Monday, May 4, 2009

What makes a great party?

What makes a great party? Is it the fabulous food or the divine décor? Is it the hottest venue or the rock star band? All are key components of throwing a bodacious bash…but in and of themselves, they can’t make or break you. Foul food won’t ruin the night, but it may make your guests flag the valet and head for the nearest drive-thru faster than you had hoped. And come to think of it, a bad band is BAD.

But, what ultimately makes a party is creating a GUEST EXPERIENCE. Your guests feel like they were a part of something. They belonged and who doesn’t want to belong? This starts with the invitation. That simple piece of paper (or not-so-simple, come on, this is GMRT we are talking about, after all!), hand delivered to their home, with THEIR name printed on it begins the experience. It sets the tone.

From there, you take that theme and you run it through, from beginning to end. Go crazy and don’t miss a beat. This does not suggest you hit your friends and family over the head with the theme, however. That can happen and I suggest avoidance of that tactic. (No grass skirts and coconut bras at the door, please). But rather, a theme can be as simple as a color, a monogram or logo, an object or as out-there as “Mardi Gras” or a “Diner de Tetes” (talk about options!). The décor transports you, the food invokes a memory or nostalgia, the lighting tells a story (like what time of day YOU want it to be versus what time it actually is) and the entertainment engages you. Satisfy all their senses: let them hear your theme through a live performer. Let them taste your theme through flavors of where you want them to be. Let them smell your theme through flowers or live plants or aromas of where this theme originated (Mardi Gras = Bayou, Diner de Tetes = The streets of France). Let them touch and see your décor through layered and textured fabrics or using the space above and drawing their eye up. If your theme is as simple as a color (love!) than use that color in every shade and hue it comes in. There ARE gray flowers, just partner with someone ( who will be creative and find them for you. Transport your guests.

As they walk out the door at the end of the evening…they may not be able to specifically put their finger on WHAT made it the party of the year, but they will know that it was. Why? Because it was cohesive, thematic and made them feel a part of something. They belonged. What a gift you gave your guest.


lindsay piram
event planner & producer

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