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How To Throw The Perfect Valentine’s Day Singles Party

For starters, don’t call it a singles party because your guests may not feel comfortable announcing to the whole world that they are unattached and ready to mingle. Just bill it as a regular party where only your unattached friends happen to avoid (because surely, the couples have their own things to do). The next thing you need to determine is your purpose for throwing this party. Are you a happily married gal who just wants to see your single friends mingle with each other and maybe spark a romance? Are you unattached, too, and looking for someone to start a romantic relationship with?

If you think throwing a bash is the answer to end your single-blessedness, then who’s stopping you from hosting a big bash? Oh, the work involved in getting everyone in your place and having the time of their lives? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Make a Favorite Drink in Large Quantities

This is not a Super Bowl party, which means you cannot serve bottles of beers. More than anything else, you want this to be a bit more cultured. No rowdy sports talk or anything like that at all. You then need a signature cocktail drink, one that everyone will love to drink and be merry with. You can check out some of the cocktail recipes online and make one before the party to determine what you want. Make sure to have enough supplies to produce this drink in large quantities so no one will be left wanting.

Don’t Decorate Yourself with Hearts and Red Stuff

Stay away from Valentine’s Day décor. Though it is tempting to fill your space with heart-shaped balloons and red tablecloth with red kiss marks as design, try not to be too cliché. Instead, make your space look and feel happier with brightly-colored décor in the hues of turquoise, tangerine, lime green, yellow, etc. Trust us, this will put people in the mood.

Do the Decorations Yourself

There’s no need to spend on a stylist to decorate your place. There are many places both online and offline where you can get party supplies. Simply hang decors or paste them up on your walls so your apartment will look and feel festive.

Serve the Aphrodisiacs

The romance-inducing ingredients you must have on the table are chocolates, figs, pears, dates, apples, honey, cream, oysters, lobsters, wild mushrooms, and even tortellini. Throw a combination of these and you should all be heading to a romantic night.

Potluck Can Be a Conversation Starter

What would fuel strangers to talk to each other? Food! It’s honestly the great equalizer. Ask people to bring their own dishes to the party so everyone can talk about how good the dessert is or how the appetizers just make them yearn for more.

Eliminate Lounging

Remove loungers and chairs from your space that will encourage people to sit and not mingle. Let them stand on their feet. The longer they stand, the more they need to start a conversation to forget about the pain shooting up their legs. People tend to converse more when they are standing. Also, do not even attempt to open the TV.

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Delegating Tasks When Planning A Party

It’s the month of parties, y’all! That means you’re either hosting a party, being delegated to a task for a party, or attending as a guest (the best one). But hey, there’s really no need to be afraid of throwing Christmas party bashes because your friends and family can help you to a successful hosting of parties. That’s right! Treat this holiday season as an excuse to spend more time with your close friends and family (not that we need an excuse for that but you get the drift). Also, this is a special season where we can bond over gifts, food, and party planning.

But hosting a party means being the leader of the pack, being the one to delegate the tasks to your friends and relatives. How do you do that without offending some sensibilities and making sure they are equipped to handle the tasks handed to them? How can you make sure that everything will flow smoothly without sounding like a bossy boss?

Ask them if they are willing to help

Don’t assume that everyone is willing to help you plan the party. Some just want to attend it and not be part of the planning process. Always ask your friends and family if they want to lend a hand in planning the party and executing it to perfection. Don’t feel bad if some of them don’t have the time or the inclination to help. In any relationship, whether familial, romantic or platonic, honesty will go a long way.

Know their strengths and weaknesses

Once you know who are those willing to help, get to know their strengths and their weaknesses. Are they good with accounting and finances? Are they good in haggling with suppliers? Are they good with crafts and other paper materials? How about a friend who’s into arranging flowers? Or someone who’s into calligraphy? Put their hobbies and skills into good use by delegating the tasks that they are skillful in. You may also ask them to take on the tasks that they feel they’ll do great. Allow them that flexibility and freedom.

