Based on feedback from more than 50,000 customers over the last 15 years, Alive Network has compiled a list of the top five tips for planning the perfect party. Interestingly enough, each tip is affordable and easy to achieve, so there's no excuse for putting off that next big celebration. For more wedding entertainment tips and inspiration, check out our 'Ultimate Guide to Wedding Entertainment' here
Choose A Great Venue That's Easy To Access
If you choose a great venue you won't need to spend as much time dressing it up to look good. There are loads of interesting venues out there to suit a wide variety of styles and themes. Have a look at web sites like www.venuefinder.com for venues in your area and visit before you hire.
Remember that if guests are travelling from out of the area, it helps if the venue is easy to find. Consider how easy it is to find parking, and also how much accommodation is available near by.
The easier it is for your guests to attend, the more likely they are to come.
Entertain Your Guests, Book A Live Band
Now we know what you're thinking; Alive Network is a music & entertainment agency, of course they'll say we should book a party band. Remember, these tips are based on previous customer feedback, and lots of it.
Most people are happy to have a party DJ, but anyone who's been to a party with a live band will tell you how much better the night was. We've even had brides tell us that the band ended up being the most crucial part of their whole wedding day, simply because they made the evening so unforgettable.
You need something to really get guests excited and live party bands do exactly that. They're interactive, energetic and fun. Not everyone likes to dance, but with a great live band, performing the best classic and modern wedding party songs, even the most ardent anti-dancers will be rocking out, arm in arm, singing along on the dance floor with guests they only met a few hours ago.
Book a live band and they'll make the party. It's a sound investment and your guests will love you for it.
Drinks On Arrival To Welcome Guests
It's a small touch that really shows you care about welcoming your guests, and it ensures everyone feels positive as soon as they arrive. It's your way to thank people for coming, and it gets people in the mood to party.
In a practical sense, it also helps to alleviate the early queues at the bar, something which is sure to dampen spirits and cause frustration.
Some venues will arrange for a member of staff to personally serve drinks as your guests arrive, or you can choose to have a selection of drinks available on tables near the entrance.
As a side note, when you book your venue, get a confirmation of how many bar staff are included. Make sure you'll get enough bar staff to ensure a fast turn around of drinks at the bar, otherwise guests will spend the whole night there.
It's also worth trying to book a venue where the bar is in the same room as the party, otherwise your dance floor will only ever be half full. If the bar's in another room, people will hang around talking when they go out to get a drink, and the reduced numbers can make the party room feel empty.
Break The Ice With A Magician/Caricaturist
Before the band kicks off (which is always better happening half way into the evening) you can ramp up the atmosphere with mix and mingle party entertainers such as a close-up magician, caricaturist, look-a-like or dancers.
The reason these types of entertainment are so popular is due to the way they break the ice between guests. They create a talking point that draws guests together, getting them interacting and making friends for the evening.
In the case of caricaturists, each guest can take their caricature home, so they double up as creators of impromptu party favours.
Have Fun - Friends & Family Will Follow You!
The number one pearl of wisdom from thousands of previous clients...........
It's your party, so you need to be there with your guests having fun. Whatever happens, don't get stressed out and spend the evening running around organising everybody else. Your guests will follow you, so if you're determined to have a good time and enjoy yourself, everybody else will follow suit.
Don't sweat the small stuff. If things don't go exactly as you expected, try to go with the flow. Parties don't always run to plan, guests can be late, speeches can run over, unforeseen technical issues can happen. The important thing is to remember that a party is usually a celebration, and nothing will kill the atmosphere faster than the host losing it.
Have fun, and your friends and family will follow you.