Whether you are organizing and hosting a private bridal shower, rehearsal dinner or business party, there are several particulars you will want to consider. Because private events are generally more intimate with less space than a large setting, you will want to pay particular attention to details like parking and seating arrangements. In addition, there are several other key factors to take into consideration.
While you are planning your private event, grab a paper and pen and take notes. Here are dos and don'ts to create a memorable get-together for yourself and all of your guests:
1. DO Consider a Buffet-Style Dinner
For a small private gathering, why not consider a buffet style menu, rather than a sit down catered dinner? A buffet style offering allows your guests to choose the food items they desire and take as much or little as they please. There is also less work involved and it may fit your budget better as well. Buffet dinners or luncheons will also allow more time for other activities you may have planned.
If you do decide to have a buffet, remember a few golden rules: First off, be sure you have ample room for the buffet tale or tables. Allow space at the beginning of the buffet line and at the end. Also, consider placing beverages on a table separate from the food. It's especially important if you have a beverage station, because you will need that extra space and flow to keep everyone from bumping elbows. Also, remember to stack plates at the front of the table line, and utensils at the back of the line. It's just a general rule of etiquette. And by all means, do not forget to set up some trash cans. You wouldn't want the embarrassment of your guests running around trying to figure out where to discard their paper napkins and plates
2. DON'T Forget to Include Menu Choices for Special Dieting Needs
Are any of your guests diabetics? Do any of them require a gluten-free diet? These aspects may be easy to forget during the panning of your private event, but they should not be overlooked. If you are having your private party catered, speak with the caterers beforehand. Inquire about low carbohydrate or sugar free menu options, or gluten-free choices. Equally important, your menu should include vegetarian or vegan options for those who do not eat meat or dairy.
3. DO Get Your Scheduling In-Sync
Are you planning a private affair for business colleagues and co-workers? If so, you will want to be well synchronized. Notify all guests of the time and date of the event. Not everyone will be on the same work schedule, and you wouldn't want any of your colleagues to miss the event because they were scheduled to work during that time. Obtain everyone's schedules for the designated day and time and plan accordingly.
4. DON'T Neglect to Plan Ahead for Speeches or Announcements
If you are to have a guest speaker, make the plans well in advance. It may not be the best idea to surprise someone by prompting them to make an impromptu speech. In many cases, the speaker will want to rehearse, and not face the embarrassment of fumbling his or her lines. If possible, help the person with their speech. Aim for a short speech, especially for an event that is scheduled in the evening, as your guests may be tired after a long day.
5. DO Visit Your Chosen Venue Beforehand
If your private event is to be held at a restaurant or other venue, check it out well in advance. Are there adequate parking accommodations? Is it wheelchair accessible if necessary? Is there WIFI available? Is there adequate seating and table arrangements to suit your needs? Get a feel for the venue and atmosphere to be sure it will make for a comfortable and pleasant environment.