A new experience is always memorable so if you plan your party right, and take into consideration all of Julie Girgenti of Exceptional Events “do’s” and “don’ts” below you will be set to host a truly fabulous and unforgettable summer party!

Don't rely on the weather

Don't rely on the weather

DO’s:

Think BIG! But, know your budget. Anyone can throw a get together where people mill about for a few hours, chatting with a glass of something in their hand… and while those get togethers are perfectly lovely, it isn’t exactly an experience you’ll always remember, is it? Because you’ve had this same experience SO MANY times before! No, if you want your next summer party to be genuinely unforgettable, think bigger about it. Come up with a concept or a theme that you can surprise and delight all of your friends with that fits your budget.

Select a gorgeous location or venue... Consider places you’ve never been but always wanted to go to, places that are special to you or that are easily accessible for most of your guests. Remember, this is a summer party after all, so consider venues or locations that have a really lovely outdoor area that you can either hire privately or simply enjoy. Just make sure there is an area big enough to fit all of your guests and all of the activities you’ve planned.

Plan a delicious menu… Experience is all about the senses. If you want to create a truly unforgettable experience for you and your guests, consider how you captivate and enthrall all 5 senses. The sense that is tied most to memory is actually smell - so be sure the aromas from your catering are absolutely sublime! Also, make sure there are suitable options for all dietary requirements. Plan a diverse menu that gives a good nod to the season; a menu that is light, healthy and fulfilling, without leaving anyone feeling they need to go for a run immediately after eating.

Consider the entertainment… Will you have live music, streamed music, performers, games or other activities to keep people actively engaged and entertained? Remember this isn’t your average family get together or a networking event where you can have a few nibbles laid out on a buffet, stick a drink in everyone’s hand and leave them to chat amongst themselves for several hours. No, if you want your summer party to be truly unforgettable, you cannot treat it like the same event that everyone has been to a hundred times over.

Communicate effectively with your guests through your invitations... While digital invitations are now the most common form of invitation, for a truly unforgettable summer party, consider sending out classic printed invitations that can arrive by post. Paper invitations automatically raise the level of expectation; they lend excitement to the experience; and provide a tangible starting point for people’s memories to be engaged. Just imagine what will be going through people’s minds when you start asking them for their home address! It’s so rare to receive letters or invitations in the post anymore that the very notion comes with a dash of excitable anticipation, doesn’t it?

DON’TS

Don’t neglect the ambiance and the decor. Setting matters. What people see when they first arrive at your party leaves one of the greatest impressions and it sets the tone for the entire party. Will you have a theme that defines the experience or supports it? If you’re hosting your party in a public area, how will you distinguish your private area from the rest of the space? Will you have balloons or flowers? Props or candles? The experience, remember, is in the details.

Don’t be too proud to hire help where needed. Depending on your budget, you may find that you’d much prefer to show up and enjoy your party alongside all of your guests, rather than worrying about the setup, the timings, the cooking and clearing up, etc. Hiring an event planner, a caterer or waitstaff can make life so much easier for you… and that much more luxurious!

Don’t expect a photobooth to capture everything. Instead, hire a professional photographer/cinematographer. While photobooths are big and fun and have been the rage at loads of events for the last few years, they cannot possibly capture all of your memories of your unforgettable event only those people who get in front of its stationery camera. However, an unforgettable event will have numerous aspects that you will want to see and relive time and time again. The best way to do that, is to have a photo album and/or a video created… one that reflects you, your story and your unforgettable summer party!

Don’t trust the weather. No matter where you are in the world, the weather can never be entirely trusted. If you’re planning your main event to be outside, have a backup plan. This doesn’t mean booking a second venue necessarily, but rather thinking smart about your backup option. If you’re in the park and it starts to rain, you could already have set up a small marquee or a tent or an umbrella stand with a sign that says Take Me! If you have a beautiful venue where you had planned to do everything indoors but, as it turns out, the weather is sunny, warm and gorgeous and you’d just hate feeling like you’d been cooped up inside the entire day, speak to the venue about outdoor options should the weather be lovely! Anything can be adjusted on the day so be creative and have a strong (and beautiful) backup plan.

Don’t forget to state the dress code clearly on the invitation. Otherwise, you may find some people arriving in summer frocks and jackets and others just rocking up in surfer shorts and t-shirts! No one enjoys being over- or under-dressed for an occasion so, to save your friends and family the embarrassment of turning up dressed inappropriately for whatever you have planned, tell them in advance what the dress code is for your event.

For more advice and help get in touch with Julie at www.yourexceptionalevents.com


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