Monday, January 11, 2010

Party Planning: Making Sure Your Party Flows

Let's talk about something important that can sometimes be overlooked: the length of your party. One of the biggest mistakes many people make is they plan an event that is too long.  Most parties should be no longer than 4-5 hours. The beauty of a fabulously planned event is that you always leave people wanting more. I always say you've thrown a successful event when people just don't want to leave.

Here is the general timeline I'm planning for the Celebrations launch party. The party will be from 6pm-10pm (perfect for an event thrown on a week night, 8pm-midnight for the weekends):

6:00pm-8:00pm: Guests arrive. I call this the "lounge" period. Guests will be arriving, checking out the scene, eating some wonderful food, and mingling with others. I always make sure the entrance is welcoming, with waiters ready to greet everyone with drinks and appetizers.

Music is also very crucial here--I don't want to overwhelm guests with something too high energy at the beginning. It's also important the music is not too loud (We'll discuss more about the importance of music in a later post.)

8:00-8:04pm: I like to greet my guests with a special welcome message by stepping up to the mic. This is a way for me to welcome everyone I may not have had a chance to personally say hello to, and a way to "officially" kick-off the party. When greeting your own guests, be careful not to make your speech longer than 2-4 minutes max.

8:05 pm - 8:35pm: Time for a special guest performance by a surprise entertainer! (No, I'm not telling you who...) This is the moment to get the energy level up and get people in the dancing mood. I don't want my party to turn into a full blown concert, so an abbreviated set of the band's most popular songs is enough to get everyone in a dancing mood.

8:35pm-10:00pm: Dance, dance dance. Being a member of the Studio 54 era, I definitely love to dance and always hire the best DJ in town to get everyone moving at full swing.

After 10:00pm: This is the moment I'll start saying my good-byes and thank all the guests for coming.  It will be the end of a wonderful night...

Tell me, what's your favorite part of a party? Let me know in the comments.


  1. My favorite part is definitely 8:35 - 10pm

  2. My favorite part is the lounge period. I love taking it all in before all the movement starts. But, I love the dancing too...huh, okay, maybe both are my favorite, if that's allowed.

  3. It is very important that my guest are well entertained and that they love the ambiance and the great food.

  4. My favorite part of the party is when the guests dance. The last event we planned last month was at a ballroom and all of the guests were on the dance floor all night. We experience joy by seeing our clients have a great time.

  5. Social hour is the most challenging and the most rewarding part of a party. My priority is to introduce my guest to each other by explaining how important each person is to me. This usually sets a mutual and positive vibe and people seem to relax. Especially people who aren't necessarily social butterflies or whom just need a little helping hand in meeting new people. I want to see my friends and family happy together.

  6. My favourite part would have to be the dancing. Seeing everyone have a good time is the most rewarding.

  7. My favorite part of the party is the lounge period. When you first see the entrance, the decor and the food selection you automatically know what type of party its going to be. You can see old friends and meet new ones, THEN you dance the night away.

  8. My favorite part of the party is seeing the Decor but I love to see the reactions of the wedding party family members when they seem to be relaxed and definitely enjoying the party enought to pull me on the floor.

  9. Wow, wonderful!
    Kim King Smith Events


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