Remember parties? From what I recall, they were fun events in somebody’s house or garden which we used to do regularly before 2020…

Well for many of us parties are back this year, and I bet there will be more than a few of us that are going to party like it’s 2019 or even 1999, this summer.

But do you remember how to plan and organise a fab do? Between organising social events and planning and booking holidays, I’m finding it hard to remember how it all works – it seems like ages since I’ve had to do this stuff. So I’ve done some research and this is what I’ve come up with.

If you have an event to organise this summer, here are some tips to make it go with a bang.

Pick a theme

I’m going to use a Parisian-themed party as an example throughout this blog. I know we did fancy dress Zoom parties in lockdown, but I’m really looking forward to getting my glad rags on and creating a different atmosphere to meet my friends in for real. I love having a theme because then people make more of an effort to get in the swing. French-style fancy dress could include famous French characters: Napoleon Bonaparte, Coco Chanel, Joan of Arc, and Edith Piaf, to name but a few.

If you can take your theme beyond the dress code and inspire the whole evening with it, so much better.

Think of the catering

When I go to a party, food and drink is a very important art of things for me. You need to decide if you are going to cater yourself or if you are going to buy in the food and drinks (and maybe rent the glasses depending on how many you have got coming)

For my Parisian evening I would probably choose French Champagne or a sparkling wine – Let your guests know that this is a special night and celebrate with some bubbly!

I absolutely adore French food, so I would probably serve buffet style foods including fruit, cheese, pate, croissants, and French style breads – A delicious spread of traditional fruits, cheeses and pate, together with French pastries and breads will contribute to the Parisian atmosphere especially if the pastries and breads are served hot straight from the oven.

Another option would be to cook up a classic French meal and serve it with your favourite French red or white wine.

Décor and Accessories

You can also take your theme into the look of your party – why not decorate the party room accordingly. For my French theme, I could use red, white and blue bunting, posters of Paris or even paper the walls with French newspaper to create the classic French cafe atmosphere.

  • Add a touch of romance to your party with candles in all the right places.
  • Mood lighting – don’t use ceiling lighting, use table lamps and low-level lights and other lights to create an atmosphere.
  • Handheld paper fans – these small fans are perfect to keep your guests cool and refreshed on a hot Parisian night.
  • Hearts – Print out some hearts or cut out simple ones from cardstock and place them around the room.

What about some Music?

Live music will certainly improve the atmosphere of a party. If you can afford a band then a Gypsy Jazz band would be perfect to create the typical French music style originated by Stephane Grapelli and Django Reinhardt. Still, a Parisian style singer-guitarist is a good option and less expensive, if the budget is a little tight. Alternatively, a DJ playing French-style music is an even more cost-effective way to bring music to the party. UK Live Entertainment has a good selection of bands, singers, musicians and DJs and can help you to choose the perfect music for your party event. 

Hire a Tribute Act that celebrates the music of a famous French artist like Edith Piaf, or Charles Aznavour – Tribute impersonators can add authenticity to your event whilst providing fantastic entertainment and adding a real WOW factor.

Entertainers help to create atmosphere – a French-style magician or a contortionist, a mime artist or a juggler are all options available to hire that will add style, atmosphere and WOW to your party.

Make sure that you mix up the playlist so that there’s music for romance and music for fun and energetic dancing, too. Choose romantic tunes to set the mood for love.

Plan Plan Plan for the Perfect Party

Planning is everything for a themed party, be sure to plan well in advance and have fun sourcing all of the things you will need to create the right decor and atmosphere. There are French food stores in London, Birmingham, Manchester, and Brighton who will be able to direct you, and provide guidance as to what food and drink will be best suited to the type of party you want to throw. The internet is also littered with French recipes and French wine choices and inspiration.

If money is a bit tight then spread the cost by making a list of the food and drink you want and ask your guests to bring an item or two with them, nobody will mind chipping in and they’ll also feel more involved pre-party, too.

Most of all make sure you allow yourself the time to enjoy the preparation, give yourself plenty of time to prepare, make lists, sketch out mood boards and designs, and prepare well.

Finally, when all is ready, relax and enjoy the wonderful party you will have created with the people that you love.

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