Open the communication lines

Once the planning has taken place, make sure that all communication lines are open. Whether it’s through calls or text messages or online chat, always be available for questions and suggestions. Learn to listen to your friends and families regarding the tasks assigned to them. Remember, this isn’t a formal and paid party where you have to be strict with deadlines and such. Treat the planning and executing stages as moments that can bond you better.

Be open to criticisms

If someone had the courage to tell you that there’s something off with what you’re planning, listen with an open heart. These are your friends and family. They want nothing but to have fun during the party, too, and every suggestion matters. Don’t be such a boss because this is an activity that should bring your loved ones together. It shouldn’t be something stressful or awkward.

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Should You Host A Christmas Party In Your Office?


It’s that season again… the wind is chilly and the Christmas trees are all up. Businesses all around the world are trying to capitalize from this season. But there’s another question business owners need to be considering: should we hold a Christmas party for the employees?

For many, parties are a waste of time and resources. The money we pour into parties can go somewhere else, preferably into our pockets or into more investments. There’s nothing like a Christmas party for employees to set you back a few hundreds of dollars. Even thousands, in some estimates. And yet, offices everywhere are planning, executing, and looking forward to the idea of a grand or even simple celebration with co-workers and friends.

Strengthening Interpersonal Relationships

There’s one reason why you should definitely invest in throwing a party for your workers: parties build camaraderie and friendships. Don’t you want to be friends with your workers? Or at least, don’t want your employees to stop bickering and instead be friends with each other? Not tolerant of each other, but actual friends who want the best for the team and ergo, the company.

While we do team building activities all-year-round and we pay for seminars and conferences to build the rapport of the whole team, there’s nothing like Christmas gift giving, dancing, singing, eating, and general merriment to create a bond that will last beyond the walls of your office space.

Even the preparation for the party gives everyone an excuse to talk to each other and mend ties that might have been broken over the year because of work-related stress and issues. Can you imagine what one whole year of working can do to us physically, mentally, and emotionally? Most of us give in to the pressure of handling our personal and professional lives and at some point, we’ll probably snap at an innocent co-worker who simply wants to get things done. Of course, this creates office tension, one that even bosses are sometimes not allowed to interfere into.

Christmas parties are a great chance to mend fences and to reevaluate our relationships with our co-workers. We know that the pressure of the job is the only thing that makes us grumpy and we’re not actually horrible people but still, it would be nice to have a kind of end-of-the-year party where we can relax and bridge the gap brought about by office-related tensions.

So if you own a business, whether large or small, Christmas is a good place to start building a relationship with your new hires, mending fences that have been broken because of work-related problems, and strengthening the camaraderie of the whole team.

Is It Worth It?

Yes, maybe the current economy and the slow return of investment are reasons not to spend a dime on a single party where your workers are going to be too drunk to be functional the next day. Maybe it’s not exactly wise to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on food, music, and other forms of entertainment. But have you read studies on employee behavior? Employees are more productive when they are happy in their workplaces and they are happy in their workplaces when their bosses respect them and give them confidence.

For many, parties are a waste of time and resources. The money we pour into parties can go somewhere else, preferably into our pockets or into more investments. There’s nothing like a Christmas party for employees to set you back a few hundreds of dollars. Even thousands, in some estimates. And yet, offices everywhere are planning, executing, and looking forward to the idea of a grand or even simple celebration with co-workers and friends.

There’s one reason why you should definitely invest in throwing a party for your workers: parties build camaraderie and friendships. Don’t you want to be friends with your workers? Or at least, don’t want your employees to stop bickering and instead be friends with each other? Not tolerant of each other, but actual friends who want the best for the team and ergo, the company.

While we do team building activities all-year-round and we pay for seminars and conferences to build the rapport of the whole team, there’s nothing like Christmas gift giving, dancing, singing, eating, and general merriment to create a bond that will last beyond the walls of your office space.

Even the preparation for the party gives everyone an excuse to talk to each other and mend ties that might have been broken over the year because of work-related stress and issues. Can you imagine what one whole year of working can do to us physically, mentally, and emotionally? Most of us give in to the pressure of handling our personal and professional lives and at some point, we’ll probably snap at an innocent co-worker who simply wants to get things done. Of course, this creates office tension, one that even bosses are sometimes not allowed to interfere into.

