Planning a function is hard work. Whether it’s a 5 year old’s birthday party, a Christening, local school fundraiser, work Christmas party or a 21st birthday, being well organised and planning ahead can save lots of stress in the lead up and on the night. Firstly, you need to decide a few basics:
- Who is the party for? (business, family, friends)
- What’s the reason for the party? (theme, birthday, special occasion)
- When is the party?
- Where is the party going to be?
- How many people are you inviting?
- What type of party is it? (brunch, lunch, dinner, hors d’oeuvres, dessert, buffet, sit-down meal)
Once you have sorted out the basics, you can get down to business! Regardless of whether you’re the Martha Stewart type (who will prepare every morsel by scratch), or firmly in the outsourcing camp (here at ITC, we fall into the latter category), there are many local businesses around the Lane Cove area that can help out with catering, drinks, equipment hire, venue hire, decorations, entertainment and more!
If you’re having the party somewhere other than home, the first thing to do is secure a venue with your preferred date and time. Once this is done, the invitations can be sent out (we love Paperless Post, if you like no-fuss templates to design your invites, send out electronically, and manage your RSVPs, and guest communications all from one spot!)
Are you trying to avoid being stuck in the kitchen doing food prep in the lead up and on the party day? Your next step is to look for a caterer, and we’re very lucky to have lots of wonderful ones right here in our local area. You can check out A Cut Above Catering, Bespoke Catering, Bern the Chef, and Jon Patrick for starters, or if you’re looking to cater for a more casual event, you could contact Chargrill Charlies for options.
Wendy Middleton from A Cut Above Catering suggests providing food that is filling, so items such as mini burgers and petite pizzas are ideal. Protein rich food is also important as the protein helps to metabolise the alcohol. She also suggests you choose finger food that is easy to eat and won’t leave a mess on your floor. I’d avoid anything on skewers or noodle boxes as these tend to get left everywhere and anywhere. It’s surprising where you’ll find these the next day! Wendy also recommends you ask your guests if they have any dietary requirements and cater for a range (vegetarian and vegan is very popular at the moment). A Cut Above Catering’s rice paper rolls are a perfect example of a dish that everyone will eat.
When it comes to drinks, the guys at Porter’s Liquor Northwood are the local party experts. They can work alongside your caterer, or directly with you to suggest the right mix of drinks, volumes needed, and also offer free delivery + a glass and tub hire service. What’s more, if you order too much, you can even return unopened stock for a refund! Here’s a Porter’s Drinks Guide with some ideas to get you started. Make sure you also stock up on lots of non-alcoholic drinks so everyone can get home safely!
Once you have your venue locked in, food and drinks organised, and invitations sent out, it’s time to consider a few finer details (which will obviously vary greatly depending on the type of party or function you’re having).
Here’s a checklist of things to think about:
- Do you need to hire any equipment – tables, chairs, lighting, PA system, heaters, glow furniture etc? Walker’s Party Hire is a good place to start.
- Will you be having any entertainment? Background Music, live band, DJ, Kid’s party entertainer, comedian, guest speaker? Try and lock your entertainment in as far ahead as possible, especially during school holidays or the lead up to Christmas Party season. You can hire a dance floor from Walkers Party Hire.
- Are decorations needed? We have some wonderful florists in Lane Cove (Pure Flowers and Spotted Orchid) for fresh flower arrangements / centrepieces, or pop into discount variety stores for party supplies. Spotted Orchid florist can also provide helium balloons for your event.
- Celebrating a special occasion with a cake? Speciality cakes are available through The Cake Man, Cake Shack, and Gelatissimo (if you fancy an ice-cream cake!)
- For those who’d like to sit back and enjoy the party, it may be worth hiring staff for the evening. Security staff are recommended for a big 18th or 21st party, while some help in the kitchen and cleaning will also make a huge difference. If you’re going through a caterer, most will be able to provide staff, or otherwise you can try asking some locals or uni students looking for some extra casual work, to help out on the day. The NSW Police site has a very helpful checklist on preparing for a party. Read it here.
We hope these tips help you discover the amazing party suppliers right here on our door step to make your next social, corporate or community function less stressful, ensuring everyone has a great time!
In the Cove is supported by some brilliant sponsors (without their support we could not undertake the community and charity work we do!!). Porters Northwood is a gold sponsor and they would love you to pop in and say hi to them. Thank you to Porters for sponsoring this post.
Porter’s Liquor Northwood
Address: 1 Northwood Road, Northwood NSW 2066
Phone: 9427 1337
ITC Directory Listing: Porter’s Liquor Northwood
Website: Porter’s Liquor Northwood
Facebook: Porter’s Liquor Northwood
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