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How to host an unforgettable soirée

From venues to themes, hosting a chic and glossy event can be difficult. If you’re a budding socialite or are just planning an event for the first time, it can be quite a daunting task. Whether it’s a dinner party with friends or your big day, it’s generally important that everything runs smoothly.

Often, the little touches count the most towards creating an unforgettable event. We spoke to The 43 Club – a mobile cocktail service – to find out their top tips.

A venue is all about first impressions and cultivating a social atmosphere. You don’t have to spend masses on a venue just to make an event special. Utilise the space that you have at home for a truly unique approach. In the Summer, the outdoors is the perfect place for people to mingle and relax, and in those cold months enjoy your well-decorated interiors. Your kitchen is the heart of your home and the best place to serve up nibbles, play music and sit around a table with guests. With this room as the focal point, make sure your cocktail ingredients and recipes are to hand and visible for guests to peruse.

If your event is a little more high-key such as a wedding or a big birthday, then you may want to have a look at some larger venues. Look to do something a little bit different by finding somewhere unexpected that reflects your occasion. For your wedding, why not have a marquee on the grounds of a historic house instead of hosting a traditional church wedding? You can string fairy lights and floaty materials around the venue to make a true fairytale display, but of course the best way to achieve that ‘wow’ factor is to get a professional event planner on board.

Serve your guests unique drinks designed especially for the occasion

Adding personalised touches to your event is easy when you know how. Sending invites is one of the easiest yet most effective ways to signal something special. Don’t succumb to Facebook invites; make sure to send out card style invitations through the post that reflect your personality. You can either get creative and spend an evening designing your own cards with added personal touches to each guest, or to save time, use a tool like Printalicious.

You can’t have a good event without popping open a bottle of bubbly. Whilst champagne and beer is all well and good, your guests aren’t going to be talking about how fabulous the sauvignon blanc is for weeks after. Serve your guests unique drinks designed especially for the occasion, either by yourself or professional mixologists. Rather than opting for a cosmopolitan, which has become a bit overdone since Sex and the City, it’s worth the extra effort to discover cocktails based on your favourites that are fresh and complex, as well as those with twists you probably won’t have seen before. As with all drinks, ultimately taste is the most important factor, so stock up on branded ingredients and think about the presentation as well. For an extra touch if you have an exclusive guest list, ask attendees in advance which spirits they prefer and tailor drinks to each of them. They’ll never forget the added effort and care taken.

Set the scene and tone for your event from sending out that first invite, and then keep all your elements consistent from that core idea. For example, suggest the dress code in your invites to match your occasion, and take control by asking your guests to wear smart/casual for a birthday party so no one turns up in a hoodie.

Why not hire an expert cocktail maker to add a touch of excitement to the party

Once your guests are prepared, you need to ensure what you offer matches their expectations. Set the tone for your day or evening with lighting; this can be done by the help of candles, fairy lights and lanterns. Lighting can really change the whole look of your venue, so if you’re wanting an intimate event just for your close friends, choice a dim golden glow. Once this is set-up, it’s time to think about your welcoming. Provide a sweet drink upon arrival to get your guests palates going for food and give them something to do when they come through the door so that they’re instantly active and being social; cocktails are a great conversation starter. You could also provide a guest book or memory box for weddings or get the music started early. And finally, if you really want to go all out, you could look to hire some quality party entertainers to add an unforgettable and unique experience to your party that will ensure it will be remembered for years to come.

Without a theme, an event can get a little messy… but that doesn’t mean your theme has to be obvious. Draw your attention to the three biggest things that will stand out to you and mirror them throughout your venue. Lighting, seating and glassware are surely your biggest considerations. These three are the most useful and apparent to guests and you can mirror them at big events as well as for a dinner party at your home. Subtle touches like this will make your evening and also, should you wish, give your parties a little brand within your neighbourhood.

As you plan your party or big day, make sure to keep these top tips in mind. Practical and unique details not only make your event a good time for everyone but also make it enjoyable for yourself. Model your event around your personality and you’re sure to have a memorable time!