Picture the scene: your boss has just appeared in your office and has given you the task of planning a huge event for his top clients…your nearest and dearest is about to turn 50 and wants to go out with a bang…or you’ve just got engaged and want to plan the wedding of your dreams. There’s so much to think about so the last thing you want to be worrying about is the décor, but panic not!
With our top 5 furniture and prop ideas for dressing a party, you’ll be able to pull off a show stopper to rival the pros.
Tip One: “Let there be light!”
If we could only give one piece of advice in this article (but what a boring article it would be!) this would be it. Be sure to consider your lighting. There’s no point spending months designing your table centres, having a custom made bar built or spending fortunes on a spectacular venue if no-one can see it/them. Not only does lighting allow your guests to see all your hard work but it creates atmosphere which is the key to creating a great event. It doesn’t have to be a laser light show, some cleverly placed spotlights and up-lighters can pick up on key details and table lamps add warmth and low lighting which works especially well in chill out areas or on the bar. A crystal chandelier above the dance floor will give off a twinkly light and add some major glamour. Candles are another way of illuminating your event. If the venue permits the use of real candles then use floor standing candelabra to add impact and complete your table centres with candelabra which basks your diners in an intimate glow. Not as good as the real thing but battery candles offer something similar allowing you to achieve the look in even the strictest of venues.
Tip Two: “First impressions are key”
To get your guests in the mood from the moment their red soled shoes set foot out of the limo create a breath taking entrance. Consider your venue from all angles and be sure to set the scene from the word go. Got a long driveway? Line it with lanterns. Garden entrance? Use statues to add pockets of interest. Spectacular doorway? Flank it with huge floral displays in larger than life urns. Your guests won’t fail to be impressed when they arrive and will get a sense of what’s to come.
Tip Three: “These heels weren’t made for walking”
Although you might want your guests to mingle all evening and dance the night away, there comes a point when even the most hard-core of party guests needs a breather so be sure to include some seating. We’re not talking chairs around a dance floor here. Your seating needs to be considered and in keeping with the feel of the rest of your event. Set up comfortable lounges with settees, armchairs, coffee tables and of course lamps for your guests to cosy up in while they rest their weary feet. Feeling more exotic, serve guests mint tea (or espresso martinis!) while they relax in a Bedouin tent setting complete with Moroccan floor cushions, carpets and pouffes. Outdoor seating is sometimes lacking at venues and often gets overlooked even though this is a popular area for people to chat while getting some air so why not give them some rustic tables and chairs to sit at whilst maintaining your village fete theme or for a more sophisticated look, use traditional garden furniture to style the perfect English country garden. After a short rest in a fitting setting your guests will be back on the dance floor in no time.
Tip Four:”Food glorious food”
Along with décor and entertainment, refreshments are going to be at the top of your guests list of priorities so why not give them something to really talk about! If you’re serving canapés consider serving them on themed platters or add decorative props to each tray. An oyster bar looks amazing dressed with extra-large clam shells and sushi served from oriental boxes is sure to be a hit. If a buffet’s your thing then make it interesting. Create height at the back using raised platters or cake stands and serve ethnic food in complimentary bowls and dishes. Fruit and greenery is an inexpensive way of adding colour and a cheese board served on its own dedicated marble top table can’t fail to impress.
Last but not least, Tip Five: “Personality is everything”
These days we all live glamorous, fast paced, been there and done it lifestyles so make sure your event isn’t just another cookie cutter party that blends in with the rest. The best way to do this is to give it bags of personality – your personality to be exact. Chances are your guests know you so they’ll want to see you shine through and if they don’t, give them a sense of who you or your company are by giving the event bags of character. If Glamour is your middle name, make it chandeliers and gold as far as the eye can see. Achingly cool? Then go for a sleek leather look. Natural born jetsetter? Nod to your travelling passion with luggage and Grand Tour artefacts.
If we were allowed a sixth tip it would be to let us help! We’ve got years of experience in dressing and styling events so our team can help you decide on a theme, pick pieces from our collection of over 50,000 individual items that will best suit your venue, your guests and your personality. Once each perfect piece has been selected we can deliver things to your door, dress them in for you or according to your plan and then collect them once the last guest has hung up their dancing shoes. What could be easier? With our top five tips and our team on hand to help, your event is sure to be one people will talk about for all the right reasons. Your only problem will be making the next one even better!