YOUR ULTIMATE PARTY PLANNING GUIDE
SUGAR & RIND’S COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THROWING YOUR ULTIMATE PARTY
HOW TO ORGANISE AND THROW YOUR PERFECT PARTY
If you have ventured onto the Sugar and Rind website as of late, you will have noticed our recently added party planning pop up. Planning a party can feel overwhelming to those who aren’t natural planners and because of this, we felt it was appropriate to put together a comprehensive list to help you through it! Our checklist covers everything from time frame to absolute must-haves and even includes the extravagant extras that you may want to consider for your event.
Jumping straight in, the first thing to bear in mind is the time frame required to properly plan and organise everything that you need. How early you get started with your party planning is greatly dependent on the size, scale and formality of the event you are wishing to throw. For example, a wedding reception or service requires a much longer time frame to accommodate all of the moving parts. Large scale events that involve caterers, bar service, decorations and staff can take anywhere between 5-6 months to plan – perhaps even longer in the case of a wedding! Smaller events on the other hand, such as sit-down dinners, or smaller birthday parties don’t need as long. As an absolute minimum, we recommend getting started 4 months before. This will enable you to secure your desired suppliers, who can get very booked up in the busy periods.
Once you have a set date and have allocated a budget, the next step is to think venues – where will your event be held? Finding the perfect party venue to suit your needs can be tricky and time-consuming. There are so many wonderful event spaces dotted about, and narrowing these down while finding one within your budget can often be difficult. Your choice will vary depending on location, the number of people, budget and the overall theme you are seeking to achieve. The best place to start your hunt for the ideal venue is with Sugar & Rind. Our event venue hire section features numerous venues of different natures and at differing price points. From secret subterranean lounges dating back to the 19th century to arched venues in East London, we have a carefully curated selection of spaces available to book. If you haven’t already, have a look at our list of venues – it might just make your planning a little easier!
Alternatively, if you are to host your event at home, it may be worth considering securing a marquee or stretch tent. As we all know, the weather can be temperamental, and even the most well-organised event can fall victim to a bit of bad weather. To ensure against this, why not opt for a stretch tent or covering? These tents are both practical and elegant, offering the perfect combination of luxury and functionality. They can be used in an infinite number of ways and accommodate different sizes of space. It’s fair to say Sugar & Rind have got you covered. Like with most suppliers, tents and marquees can be booked up quickly and take a little back and forth when establishing how they will be set up in your outdoor space. To streamline this process, hiring an event planner can be a very useful asset. We take the stress away and get everything ready in time for your event. Venues can take time so we recommend sourcing either a venue or a covering 5-6 months in advance.
Between 4-5 months before your event, you need to think about the essentials: a caterer, bar supplier or drinks service and entertainment. Once again, we have an extensive list of all of these goodies available to book. If however, you were looking for a specific caterer or obscure entertainment act, we will work with you to source this and get them there and ready to go before your set date. Our top tip for this stage of the planning process is to create a theme! If you want a party with flair, create a theme that resonates with you. This theme can then be weaved into your food and drink, lighting and deco. You can even dress up your staff to align with this, creating an extra feeling of wow! Check out this gorgeous Day of the Dead party we threw recently to see how it can really be done. Click on the photo below to see the event in full!
Other considerations around this point in the time frame include photographers or videographers, decoration services, floristry, furniture, table and glassware, staff, cloakroom, security, lighting design, cool personalised invitations, transport, gifting and mobile toilets.
PACK IT TIGHT
Another Sugar & Rind tip is to pack it tight! By this, we mean paying special attention to your guest list and the number of people at the event. Make sure you fill the space. It always thins out sooner than you expect and there is nothing worse than having a huge room and not enough people in it. Once you have come to a decision regarding all the options above, it’s time to book them in. This should be done between 3-4 months in advance of your event to make sure you aren’t disappointed if they are already booked up closer to the time. Start sending out those invites and remember that using a party planner means only one set of terms and conditions, not 5 or 6.
Creeping closer to the date you want to start finalising. This includes selecting your menu or choice of canapés or your guests to enjoy, deciding on drinks depending on your drinks package selection and final touches such as decor, lighting and flowers. This should be done 2-3 months beforehand. If by this point you have had some invitation refusals, invite some more people. Guests often respond well to handwritten invitations. Yes, it’s a bit of a hassle but it is SO worth it! You’ve made the effort so that means your guests will too. Handwritten invitations create a buzz around your event and gets everyone in the party mood before it’s even started. Make the RSVP digital for your guests though for the sake of ease. No harm in that.
At this point in the time frame, your event is right around the corner. Pick your outfit, book your hair and makeup, order a cake and plan parking and transport. This is essential if your guests are unable to take public transport and can often be overlooked. These are things to consider 1-2 months in advance.
When working with caterers or DJs make sure you communicate with them regarding their power requirements. They may need to know where the power outlets are if you are throwing your event at your own home. On that note, be sure to submit your play-list to the DJ to ensure your favourite tunes are on the go. At this stage, it is worth notifying or inviting your neighbours (so they are aware!) and gathering dietary requirements from your guests that may have them. This can be done between 2-4 weeks ahead of time.
One week prior to your party make sure those speeches are written if they are needed, finalise your itinerary with suppliers including when they are set to arrive, order ice and water and submit dietary requirements when you have heard back.
The day before your event, clear out your fridge to give your caterers and bar staff enough space to work with and tidy up! It might be worth relocating some of your furniture to make some space. Other than that… relax! If you have followed our ultimate party planning checklist you have nothing to worry about.
So it’s Party day! All of your pre-planning has paid off and it’s time to get everyone together. There are, however, a few final things to arrange. The cloakroom area needs to be organised, decorations need to be put up (if not already) and suppliers need to be managed proactively. If, however, you have used a party planner this will all be taken care of! Don’t forget – it’s all about YOU! No one enjoys a party if the host is looking remotely stressed. You’ve done everything you can to give your guests a wonderful evening, so sit back, relax and just enjoy. If it isn’t 100% perfect, we can guarantee you will be the only one to notice. The best parties are the ones where hosts and hostesses are having the night of their lives!
Hopefully, this has been a helpful read and has cleared up a few of the questions you may have been having regarding throwing your event. Make sure to download our free party planning checklist so that you can tick things off one by one. Alternatively, feel free to get in touch if you are not feeling up to the task and want us to organise it all for you!
Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch through our socials @sugarandrind.party.
SHOP THIS PARTY
FORMAL AND INFORMAL DINING PACKAGES – DOORSTEP DELIVERY
Our party food catering service is renowned for its incredible food and precision service. For beautifully curated platters delivered straight to your door, head to our ‘Doorstep Delivery’ sections for both continental and sushi platters. Formal and Informal dining options are also available.
BARS AND FURNITURE
EVENT BAR HIRE
Why not wow your guests and hire one of our mobile bars? The Rolls Royce of cocktail bars- they’re made of stainless steel and come with protective flooring, rubber matting, ice wells with drainage, and an in-built sink. And whether you are planning a small party or a huge event, our exceptional range of event furniture for hire offers something for any occasion. Let’s ensure your guests will feel comfy and cosy.
flair bartender service
THE ABSOLUTE WORKS BAR AND BARTENDER SERVICE
This wonderful service includes a fully stocked bar with free-standing HD back panels, your mixologist, support staff, a ‘theatre’ cocktail on arrival, unlimited cocktails (choose 4 from a menu of 8 cocktails), spirits, wine, mixers, bottled beer, one round of shots, soft drinks, glassware, garnishes, ice, straw and napkins.