Christmas parties are a great chance to mend fences and to reevaluate our relationships with our co-workers. We know that the pressure of the job is the only thing that makes us grumpy and we’re not actually horrible people but still, it would be nice to have a kind of end-of-the-year party where we can relax and bridge the gap brought about by office-related tensions.

So if you own a business, whether large or small, Christmas is a good place to start building a relationship with your new hires, mending fences that have been broken because of work-related problems, and strengthening the camaraderie of the whole team.

Yes, maybe the current economy and the slow return of investment are reasons not to spend a dime on a single party where your workers are going to be too drunk to be functional the next day. Maybe it’s not exactly wise to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on food, music, and other forms of entertainment. But have you read studies on employee behavior? Employees are more productive when they are happy in their workplaces and they are happy in their workplaces when their bosses respect them and give them confidence.

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How To Plan A Successful Surprise Party

Is someone in your life deserving of a surprise party? Does he or she like to be surprised? The best surprise parties start off as being ultra-sneaky and involve only a handful of people at the beginning stages. It should be a total secret, hello? If you are planning a surprise party for your special someone, take this guide to heart and follow it for a successful planning.

Be Sure Your Guest of Honor Welcomes a Surprise Party

There may be two reasons why a person does not want a surprise party: one, he/she likes being prepared and two, he/she doesn’t like thinking you have forgotten his/her birthday. You can address both by telling him/her a story where someone was unprepared and dressed wrong for a surprise party (so, maybe there could be a little hint there) and greeting him/her in advance before the actual day.

Choose a Date and Place

When it comes to picking a date, choose a date that will fall before the occasion because your guest of honor might have something else planned for his/her actual birthday or anniversary, etc. You also need to consider the availability of your other invitees. Notify them secretly in advance, so you are sure they can come to the party. As for the place, pick a restaurant or a bar that your guest of honor frequents. If you will tell him/her that you are going to the nicest place in town, he/she will get instantly suspicious.

Invite the Guests

Before inviting the guests, you have to decide if it’s going to be a small or a big party. If it’s a small party, you need less money for the food and drinks and the secret won’t spill easily. However, some people might get offended that they are not invited and a small surprise party is less impressive than a large one. If it’s going to be a big surprise party, word might get out and it might spoil the surprise. But with enough careful planning, the guest of honor will be floored by seeing everyone he/she loves in one room.

Tell People Individually

The hardest part about planning a surprise party is keeping it from the guest of honor. It’s also difficult to keep people you don’t want out of the party, to stop people from making plans with the guest of honor, and to not offend those who are not invited. To avoid these issues, tell people individually either face-to-face or via phone or text. Make sure they understand the concept behind the surprise party and emphasize the importance of keeping the information to themselves. If they have questions, tell them to ask you about them.

Make Plans with the Guest of Honor

To make sure that your guest of honor is available on that day, make plans with them ahead of time. Of course, you don’t have to tell them there’s a party for them. That will ruin the surprise, duh! You can, however, make other plans like take them out to dinner and movie or even plan to go shopping together. To preserve the element of surprise and to make sure nothing will ruin the surprise, tell other people (even those who are not invited to the party) not to make other plans with your guest of honor (because you’re doing something special for him/her on that day).

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How To Choose A Live Band For A Wedding Party

So, you have come to decide that a live band is what you want for your wedding. This is the source of entertainment you think would encourage guests to fire up the dance floor. You want a live performance of the special songs that celebrate your love as a couple. You have eyed a number of bands that perform in your area, but are they good enough? Will you regret hiring them? Would they make an impact on your party? Should you just choose a DJ?

Having second thoughts about hiring a band to perform at your wedding is normal. You want only the best for your wedding and for your guests. You want to lose yourself in this special moment and not have to worry about the quality of music being aired. Yet, as a bride or a groom, you cannot help but worry whether you are making the right choice.

