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50 Considerations for Planning Elegant Events

January 13, 2014

 

The planning and organization of an event takes a lot of hard work. If you want to give your guests the experience of attending an elegant event, you need to add a special touch to your occasion. Keep reading to discover 50 of the most important (in no particular order) considerations that you should bear in mind while planning for an elegant event or gathering. 

 

1. Guest List

 

Guests are the lifeblood of successfully planned events. So first thing's first. Decide whom you wish to invite to celebrate your occasion.

 

2. Number of Guests

 

Are you hosting a large event or is it just a private gathering for a few special people? The total number of invited guest will decide how grand your elegant event will be.

 

3. Invitations

 

There are a lot of elegant and creative ways to invite your guests to your function. Make your invitations simple yet elegantly designed to complement the theme of your event. We like letterpress.

 

4. RSVP

 

In order to ascertain the attendance of your guests, make sure you add an RSVP to your invitations. This will help you in organizing your event in a better way if you know which of your guests will not be gracing your event with their presence.

 

5. Parking

 

If you are planning your elegant event in a crowded location, make sure that you make arrangements for a space where guests can park their cars. A valet service is a nice touch.

 

6. Security

 

Security concerns are often associated with high profile events. However, even for a standard elegant event, it is best to plan for a properly secured venue. This way, if an issue does arise, the security can handle it with minimal disruptions to the flow of your event.

 

7. Emergency Planning

 

It is always a good idea to plan in advance for any emergency situations that you might have to face during your organized event. Again, an elegant event is pulled off seamlessly, and mishandling of an emergency could seriously botch that.

 

8. Space Constraint

 

Depending on how you many people you are inviting to your elegant event, you will need to choose a venue accordingly to accommodate all of your guests comfortably. A squished space does not equate elegance, nor does an open space with too few people in it.

 

9. Venue

 

Choose a location that is as elegant as you want your event to be. This not only includes the interior vibe, but also the geographical location. External sights and sounds can distract from your event's dignity. Another tip on this subject is to inspect the washrooms to ensure they are up to par.

 

10. Décor

 

An event cannot project an elegant ambiance without appropriate decorations that suit the occasion. That does not mean you have to go overboard on decorations from an expense or elaborate point of view, but you should put some thought into it. If your event space is nice enough, just a few simple fresh flowers might be the touch you're seeking.

 

11. Theme

 

As mentioned above, decorations can enhance the elegance and impact of an event. And themed décor can make this even better by coordinating the theme and highlighting it throughout the event. Some ideas for an elegant theme party include Great Gatsby, a masquerade ball, and a mock prom night. 

 

12. Color Scheme

 

With décor and theme, you also need to play around with the color scheme of your event. There are some colors that can provide a more elegant touch to the overall event, as compared to others.

 

13. Seating Arrangements

 

Organization of seating is a big part of planning elegant events. You need to consider how you wish to arrange your seating and where you want each guest to be seated. It is almost always recommended to create a seating chart vs. not for elegant events. This is because the free-for-all can leave the wrong people sitting with each other and sometimes couples or families having to split up.

 

14. Place Cards

 

Once you've outlined your seating arrangements, you'll want to come up with an elegegant design for your place cards. In order to assure that your guests are seated in the right positions without any confusions, leave place cards on every table.

 

15. Table Center Pieces

 

Elegance demands something different and set apart from general trends. Hence, consider adding a floral or fancy center piece to your table arrangements to give it additional style.

 

16. Event Logistics

 

The season, day of the week and time of day greatly affect the logistics of your event and your overall preparation should reflect this.

 

17. Seasonal Constraints

 

Depending on the season in which you are conducting your event, you will have to plan your menu and décor accordingly. If your event is in the heat of summer, be sure to discuss the temperature with the event staff, for example. 

 

18. Outdoor or Indoor Venue

 

Your chosen time duration and season will affect your choice of hosting an indoor or an outdoor event. Your fixed theme will also play a part in this decision. Be sure to consider which part of the country you're in and what the typical weather patterns are for that time of year. An unforeseen weather event can take an event from elegant to nightmare in minutes. 

 

19. Buffet or Plated Setup

 

Will you hold a classic event with buffet styled menu or will you add that extra touch of elegance by serving food per person at the tables? Our preference for grand events on the higher end of the scale is always the plated meal, but the catering company can help you make that decision.

 

20. Silverware

 

Elegant dinners require proper placement of silverware with each seating arrangement. Make sure you have procured and placed the correct silverware for each of your guests. Nothing takes your event from chic to bleek like the use of disposable diningware and improper placement.

 

21. Appetizers

 

The beginning of every elegant dinner, appetizers are a must if you wish to serve a three course elegant meal. We prefer butler-passed bites for the most exquisite events. 

 

22. Main Course

 

Most elegantly served meals have one or more dishes that are served as the main course of the event. Give your guests choices, and quite frankly they should be on the higher end of the scale as far as price is concerned. 

 

23. Desserts

 

Celebrate and end your elegant event with something sweet. Serve up a lavish dessert course. The dessert should always not only taste delicious (tested by your staff), but look divine as well.

