Whether you’re a local who wants to bring a few loved ones together to enjoy a wonderfully cooked meal, or you’re coming from outside the city to host the ultimate birthday bash, planning a party in London is no easier than planning one anywhere else. Small apartment spaces, entertainment expenses, and transport challenges may stand in your way.
But this is no time to panic, as some proper preparation and a bit of party know-how is all you need to organise the perfect get-together. Once you have a good party planning method in place, you can rest assured that your hosting skills will satisfy any personal, family or corporate event that may arise in the future.
With this in mind, here are six tried-and-tested tips that will help you plan the perfect party in London.
Make a note of it
The stress that comes with planning a party is often the result of not having your thoughts and ideas written down. Start by making a list of all who will be in attendance. If you’re serving food, be sure to check on whether anyone has dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan or food allergies.
If you discover any, don’t forget to accommodate for them by providing suitable options on your menu. From here, start planning your courses and meals, as well as making a note of related non-food items such as utensils, plates and décor. This can also include your choice of beverages.
Of course, no good party is complete without them. Aim to provide a wide range of options for different kinds of drinkers, including some non-alcoholic options. You can save some money and time by using an alcohol delivery service; Drink House 247 is a popular option for Londoners. Order beer, wine, and any booze you like for delivery within 30 mins. How cool is that?
Aside from being immeasurably more convenient, they can deliver to your doorstep at any time in less than 30 minutes. It would then be wise to keep them on speed dial as the sun goes down. This way, if you ever need a top-up, you can skip the hassle of public transport and the dangers of driving by simply having your drinks delivered.
Set a to-do list
Once you have your guests and amenities handled, it’s time to determine a plan of action. Make a to-do list of all the tasks you need to complete around the house prior to your guests’ arrival. This can include cleaning, decorating, organising and preparing the food. Consider also making one for when the guests leave to ease the stress of cleaning up.
Send your invites too early and some people might forget or end up with more important tasks on their plate come the time of your party. Send the invites too late, and you may have to endure a quiet affair with too much leftover food. An optimal time is usually three to four weeks prior to the party.
This ensures that guests can make travel arrangements and clear their calendar while not being so late that it’s easily forgotten. These days, you don’t have to blow your budget on physical invitations. Unless it’s an important affair, a simple text conversation will do.
A clean party space is not only more attractive, but also more spacious. This ensures that your guests have somewhere to put their belongings and drinks as the party goes on. You also benefit by not putting expensive possessions and electronics at risk of being damaged if things happen to get rowdy, so be sure to perform a good clean-up job.
Prepare the area
In small apartments, it’s likely that you might have to rearrange some furniture to make it easy for guests to flow around the space and not feel claustrophobic. Be sure to determine whether there’s a plate and place setting for every guest before they arrive and find a suitable area for coats and jackets to be placed.
Depending on the type of party, you should also take some time to determine how you’ll be serving the food. Will it be buffet-style where guests get their own food, or will it be family-style where food is served on the table? If you opt for buffet-style, make sure that it’s easy for people to fill their plates and avoid congestion.
Save on entertainment
Unless you have a good friend or family member who wants to DJ at your party, chances are you can save a ton of money by not hiring one. A reasonably-sized Bluetooth speaker or home sound system will easily fill the room in the typical London apartment.
Simply create a playlist beforehand that will last the entire party, or offer guests the ability to connect their devices and ensure that the music keeps playing.
Planning the perfect party doesn’t have to be stressful. With the above elements in place, you can organise a party that will satisfy every guest with ease.