Rejoice! The sun is starting peep through its cloudy curtains and with its emergence, so too appear barbeques, beers and the urge for revelry. Yep, party season mark 2 is upon us; the long, warm, raucous one, and personally, we’re stoked. If like us you can’t wait to throw a few of your own, with good food, even better music and fantastic company, then we’re sure you’d welcome a few pointers. Whether you’re a seasoned party-goer, thrower or simply hosting your first soiree, here are 5 IDEAL tips for planning the perfect party.

PICK A THEME & THINK ABOUT THE DETAILS

A theme doesn’t have to mean the much dreaded fancy dress party (cue, a sigh of relief). However, having a theme, no matter how big or small, can pull an event together and allows you to create a backdrop against which you can choreograph the entire event.  It could be something as simple as a colour theme, a seasonal salute or one that celebrates a certain cuisine or country. Whatever you choose, having a basis to the event gives it a sharper focus both in the planning stage and later down the line, in the memory of those who attended.

When it comes to separating the great from the good, it really is all in the detail; the myriad tiny touches which add up to one essential event. Focusing on detail is vital, and what gets you noticed. It’s also crucial in terms of narrowing down your party planning options, when it comes to booking  vendors and all the rest. There’s a surprisingly broad scope of choice out there, but with a focused vision, it’s much easier to find the really niche, unique offerings which will last long in the attendee’s memory. In other words, do sweat the small stuff.

PICK THE VENUE & CONFIRM THE DATE

Once you’ve got the theme down it’s time to think about the venue, which is probably the most important single factor to consider and should be in keeping with the theme you’ve chosen. Indeed, the type of party can pretty much dictate where the venue should be. Sites like VenueFinder, who have a database of over 15,000 UK venues, are a great resource when it comes to helping you find that all important location. With such databases, all you have to do is type in a fairly specific search, for example, “party venues Coventry”, and instantly see a list of all the available venues in that location, their prices and special qualities.

The next thing to sort out after picking a venue is the date and time you wish to hold your party. In doing so, it is recommended that you reach out to as many of your proposed guests as possible before you pick a date, to make inquiries as to when would be convenient for them. Once you pick out a date and time, the party wheels are well and truly rolling.

MAKE A GUESTLIST 

Making a guest list will help you better understand how big or small your party is going to be, which will, in turn, help you make proper plans and arrangements for food and other refreshments. As such you’ll know how much wine to order and if you’ll need to enlist the help of good beer gas suppliers to keep the drink flowing freely.

Your guest list will also determine the size of your venue as well as the amount of little pressies you’ll need if you decide to add a goody bag to your budget. Of course, it’s the people attending who truly make a party, so choose your guestlist wisely. Go for the broadest range of ages, backgrounds and interests as possible, as there’s nothing like a rich melting pot to get a party rocking.

CARE ABOUT THE FOOD AND DRINK

One of the most important aspects of any event is keeping your guests well fed and watered. You can provide all of the raucous entertainment you could dream of, but without refreshments (solid and liquid) things just aren’t going to kick off. Always remember that finger food and snacks are significantly easier to coordinate than a full-blown, sit down, three course meal. What’s more, guests usually feel more comfortable helping themselves, as and when they want to. And if you really want to impress guests at an event, you can’t go wrong with a street food truck which in recent years has taken the catering industry by storm. Rumbling stomachs and empty glasses are one of the main buzzkills of any event. It just lacks generosity. Therefore, make food and drink a priority as running out isn’t a good look.

BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET

Making a budget helps you spend in a calculated – not carefree – manner. A freefall attitude to spending when planning an event often leads to incurring unnecessary expenses and leaves you with waste, excess and surplus which you simply don’t need. Properly drawing up a budget will help you decide on what items are vital and make sure that you operate within your means. Of course, the odd touch of frivolity is fine, but remember that with a little entertainment and lubrication, most parties go off well. Don’t overdo it.