1. Watch their performances on YouTube

YouTube, as you know, is a treasure trove of all things videos—may that be music, commercials, movie scenes, trailers, etc. This is where you can find virtually everything you need to watch. If your band is even half as good as they claim to be, their videos would be on YouTube—either uploaded by them or by fans who have come to watch them play. Watch plenty of their videos and see if they have that style and that bravado that you are looking for in your band.

2. Look at what past clients are saying.

These videos would have comments. See what their past clients are saying about their experiences with the band. If the band has its own Facebook page, which it should, past customers would gather there to give them a rating or to provide a written review of them. Learn to distinguish between real reviews and ones that were written either out of spite or by someone the band requested to do so. Real reviews would include a timeline of how events transpired. They would even have a specific song that they would glow about.

3. Watch them perform live

Check out their website or their Facebook page. Where are they performing in the next couple of weeks? Can you go check them out during one of these events? See that the event is open for public (you don’t want to gatecrash a private event, of course) and check out how this band performs live. Some bands do not sound nearly as good live as they do on videos. Make sure you won’t fall into the trap.

4. Have them sing your “anthem”.

 

Surely, you have a theme song with your partner; a song that reminds you of the love that you share. When you watch the band perform, maybe you can request for them to try singing your anthem and see if they can give justice to the original song. This is important since this song might just be the song that will play during your first dance. Once they’ve hit the right notes, then it’s time to consider signing them up.

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Should You Hire A Band Or DJ For Your Party?

Can’t decide yet who should play at your party? Finding the right music maker for your party is a tough job because music can make or break an event. Before signing that contract and entering into an agreement with either a live band or DJ, make sure you have read this little guide we prepared for you.

Start by asking yourself the basic questions: What type of entertainment suits your personality and your event? How much money do you have for the entertainment portion of the program? Is your venue going to allow a full-set band to play? Will your guests appreciate the appearance of either a live band or a DJ?

Vibe and Theme of the Party

The type of music you will choose will set the tone for your party. This will also solidify the theme and bring all the elements of the party together to form one cohesive message. Music will be the one thing that people will remember about your event. Perhaps, except for the food, of course. What musical genre best describes the event? Is it old love songs? Is it indie rock? Is it a romantic string quartet? If you want the dance-your-booties-til-midnight kind of thing, you might be better off with a DJ who can mix and match the proper dance sequences for your group. On the other hand, you could choose a live band that will entertain your guests with their beautiful voices and their showmanship.

Variety of Songs

Whether you’ll have a DJ or a live band, one thing is for sure: you have to mix the songs you want to play during the event—don’t cluster old songs together. Rather, make sure that band or the DJ plays a mix of old and new, so they can reach more to your audience and encourage all guests, young and old alike, to hit the dance floor.

Budget

DJs are generally less expensive than hiring a live band. Of course, the price of their service still vary depending on the equipment they would use and the number of hours they will render. On the other hand, a band is more expensive simply because there are more people that compose a band. The price for bands varies by the number of musicians, the amount of time you want them to perform, and the day of the week and the time of the year. During holiday seasons, prices are generally higher.

Space

Even if you have the money to hire a 10-piece band, one of the considerations you need to make is the space. Does your reception venue have space for 10 musicians and their instruments? Do they restrict the number of performers per party? Are there any electrical outlets that the musicians can use to plug in their equipment? Some registered landmarks don’t allow the use of large speakers, so it is better to confirm this first with your venue manager. We’re sure that with the right negotiating tactics, you can eventually get what you want.

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Tips On How To Deal With Party Suppliers

The most important relationship any party organizer (whether working as a profession or as a DIY) could have is the relationship with the party suppliers and vendors. No party could be hosted successfully without the right suppliers for food, flowers, utensils, decors, and many more.

You can’t be expected to source everything by yourself for a party you are organizing. You would need the help of professionals—people who have been dealing with the materials you need for a long time.

1. Choose Wisely

Being a party supplier is apparently a popular career and business option these days. There are a lot of suppliers in the market, so choose your supplier wisely. Review each supplier and the pros and cons of hiring them. Make sure they have what you need at the right price. You also have to monitor their response time to your inquiries and how willing are they to comply with your requests.

