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With invitations to send, seating plans to arrange and catering to organise, party planning can all too easily turn into a daunting and overwhelming task – but it doesn’t have to be that way – here are our top tips to keep party prep on track.

1.Choose your theme

Relax – having a theme doesn’t always mean fancy dress (although it might), it’s simply about knowing what you want the overall party to look like.

If you’re looking for inspiration, head to Pinterest where you can set up mood boards. Collecting your ideas in one place can help clarify exactly what it is you want – making planning so much easier.   

When you’ve chosen your theme, you’ll need to decide on a budget and as boring and grown up as it sounds, using a spreadsheet to keep an eye on expenses really is a good idea.

2.Create a guest list and decide on a venue

When you’ve worked out how many guests you can (realistically) afford, you can decide on a venue and location.

If you’re planning a wedding, bear in mind that popular venues can get booked up a year in advance so if you’ve set your heart on a particular place, it’s best to make this a priority. It’s also worth sending out save the date cards as early as possible to avoid diary clashes.

If you’re after a blank canvas or want a party at home, a marquee could be the answer you’re looking for. Using frame marquees, we can create something bespoke to host any number of guests – from intimate family gatherings and wedding celebrations to corporate events

3.Decide on decorations and invites

Now that you have your venue, you can start turning your theme into reality. To keep costs within budget, take a look at marketplace sites like eBay where you’ll find a raft of independent party suppliers so you’re bound to find decorations that match your theme.

If you’ve got big ideas and want to create a space within a space, think about using coloured lighting to designate areas or set up chill out zones with casual seating and low tables for a relaxed ambience.

Invites for parties should be sent out at least three weeks beforehand. For weddings, aim for at least eight weeks and slightly longer for anyone who isn’t local.

4.Arrange catering

If you’re having a small gathering and plan on doing the catering yourself, think about what you want to feed your guests and plan how much you need.

If you’re hiring a caterer, they’ll go through the best options based on your guest numbers and be able to advise what’s in season and could even match the food to your overall theme.

5.Choose entertainment

Not all parties need something formal but if you are planning on entertaining guests with a DJ, live music or a magician, it’s wise to book as early as possible to get your first choice.

Entertainers will naturally have their own equipment but check if they need anything else – particularly access to a power source because this could affect where you position them in your venue.

With all this in mind, it’s handy to have dedicated party planning lists, a wall chart or calendar to make sure you cover all the essentials, it can also help you visualise what needs to be done next.

Ultimately, a party is all about having fun – on the day and in the run up so don’t sweat the small stuff, after all, no-one’s going to mind if a table display is off centre or the napkins don’t match.

Of course, if you need a little bit of insight and inspiration, we have the expertise –  but don’t just take our word for it – see what our past clients have to say. And if you want to find out more about how a marquee can be the perfect party venue, take a look at how we can help with weddings and other celebrations or contact us on 01638 663777.