Planning a big event for 2016? Instead of spending money on hiring a venue, why not consider decking out your home and garden for receiving your guests? As well as saving money, you’ll have complete control over the décor – and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to create a stylish, elegant yet cosy setting that fits your celebration to a T. Whether you’re planning an engagement party, birthday, anniversary or christening, these practical tips are a great place to start.
Think About Your Lighting
This is vital if you’re planning to utilise your outdoor space at night. Your outdoor porch light or regular garden lights likely won’t be enough to light the space comfortably for your guests – they need to see who they’re talking to! – so think about hiring good quality string lights or LED uplights (remember to check out generator hire for powering them, too). Arrange your lights and do a “trial run” before the big day to see if anything needs adjusting. During the trial run, you should also consider what time you’re going to switch them on – you want your guests to enjoy the daylight for as long as possible. Lanterns and candles on the tables help create a romatic atmosphere and are perfect for providing a cosy glow during twilight.
Set Aside A Space For Children
When planning a party, it can be easy to focus on the adults and forget about the kids. Creating a space for children to play will ensure that guests of all ages are kept happy, since bored kids make for stressed parents! Simply set aside a quiet section of the house or garden and fill it a small table and beanbags or small chairs (borrow from a friend with kids if you don’t have any of your own!). Provide some simple activities such as bubbles, chalk art or colouring in – anything that is low mess and doesn’t require constant supervision!
Have a Buffet
Hosting a full sit-down dinner is a tall order for a party hosted at home – especially if you’re working with a lot of guests in a small space – so it’s a much better idea to go for buffet-style catering, which can be as fancy or informal as the occasion requires. If you’re not confident in your culinary skills or don’t have a large kitchen, consider having a caterer make the food off-site and then deliver it to your home. Always remember to check guests’ dietary requirements and provide something for everyone, including kids! If you’re doing the catering yourself, Jamie Oliver has some delicious ideas for simple yet out-of-the-ordinary party food.
Prep Your Indoors – Even For An Outdoor Party
Make sure all the hallways in your house are clean and free of clutter, as they’ll be in constant use! It might also be a good idea to remove any precious breakable items, especially if you’re going to have little ones around. Block off any sections of the house you don’t want to be used by guests. If you have a larger house, you might want to consider putting up signs to direct guests to the bathroom (speaking of bathrooms, these should also be clean and clutter-free!) Provide at least one quiet, comfortable room – such as a guest bedroom – for any guests who might be feeling unwell or needing to nurse a child. Finally, think about your décor – there are loads of great DIY ideas online for adding simple yet thoughtful touches to your home.