2. Communicate Well

Lack of communication will endanger any relationship, whether personal or business. Take the time to communicate with your suppliers to build a healthy relationship with them. This is important especially when it comes to schedules and timelines. Your suppliers should have a clear understanding of what the goals of your party are and how these can be achieved with their help.

3. Plan for Contingencies

Even if you have a good relationship with your suppliers, it can’t be helped that there would be problems along the way such as late shipments and weather-related troubles. Plan for contingencies so you would have a ready-made idea when the problems arise. This contingency plan should be clear to you and to your suppliers so they can make concessions if the unthinkable happens.

4. Reward Your Suppliers When Needed and When They Deserve It

A simple “thank you” note would go a long way to make your suppliers feel that their work is being appreciated. If we have the gall to demand the best service from them and to pressure them during deadlines, we should also be able to recognize when the demands are met. Since penalties are imposed when the suppliers don’t hold up their end of the deal, there should also be rewards when the work was done above and beyond what was expected. A reward could be a simple note, a prompt payment, or a token of appreciation.

5. Accept Accountability

Not everything that could go wrong at your party depends on the suppliers. Sometimes, you are at fault, too. Maybe you have overreached? Maybe you did not think about the practicality of the timeline? Maybe you did not hold your end of the deal and the schedule was shaken up? If it was your fault, you’ve got to make sure to hold yourself accountable and to accept that the mistake was yours.

6. Pay on Time

If the suppliers were able to deliver the products and services as agreed upon in the contract, you have to do your part and pay on time. Most of the payments should be done right after the party was done but some organizers are good at not releasing the money immediately. Don’t be like that. If the suppliers complied with the demands, then do your part and pay up.

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Tips on Properly Choosing Party Invitations

One of the things we have to focus on when organizing a party is the invitations that we have to send. If we decide to send printed party invitations, that means we have to choose a design, a template, an overall theme, and the wording to make the invitations stand out and appear well-presented. While a lot of organizers don’t think invitations are important to any party, they are dead wrong.

This is the first thing that your guest will receive from your party. The invitation is where they will be getting the information from like where the party will be held, what time it will start, and how formal it is.

This is especially important in communicating the “theme” of the party. If the invitation is very formal, your guests will know that they should come either in a cocktail dress or in black tie (of course, this would be indicated on the “attire” part of the invitation). However, if the invitation is leaning on becoming casual and relaxed, then a nice party dress and slacks and polo (no tie) will do good, too.

Focus on the Theme and Motif of the Party

Your party may not exactly have a specific theme, but there should be a motif in terms of colors. What colors are you going to use for the linens and the overall stage design? What colors would the flowers be? What colors will be hanging from the ceiling or used as accents on the walls?

You may not be focused too much on the theme of the party but surely, there would be dominant colors there. These are the same colors that you should use for the invitations. You should also decide whether to make the invitations formal and elegant or a bit casual and relaxed.

Choose the Wording Carefully

This is the most important aspect in the creation of an invitation. Make sure there is no ambiguous information there so your guests will know exactly where, when, and what is being celebrated. Choose the wording carefully because you don’t want to send the wrong message to your guests.

Before finalizing and printing out the invitations, double check for any spelling and grammar errors. Do you know how expensive it is to reprint invitations? That would be a catastrophe.

Print the Invitations on Time

Finally, make sure that the process it takes for you to finalize the invitations are compliant with the schedule you have. The invitations must be sent out at least one month before the party. That gives your guests enough time to fix their schedule and even take leave from work (if they have to).

If you are going to print the invitations belatedly, you might as well not send them at all because what use would be receiving an invitation if the guests won’t have enough time to decide whether to go or not? The timing of mailing out the invitations is very important, so make sure you send the final version to the printers on time.

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How To Manage A Party Crisis

At one point in your organizing journey, you might encounter a party crisis that may potentially jeopardize the whole event. While we understand that it is easy to panic when a supplier backed out, when the venue runs into troubles, and when the weather suddenly turns bad, a truly skilled organizer and host would do everything in his or her power to find alternatives and find solutions to the problem.

