Party planning in my home town of Wakefield. It sounds like a fun job doesn’t it? I love organising things. I took great pleasure in planning our wedding and always thought I’d be a good events planner. However, in October I planned a a surprise 30th for my best friend and I’m now questioning my initial thoughts!
With this in mind, here are five things I learnt about party planning:
1) Wedding Planning and Party Planning are different.
Wedding planning is all about you and your other half. You have no doubt about what you like and what you don’t like. When you’re party planning for someone else, you have to think about what THEY like. Those little thoughts of doubt creep in and I found myself questioning EVERYTHING. Even whether she’d like a party at all!
2) Other People Are A Problem
What I mean by this is that, for them, the party you are planning isn’t at the forefront of their thoughts like it is the planner, who is all consumed by it. The amount of nights I spent thinking
“How hard is it to click going/maybe/not going on an event?!”
How many people are at the party is crucial to how much food to do and event which venue you choose. After all, there is no point in having a huge room for 20 odd people. It’s all about atmosphere and that won’t create it.
Note: I did have an excellent small team helping me with who to invite and getting her there which I was hugely grateful for and definitely couldn’t have pulled it off without them. My best friends mum was fab and sorted the food for me which was a huge weight off my mind. Her other bestie also made a cake for her and helped her boyfriend and I get her to the party.
Additionally I also wanted to show a video of birthday messages, which I did, but getting people do record them was soon difficult in itself. I get not everyone is an extrovert but still, a little effort please! There were some fab people that did send them…even if I was still editing it the morning of the party!
3) Planning Ahead Doesn’t Always Help!
The party was mid October. One thing about party planning in Wakefield is there are lots of options! In January I had the venue and DJ booked. A few months later I had a 4ft light up 30 booked. A week before the party I had no DJ and no light up 30 because they both let me down! Luckily, the amazing Hannah from Elizabeth James Events saved the day with regard to the light up numbers and, conveniently, she lives in the same village! Definitely give her a follow on Instagram, as well as the light up letters and numbers they have stunning flower walls and neon neons. They are an Instagram dream! If you’re planning a party, wedding or event and live in the Yorkshire area, contact her immediately!
As for the DJ, well I thought that the venue had organised me another one however on the night itself, by 8pm we still didn’t have a DJ and music was being played through the managers laptop! Thank god for Spotify and hot spotting!
4) Venue is Key!
A nice setting is a good start to a party. I went to see Oli at Red bar in Wakefield because I remembered my nieces christening being there many years ago. The room has a private bar and private toilets for our party guests which was great because it meant our party was exclusive to us. It also was split into two areas. We had elderly guests attending therefore it meant they could be away from the noise a little.
Finally it had character and fairy lights were permanent feature which meant I didn’t have to do lot to the room. Some balloons and plastic dinosaurs (my best friend loves them) along with the 4ft light up 30 a a feature and we were sorted! I was funding the party as her birthday present so I had to do it on a budget. As much as I would have loved personalised banners, backdrops and entertainers, I had to be realistic. Red Bar is just an £80 deposit which you get back at the end of the night as long as nothing is damaged. Finally, the manager Oli was amazing. Informative, supportive and unbelievably helpful meaning that I felt reassured that everything would be okay, even when the DJ didn’t appear!
5) It Will All Be Worth It!
Seeing my bestie’s face when she walked up the stairs and realised what was going on was priceless. She’d never had a birthday party as a adult and I was so glad I was able to pull it all off so she had a fab night. She literally knows everything about me so trying to lie to her for months had been super difficult. Thankfully it was all worth it in the end!
So there you have it, five things I learn and also some hints, tips and recommendations for party planning in Wakefield. Despite the stress, I don’t think I did too bad a job in the end!