 

24. Entertainment

 

Whether it’s a live band or soft music playing in the background, your guests are going to require some kind of entertainment to liven up your elegant event. For a fancy touch, we like to recommend a duet of string instruments. 

 

25. Dress Code

 

You can set up a specific dress code for your planned event. Tuxedos and evening gowns can provide you with the elegance you wish to create within your event. The common terminology here is "black tie optional" or "black tie affair". That type of suggestion can also help the ladies determine what type of apparel is expected. 

 

26. Budget

 

Planning an event often requires a large amount of monetary expenditure. In order to plan effectively, you need to calculate and manage your budget to ensure that you do not spend more than your estimated limits on a single event.

 

27. Sponsors

 

Working with a limited budget? Consider hiring sponsors to host your event. This is sometimes blown out of proportion, but can be done with subtlety and dignity if you play you cards right.

 

28. Caterers

 

In order to provide your guests with top quality of food, you need to hire caterers for your elegantly planned menu. Be sure to do your due dilligence here, as good or bad food is almost always what people remember most about an event. It's on the top of the list, anyway.

 

29. Disability Access

 

If any of your guests are disabled, make sure that you provide them with a convenient means of entering the event venue. If you're not certain of this fact, definitely have handicap accessible entrances, seating options and bathroom spaces. 

 

30. Environmental Concerns

 

If you are environmentally conscious, make proper arrangements for disposal of all the trash that accumulates after the event and use environment friendly products for your elegant event.

 

31. Table Napkins

 

Elegantly arranged tables usually have napkins placed on each seat. It is up to you to go with traditional trends or to find innovative and elegant ways to place your table linens. In either case, for high end events we always recommend cloth napkins over disposable ones.

 

32. Floral Arrangements

 

Whether you place them around your venue or on each table as a centre piece, flowers add softness, luxury and elegance to weddings and other divine events.

 

33. Serving Staff

 

Hire efficient staff to serve your guests at the elegant event and if you are using a themed style for your party, coordinate the uniforms of the staff accordingly. Much like the food, the manners and actions of the staff is often what is remembered most.

 

34. Valet Service

 

If the venue of your event is within a crowded and busy locality, consider hiring a valet service to facilitate your guests. Even if it isn't at such a location, guests will often expect and take advantage of valet service at high end events. 

 

35. Bar

 

Adding a bar to your event planning can make your occasion seem more high profile and elegant. We always recommend an open bar and at the very least wine and beer service complimentary. 

 

36. Beverages

 

In most elegant events, beverages are served to the guests as they are seated on the table. You can also add this same service to your event.

 

37. Stage

 

Are you hosting an event that requires a central stage for speeches? Set up a stage according to the requirements of your event.

 

38. Audio Visual Setup

 

If you are planning to make speeches or host a performance, you will need to provide audio visual setup to your event.

 

39. Lighting

 

Ambiance speaks volumes and the best way to emphasize and affect it, is to toggle the lighting effects of the room. This is not something to take lightly, and we recommend scouting the venue for lighting issues well in advance.

 

40. Welcoming Party

 

If you wish to receive your guests in style, organize a welcoming party that can stand at the entrance of your venue to welcome your honored guests. This is especially important for weddings and corporate events. 

 

41. Mementos

 

Do you want to give your guests something special that will always remind them of your event? Give small gifts or mementos to your guests.

 

42. Arrangements for Gift Table

 

It is a custom to bring gifts when attending weddings and other elegant functions. Organize your table accordingly to leave one specific table solely for the placement of the gifts received by you, as the host of the event.

 

43. Tables

 

There are a wide variety of table designs available for decorating an elegant event. Choose the one that suits you best. 

 

44. Table Linens

 

Decide if you wish to cover your table with a cloth or if you wish to keep it plain and simple. This will greatly depend on the venue and type of table and chairs you have arranged. 

 

45. Chairs

 

As with tables, chairs also come in an array of designs and you can choose to coordinate your style with your tables or try something different altogether.

 

46. Chair Covers

 

Coordinate your chair covers with your theme and color scheme. Elegantly tied bow styles or simple covers, which do you prefer? The choice is yours.

 

47. Arrangements for Children

 

You can make special entertainment or food arrangements for the children included in your guests’ list. We often find that it works well to have a kids' table, but not for children under the age of around four or five. 

 

48. Guests of Honor

 

If you wish to make the guests of honor feel special, don’t forget to make special seating arrangements for them. At a wedding, this would be the bridal party table, with the guest tables often facing or centered around the main table.

 

49. Out of Town Guests

 

If you are hosting a large gathering where out of town guests are invited, provisions should be made to make their stay comfortable. Welcome baskets are always a nice touch.

 

50. Photographer

 

Last but not the least, if you want to capture your memories and keep them with you forever, hire a photographer for your elegant event.

 

Elegant events, such as, weddings, require a lot of work. But the end result makes them memorable and special, not only for the guests but for the hosts as well. Paying due attention to the considerations mentioned above will help you in planning a memorable and successful event to celebrate your special occasion in the best way possible.

 

Photo by Ben Chun

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