do or contribute something that is in their comfort zone, will enjoy being part of the grand plan. Getting help with some element of the food for example can help you out and be fun for everyone to share in.
Plan in 30 minutes of being party ready before your guests arrive to savour your work, get in the mood and relax. That includes allowing time beforehand for the last-minute tasks like candle lighting, the seating plans, table and guest names and a large clear table plan. These things always take longer than you think!
What are the most common party planning mistakes, and how can we avoid them?
Forgetting the aftermath! Dealing with everything that is needed afterwards is as much part of the event as the preplanning. Make sure you plan the clear up and dismantling with helpers and friends, and any venue and suppliers – who is coming when and in which order can be very important to make things swift and efficient. Think about who is doing the clean-up, moving all the rubbish, as well as whether you’re prepared to recycle.
For more information about Oasis Events, visit oasisevents.co.uk.