hintsandthings.co.uk »Spare Room

Party planning – guidance on how to plan a wedding, hen or stag, anniversary or engagement party.

your Engagement, Wedding or Anniversary Party!

Barry Hopkins


Well, firstly, CONGRATULATIONS!!

Engagements & Anniversaries

You’re on the way to Wedded bliss, or
are celebrating having done the hard work of getting married, so what
better reason to celebrate your nuptials than throwing a Party for all
your closest friends and family!

Firstly, decide on who to invite so
that you can organise entertainments that are appropriate; if you are
inviting children do ensure that there are suitable facilities to keep
them entertained. A circus act such as a clown or a juggler would keep
them amused! Select your choice of entertainment for the adults; such as
a live band, disco or karaoke.

Remember to send invites out as soon as
possible to ensure that more guests are able to book your do into their
diaries. Book a local hall, function room or restaurant and a caterer
and bar.

For your Engagement party, there is no
need to go wild with a massive do, as you will need to be saving up for
your Wedding, and don’t forget your Stag or Hen party too. Your
Anniversaries should be celebrated as often as possible in our eyes!

Stag & Hen

This is where the fun
is! Your Stag or Hen party can be as wild, or indeed as tame, as you

There are a massive range of activities available, from Bungee
Jumping, Paint-balling and Driving Adventures through to relaxing
Pamper Days.

Don’t be alarmed by the vast array of 18+ gifts that
you will undoubtedly receive from friends, and do join in the fun by
wearing L-plates, personalised printed T-shirts or giant chicken
outfits so that everyone knows who you all are!

This party, whether
it be an evening out in your local town or a weekend in a European
Capital, is your chance to let your hair down and do what you really
want to do.

If you are bewildered by the choices available, contact
a Party Organiser who can help you narrow down your options to find
something suitable.

champagne bottle with cork popping 


This should be your dream day
to be fondly remembered for the rest of your life, so ensure that you
don’t settle for second best.

Select a venue (if you wish to have a
civil ceremony and reception in the same place, check that the venue is
Licensed for Civil Ceremonies).

For your reception party, the choice is
endless. It’s up to you whether you choose to celebrate your Wedding on
a Riverboat cruise with 50 handpicked companions or hire out the worlds
biggest Hotel and invite everyone you have ever met.

Marquees are used
more and more frequently; long gone are the days of ratty old smelly tents
used by the Scouts, options now include a varied assortment of colours and
styles, lighting, with optional furniture, stages and dance-floors.

Don’t forget portable toilets!

classic carIf your Ceremony and
Reception are in different venues, you will need to decide on
transport between the two for yourselves and your guests.

You may
wish to use the same vehicle that took you to your ceremony, for
example a horse & carriage, vintage car or limousine. You may
also wish to consider hiring taxi’s, a mini bus or a coach to
ferry your bridesmaids, close family members and elderly or disabled

Capture the day
professionally; good photographs and videos may seem expensive but are
something that you really will treasure for years to come. And just in
case, get Insurance. This doesn’t cover you if your spouse fails to
show, but can save the day if one of your suppliers goes bust in the run
up to your big day…

The theme of your Wedding is
initially shown to your guests by your choice of invites and other

You should ensure that your venue is suitably decorated to
continue your theme, and there is a plethora of ways in which to do this.
From magnificent Balloon Arches and Ice Sculptures to Floral Decorations
and Favours, there are many many ways of decorating your venue to your
taste. Don’t forget that there are Venue Decorators who can book
everything for you, giving you one less thing to worry about!

The food you choose to
provide will also add to the atmosphere of your Reception; do you wish to
have a formal A La Carte sit down meal, or a more relaxed Buffet style
supper, or indeed both – one for daytime and one for the evening?

consider whether you need to hire additional linens, crockery, cutlery or

You will need to ensure that there are drinks available for
everyone; alcoholic beverages can be supplied by a Mobile Bar if your
venue doesn’t provide one. Don’t forget soft drinks for children and
designated drivers; you could even provide a Mobile Juice Bar to really
impress the kids!

When choosing your Wedding Cake you will need to decide
whether you wish to serve it as a dessert. There are many options
available as well as the traditional fruit cake, including chocolate
cakes, croquembouches (traditional French profiterole towers) and
chocolate fountains.

Continue your
theme by your choice of Entertainment.

Organise a Crèche for the
little ones so that Mums and Dads can enjoy your big day too.

you’re eating consider having some background music – a soloist,
or duet such as harpists or pipers can create a beautiful ambience
without being too intrusive.

Wandering Entertainers are a brilliant
way of keeping guests entertained during a lull, for example between
the day and evening entertainment, whilst the bride and groom get
changed or during the meal.

Choose from many many options including
caricaturists, hypnotists, mind readers, look-a-likes, magicians,
stilt-walkers, fire-eaters, or even tarot or psychic readers.

In the
evening, remember that you will be pretty busy chatting to guests,
but don’t let that take over. Make sure that some time is spent
with your new spouse, not just the first dance! Choose a suitable
entertainment such a Country & Western or Celilidh Band to get
guests dancing. Remember that if you are having live performers,
they will require a rest from singing or playing so you may need a
Disco to play all your favourite classic records or another form of
entertainment to fill in the interim periods. Jazz or Blues bands
are frequently booked to add to atmosphere, and Tribute or Original
Bands are brilliant for die-hard music fans.

man playing saxophone

Why not draw the evening to
an end with an impressive firework or laser display?

Your Wedding Night suite; if
your Reception is at a Hotel, do ask to see if you can book the Bridal
Suite and see if they will allow you to book rooms for your guests. You
may wish to add Guest Accommodation details, such as local hotels and
B&B’s to your Wedding Invitations. If you are spending your Wedding
Night away from your reception, you will need to have booked suitable
transport, and have contact details of local taxi firms available for your

Consider booking a
Toastmaster. As well as adding some glamour to your day, your Toastmaster
is also an invaluable source of Wedding Etiquette will help with speech
writing and will make the day run smoothly.

If it all looks too daunting,
book a Wedding Planner! These guys are brilliant and most will do as
little or as much as you require.