On Hiring Caterers for Your Event — March 27, 2015

On Hiring Caterers for Your Event

I know I told you that I love doing and organizing events and parties. However, if you really think you’ll be in better hands if you hire professional caterers, then so be it. Remember, when it comes to planning any event or family gathering, the food and venue will usually take up the largest part of your budget. This is why you should invest time looking for a good catering service so you can also get the most out of your event planning. Here are some tips you can use when you go look for caterers.

Photo credit: darwin Bell via Flickr
Photo credit: darwin Bell via Flickr

The first thing that needs to be done is to set a budget for the whole event. From that budget itself, allocate an ideal expenses range you can afford to spend on the catering. It’s also necessary to think about your preferences. What type of reception ambiance are you vying for, for instance? Determine the number of people who will be invited to your gathering. Apart from giving a headcount of the number of guests to the caterer, you would also need this number in planning the total budget for the  catering.

If you already have a desired venue in mind, make it a point to ask about their availability for the time and date you chose for the event. Also be mindful of their catering rules, if any. Some restaurants and hotels, for instance, already have their preferred event caterers – most likely companies or individuals they have worked with before. You can ask suggestions from them, or you can also opt to hire your own caterer depending on their protocols.

When it comes to choosing a caterer, the best way to go is through referrals. Of course, how would you know if a company is trustworthy and really delivers quality services if you don’t have enough proof from your own social circles? If you don’t want yourself to be limited to the recommendations you get from your family and friends, there are always review sites and online directories of catering companies that operate in your locale. Check them out online so you can get started on your search.

Be sure to make a shortlist of candidates for the position of event caterers. Consider those companies and individuals that have good recommendations and reviews, first and foremost. The second thing to look into is the services and catering packages that they offer. Ask for proposals from candidates that seem promising to you so you can also better assess which one can give you the best benefits for your budget.

Make sure to sample the food you’re planning to have for the event. Also make it a point to check out the company’s portfolio so you can also see real samples of functions and gatherings they’ve handled before. Apart from the food, it’s also recommended to check out their table/dining ware and other catering equipment to ensure that they are up to your liking. Ensure that you see the utensils they will specifically use right from the start, especially if they will be renting from a catering equipment rentals company.

Photo credit: Jennifer Choi via Flickr
Photo credit: Jennifer Choi via Flickr

As for the costs, many ignore the idea of giving an exact budget to the caterers. You can simply tell them about your preferred budget range, so you can also ask about discounts in the process. At least give them an idea how much budget they are going to work on so they can better plan and suggest catering ideas that will be suitable to the budget you have in mind. To avoid surprises in the end, be upfront with the caterers. Ask what you will specifically get with your preferred budget – what will be in the menu, the tableware that will be used, as well as other particulars that are included in their packages. Do they provide the venue decorations, for instance? You can always search for party supplies at partiesonline.com.au and get themed party inspirations online. Last but not the least, insist on a contract or written agreement with the catering company so you can have the specifics of catering services be laid out clearly.

Further Reading:

Party Essentials – How to Pull Off a Great Party

Things to Consider when Organizing Private Functions — March 19, 2015

Things to Consider when Organizing Private Functions

Photo credit: Elliott Brown via Flickr
Photo credit: Elliott Brown via Flickr

Planning a private function need not be too stressful if you’ve got the right help from the right people. We’re not only talking about event planners here — you can do all the planning yourself. When it comes to the food, however, this is where function catering services may come handy. While serving for a small group may seem simple enough, it’s certainly a lot different if the event you’re planning involves a large group of attendees. Apart from ensuring that your guests are well-entertained and given enough attention, it’s also necessary to keep them well-fed. Remember, a party won’t be complete without any food, so be sure to give your guests something to satisfy their cravings while enjoying the event they’re attending at the same time.

Decide on a schedule.

The success of your event can depend greatly on the particular time you decide to hold it. Is it more appropriate as a morning function or an evening one? Should you pick a weekend or a regular weekday? If you’re expecting for a lot of people, make sure to check out holidays or special events that may take place around the time you picked for your function.

Choose your venue.

Apart from the schedule itself, make sure to decide on the venue as early as possible, especially if you’ll be required to make reservations. The location can also depend on the particular nature and scope of your event, as well as the guests you’re expecting to attend. Whether you decide for an outdoor or an indoor venue, remember that both may have several advantages and disadvantages. Make it a point to compare the pros and cons and the various things that need to be taken into account when choosing an ideal site.

Plan entertainment and party theme.

The entertainment and the general setup for the function can depend on several factors that may include the age and type of attendees, the location where the party is held, the nature and specific goals for the event, as well as the general expectations of the attendees. Planning the right ambiance is crucial to the enjoyment of your guests and the overall success of the event. Search for cheap party supplies that are fun and can spark interactions and conversations among guests. Theme, on the other hand, is essential for you to plan your event accordingly. Having a party concept can help you better plan party decors, entertainment, and food that will be appropriate for the type of event you’re holding.

Photo credit: The Sun and Doves via Flickr
Photo credit: The Sun and Doves via Flickr

Plan the menu.

No matter how beautiful the decors are or how lively the entertainment is, a party won’t be complete without serving any food. Quality food service and presentation must go hand-in-hand with the concept you’ve decided for your function. Plan your menu accordingly according to the age and type of attendees, the event time and party concept, as well as the general food preferences expected from the different groups of visitors attending. And last but not the last, plan your menu in such a way that you’ll have a few offerings that may be suited to everyone’s palate.

