City vs Suburbs & The Home Party Debate!

Coming to the suburbs by way of NYC, I readied myself for the big move from creating & executing more corporate driven events to working with more social driven events- weddings, celebrations, bar mitvahs & children’s parties. However, what I didnt ready myself for was “The Home Party Debate”!   In talking to clients up here in Westchester & Fairfield Counties, I often get asked about parties in the home which is something I never got asked in NYC!  In NYC, restaurants, hotels, lofts & themed locations are often the first choice amongst party hosting and I got used to making sure I knew all of latest spots from the best place to throw a candy party to the most romantic roof top settings.  Working with tenting companies & thinking about things like wattage, parking & built in dance floors are new & exciting.  The idea that people love to be in their home, show off their home & decorate their home for a party is very cool.  In NYC, many people take great pride in their apartments and often they are great spaces to hold smaller gatherings but for larger events, its not an option usually!  From a cost perspective, many home-based parties can be just as expensive as an off-site party with elements such as custom catered food, decor, tenting on occasion & entertainment.

With that being said, there are many cool things you can do on a budget & in terms of creativity, there is no limit.  So, the debate as to whether having a home based party or a party at an off site venue isnt really a debate at all.  Its about what you want, what you can accomodate based on occasion & preference plus not being afraid to investigate (which is why Event Planners can help do it all!).  Here are a few tips on things to think about if you or someone you know may want to have a party in their home or apartment!

1) Do you want the party outside or inside?  If outside, how many guests can you fit comfortably (the rule is approx 17 square feet per person!)

2) If outside, take into account weather back up & bugs- ie clear side panels on a tent, citronella tiki torches or lanterns or a decorated room in your home as back up.

3) Ask a caterer what kind of space & power they need.  Aside form creating any menu you want, they’ll need outlets for things like coffee makers & warming trays!

4) Parking & Noise- is your street private or public?  Ask an event planner or your local police.  Def avoid an illegal or complex parking situation.  Both valets & parking solutions companies can do things like provide shuttles from a nearby public parking location to your home at a reasonable rate. Also, make sure you know your local noise ordinance & what time its time to power down!

5) Be creative!  There are all kinds of sites & magazines to come up with cool themes for your home based celebrations!  Scour wedding mags, interior decor sites & cookbooks.  I spoke to one gentleman this week who had an accupuncture party in his house and the pictures were really cool!  All kinds of “talent” are available for parties from singers to massage therapists to pilates gurus.  Its not just about that crazy kids party clown!

6) Allow enough time!  Use the same rules in planning a home based party as you would in booking a venue.  Your likely going to be making calls to florists, caterers, furniture rental companies, music & realize there can be a fair amount of work & lead time involved.

So, get inspired & have fun!  Whether at a restaurant or your backyard, you can throw a great celebration!

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