Define the Problem

What is the problem? When did it crop up? Has it done permanent damage to the party’s schedule and logistics? What caused the problem?

Before dealing with the issue of finding good alternatives, you have to first identify what the issues are and come up with a list of reasons why these happened. The process would teach you how to zero in on the core of the issue and how the event catastrophically affected the success of holding the party.

In terms of handling the present issue, defining what the problem is before anything else will give you a better grasp of what strategies will work. For future events, this process will allow you to work out a set of rules and guidelines that would prevent the same thing from happening again.

Meet with the Stakeholders

When the problem has been identified and when it is finally isolated from the rest of the issues, the host or the organizer can then meet with the stakeholders—the owner, the investors, the clients, etc. Every single one in the team who would be affected by the changes in the plan would have to be met and the reasons for the changes explained.

The organizer must know what each stakeholder is worried about and what are the factors important to them. All of this information would play a role in crafting a sound strategy to address the issues of the event.

Find Alternatives

A crisis will only be a serious problem if there are no choices and alternatives offered. The client may have to adjust his expectations a little but that is better than having nothing at all. The test of a true party organizer is the ability to have a Plan B, Plan C, and all the way up to Plan Z. There should be no limit to the kind of choices that an organizer can offer.

Have an Open Mind

The problem with most party hosts and organizers is that they are stuck to one idea; they could not forgive themselves for having to move away from the original plan. An organizer needs to be flexible and willing to deal with the problems as they arose. And not just deal with the problems. They should be ready with alternatives. As an organizer, you need an open mind to deal with issues and problems that will surely come.

There is no party without a crisis. Every great party has surpassed a great test and a major crisis. It’s all about having the right attitude and the determination to see the party to success.

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Finding The Right Caterer For Parties

It is important to choose the right caterer for parties when hosting an event. The type of food, its flavor, and its presentation determines the success of your event.

There may be a lot of things riding on your decision of which caterer to hire, but you should keep in mind that food is important for parties. Think of it this way: A bad event can be salvaged by a good caterer while a good event with bad catering can send the guests heading to the doors, or worse, the restrooms.

Plus, the fact that the caterer is the number one or the number two most expensive item in your event list means that your decision has a budgetary element into it. Choosing a caterer will influence how much money you have left in your budget.

Responsiveness

Believe it or not, but the responsiveness of a caterer plays a critical role in the decision process. A lot of caterers claim to have the best-tasting food with the most competitive price, but it is a rare quality for them to both make quality food and be responsive to the queries and the ideas of the clients.

A caterer should be truly concerned with meeting the customers’ needs and wants. A caterer should not only be responsive, he or she should also ask questions about the theme of the event, the purpose, the budget, and the goals of the host.

Expertise

Not all caterers are perfect for every type of event. Some are more used to serving smaller, intimate-type social events while others are experts in catering for large corporations, weddings, and birthdays.

When speaking to a caterer, you need to be specific about the type of event you are planning. You should also talk to at least three caterers. Otherwise, you may end up selecting a caterer who isn’t a good fit for your event.

Menu Options

Most caterers have standard menus, but they should also be able to customize and personalize the menu according to the current trends and the theme of the event. An ideal caterer should be willing to handle or consider special requests.

If the caterer is not willing to adapt its menu or challenge its staff to create a customized menu, then that’s an immediate red flag.

Food Tasting

You have to attend at least three food tastings with different caterers to get the taste that you want. Never settle for a caterer that will simply give you a generic sample. You need to know what the food will taste like because, during the party, your event will be judged according to the flavor of your food.

You may request for the caterer to suggest wine pairings for the tastings too so you can choose the appropriate drinks.

Familiarity with the Venue

You need to have a caterer who is already familiar with the venue. The caterer must have worked in the event venue before to make sure that they are used to preparing the place for their buffet or sit-down dinners. They would be aware of the restrictions as well. For example, red wine and live flowers are not allowed inside historic house museums.