Basic Tips when Planning An Engagement Proposal — March 10, 2015

Basic Tips when Planning An Engagement Proposal

Photo credit: Dave Chiu via Flickr
Photo credit: Dave Chiu via Flickr

Apart from the wedding itself, marriage proposal is something that needs careful consideration and planning. Always remember that this should be an unforgettable experience, something that you can share to your friends and even retell to your younger loved ones in the years to come by. The proposal need not be out of this world to be worth telling and remembering, though. Every woman has varied tastes, so make sure to plan an engagement proposal that will specifically match her personality. Some would feel comfortable sharing the moment with loved ones or even strangers, while other women would vote for a private moment instead. Whatever the type of proposal you’re planning, make sure it’s something worth remembering without causing your lady love any discomfort or embarrassment from the experience.

Ask for the parents’ permission.

Okay, so this may seem cliché and passé, but this is a tip worth following. After all, this gives the parents the idea that you are really sincere and your intentions for the daughter are clear. This does not mean you’re giving the parents the higher authority, though: remember that you are not after their permission to marry their daughter per se, but after their blessing for bringing your union to a more serious level. This is also a good way of earning the respect of the parents; they can even share some tips and info about their daughter that you don’t know yet.

Choose a location.

When it comes to choosing the perfect spot for your proposal, you don’t have to spend money on luxurious travels and expensive romantic spots right away (though you can perfectly do so if you have the budget). Even the simplest of things, say doing the proposal at the place where you first met, can be romantic enough. This can also go to show how much you value the littlest details of your relationship. You can even recreate the moment when you first got introduced or became a couple, reliving the memory and giving it a new and unforgettable romantic twist.

Want to bring your special someone to the beach but can’t because of tight budget? Be creative and go for a Hawaiian party theme; you can check out sites like Party Supplies Online for some ideas on Hawaiian/luau items.

Photo credit: deanna.f via Flickr
Photo credit: deanna.f via Flickr

Organize the plan.

Always remember that no matter how romantic the tips you can find online, it’s still up to you how you want to proceed on your engagement proposal. After all, it’s you who knows what your special someone likes best. If she’s of the sporty kind, a trek to the mountains can be good – present the ring on a bended knee once you reached the peak. A simple meal at home or a romantic dinner outdoors can also be considered excellent ideas. Whatever you’re planning for the proposal, always endeavor it to be a surprise and make it something that suits your loved one’s tastes and personality.

Capture the moment.

Whether you’re in a hotel, restaurant, or on top of the mountains, make sure to capture the moment so you can fondly look back at the memories even after so many years. You can also consider having the moment photographed professionally (make sure that the photographer is discreet enough) or ask someone that your loved one feels comfortable with. This is so the pictures will be more of candid moments between the two of you.

Good luck! 🙂

Organizing Your Kid’s Birthday Event — March 4, 2015

Organizing Your Kid’s Birthday Event

Photo credit: Nicole Hanusek via Flickr
Photo credit: Nicole Hanusek via Flickr

When it comes to planning any event, planning ahead gives you plenty of time to accommodate changes, make adjustment, and prepare all the necessary details. If you are fond of organizing parties and you would like to oversee all the prep details for your kid’s event, getting the help of your family and friends and designating simple individual responsibilities to them is a practical idea. As for the kitchen utensils and dining ware, you can always think of getting a few catering equipment to use for the event. Here are some tips to help you get started on the planning phase.

Know your child’s preferences.

Always remember that it is your kid’s party, so it’s just practical to plan according to his interests and preferences. You might be surprised when you hear some creative suggestions and fun party ideas that you can get from the youngest of kids — use the things that interest your child when organizing details for the special day. While they can’t totally decide on the theme and all the party details by themselves, don’t forget to incorporate their help and value some of their ideas when planning the party for them.

Photo credit: Despoina via Flickr
Photo credit: Despoina via Flickr

Invite a reasonable number of guests.

You don’t have to invite all of the kids in your neighborhood, especially if you’re quite tight on budget. What you can do is to consider the closest friends of your kid — from his school, the children he plays with in your neighborhood, as well as his closest cousins and other young relatives. Decide on the number of guests at the beginning of the planning phase since this will help you determine the budget accordingly.

Plan games and activities.

Games and activities will keep the kids busy and lively during the party. Of course, the activities should first be appropriate to your kid’s age (as well as that of the visitors who will attend). The internet is an excellent source of party games and activities, depending on the children’s age, the party theme, as well as your kid’s particular interests. You can also hire some entertainers, but these should also be suitable to your kid’s age and likes. Clowns and magicians may be entertaining for some, but some kids may have the opposite reaction to such party entertainers.

Plan the menu accordingly.

The rule of thumb when planning the menu is to provide a variety of choices so that there will be food suitable for everyone’s tastes. Consider the party attendees, their specific background, as well as age. Finger food and no-mess stuff are best for kids since they always like to roam around and be active. Apart from the visitors themselves, the types of food you can prepare will also depend on the place and time for the party. As for the food presentation, even though kids don’t exactly appreciate elaborate presentations on food, still make an effort in presenting the food in a way that will make them look appetizing and interesting. You can always pick some catering equipment to use for the party you’re organizing. Apart from the kids’ preferences, you can also plan the menu and food presentation according to the theme decided for the event. And of course, plan the menu and other party details while sticking to the budget you can afford.

To DIY or buy party supplies?

You can always go and practice your resourcefulness and mix your simple creations with those party supplies Brisbane that you can buy from budget-friendly online shops like partiesonline.com.au. Party decors are something that you’d probably spend some money on, but remember to be creative so you can maximize your budget when organizing your kiddie parties.