Mellissa and Nick said "I do" on a bright June day in Yorkshire - and included sporty touches in their decor, befitting their golf course venue! Rachael Munro-Fawcett was there…
Written by Leanne Smith Last updated: June 23, 2014
Want to make sure your party flows seamlessly? Here are the essentials of a good party from catering to entertainment, according to the experts.
Above: Scott Anderson Ltd Catering
“Food is so important at any occasion,” says Ian Williams, from Truly Scrumptious caterers. “Always arrange a meeting to talk to your caterers, so you can explain exactly what you want and avoid disappointment on the day. Do remember, too, that food is a matter of personal taste and 150 party guests won’t necessarily like what you like, so choose your menu with care.”
Above: Zouk Catering
“I invited a chap I quite fancied to a drinks party and kept offering him samosas and other meaty nibbles,” remembers Sophie, 28, from Islington, north London. “He refused every time and it was only at the end he told me he was a vegetarian. Needless to say, I never saw him again, but I always remember vegetarians at my parties now!”
Above: Buzz Events and Catering Ltd
Above: Hilton Craigendarroch
“If the venue only caters for 50, don’t invite 75,” says DJ Joe, who’s had his fill of seeing teenagers crammed into tiny village halls. “Apart from anything else, it can be a fire risk.”
Above: Runnymede-on-Thames and Best Western Frensham Pond Hotel
“My friend’s 21st was a disaster,” says Hannah, 22, from Kettering. “She booked this room above a pub, but it was really grotty and no one wanted to use the toilets because they were so filthy. We all left early and went round to a mate’s house to find a decent loo!”
Above: License to Ceilidh Wedding Entertainment
“When selecting your live entertainment, always use a reputable agency,” says Dave Bevan of Alive Network entertainment agency. “And make sure you can listen to the band before you hire them.
“Try to select a band who will suit the tastes of all your guests, a band capable of playing a quiet mellow set or background music or an all‐out party set, guaranteed to get the party swinging. Ask for a list of songs from the band’s repertoire, a recent photo and, most importantly, their demo tape or CD. Some agencies (including Alive Network) allow you to browse through their bands on‐line, saving you time.
“Also, be sure to check the venue you have booked for your reception has enough space to fit a band and that there is an adequate electricity supply.”Above: A selection of alternate music from Real Weddings
“My mum hired a local hall for a friend and I to have a joint birthday party,” recalls Hilary, from High Wycombe. “But as soon as the disco turned on its sound, it blew the electrics! The rest was silence…”
Above: Blackjack Wedding Discos
“Make sure there’s always something to do and see ‐‐ you need to keep the rhythm of a party going,”says RAF officer Ian, who organises mess balls. “If the band isn’t playing, then make sure the disco or line dancing has started.”
Above: MDL Fireworks Ltd
“I organised a hen party for a mate at work,” says Donna, 23. “She was marrying a policeman, so I got a strip‐o‐gram to come dressed as one. The trouble was, she invited her mum and some of her friends to come along too ‐‐ and they were really offended…”
Above: Disco Wed
“The best parties are those where the host or hostess can relax. Using professionals leaves you free to concentrate on the ‘what’, not the ‘how’ and ensures there will be no last‐minute panics or hassles,” says Angie, from Leeds‐based Select Occasions, organisers of wedding and party events. “We take responsibility, we don’t take over!”
‘The best tip I was given before my wedding was to smile on the day and enjoy it, then my guests would too,” says Jo, 38 from Cheltenham, and a regular party‐thrower. “It worked! So now I try to do the same at my parties. No one feels relaxed if the hostess looks fraught.”
Above: Amadu and India Real Wedding
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