Tips for Event Planning
Whether it’s a wedding, Christening, work event or a special dinner for friends and family at home, you’ll need to be organised.
We can help you with as much or as little of the event organisation as you wish and we’re very experienced event planners. Here are a few tips to help you get started with your event.
Allow Enough Time
You’ll need enough time to get everything completed before the big day. Caterers and venues are booked well in advance as are photographers and other professionals. You’ll also need time to get invitations organised and sent, leaving enough time with the RSVP for the caterer’s requirements.
Selecting a Date
Often there are conflicting events on the very date you’ve selected. Sometimes this can’t be helped. It helps to find out what’s also on in the local area or if any of your friends are hosting something on the same date. Bigger events such as sporting finals, public holidays and elections can also interfere, so take all these things into account when you pick your special day.
The Big Picture
We are professional event planners so even if you engage us just to provide the catering we actually have the big picture in mind. Let us help you to ensure you have covered all the steps necessary to complete your entertaining.
Every event is unique because it has your touch, although there are some things that don’t change which we are aware of.
Please ASK questions – no question is silly or incidental – it is our job to reassure you are on the right track and it ensures there are no “crossed wires.”
Have a Plan
- Keep it simple.
- Break it down.
- Logisics – It’s not sexy, pretty or ‘in’ but think about them.
- Weather can play havoc… be realistic.
- Are you local?
- Are your suppliers local?
- Take lots of deep breaths and delegate – friends and family want to help.
Budget – oh dear
Do we have to have this conversation??
This is very important and often the hardest point to contend with.
However, you can have an amazing event if your budget and event ideas are in line from the beginning otherwise you will be disappointed and stressed.
If your venue is out of reach in the peak seasons ask about off peak or winter options….we will certainly be more than happy to have a chat.
Try to compare “apples with apples” and keep in mind all the hidden costs you may not have considered.
Often we find the negotiation for catering starts when costs have blown out – we are very happy to work with your budget if we are communicated this at the beginning.
It’s lovely to have an amazing looking party but the food and service needs to match.
As a guide for setting a budget we say to our clients “How much would it cost to ‘entertain’ your guests at your favourite dining establishment including the drinks!?” Then add some!
Accommodation and local services
Will you or your guests need somewhere to stay? Accommodation can often be booked early. One of the best ways to find accommodation in the Southern Highlands is through the Visitor Information Office in Mittagong, which has an accommodation booking service.
Transport for your guests staying locally may also be required. We can assist you with options.
Elderly guests aren’t always as agile and mobile as everyone else. One option may be to organise a golf buggy if you are using a garden for drinks and canapes.
Disabled facilities are at all our venues.
What is Off Premise catering?
Well…here is a short description…
We prepare the majority of your order at our licenced premises.
This is then packaged, stored then loaded on the day of event , driven, unloaded, refrigerated, finished, serviced and presented to your guests at your venue choice.
There is an enormous amount of work and organisation that goes into servicing any size event and we really love the challenge ….. but keep in mind that:
We often have to drive a fair distance, work in a temporary catering environment in weather that can be quite inclement…..so hence the reason why the costs can be more than one anticipates.
Over the 2o years we have been in service we have streamlined our off premise catering operation to ensure you need not worry about the behind the scene setup leading up to, during and at the completion of your event.
We provide the whole kit and caboodle!
Staffing and Beverages
Costs for food and beverage service staff are usually an additional charge – as a guide we suggest you factor in $15.00 to $20.00 per person.
You provide your beverages and we provide the service following RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) procedures. We are not able to service open bar or hard liquor.
Every venue has its own terms of hire. Some are inclusive of everything, some include only tables and chairs, some are exclusive and allow access the day before, some only permit access 2 hrs prior to guest arrival.
The venue hire costs are charged independently.
The jargon may sound daunting but in brief:
Clean venue/Dry Hire: All equipment to service your event is additional
Dry Hire Equipment/Theming : Client is to arrange all equipment and installation of.
Private Venue: A venue which is privately owned opens its premises to a client for private use. It is not usually a 7 day/week commercial operation however a venue hire is incurred.
Turn around: The allocated access time to setup your event before guest arrival – around 2 hours. This usually applies to restaurants and function centres which have other business operations within the premise
Bump in: The process of moving in and out the equipment required to service an event. This includes flowers, theming, setup and breakdown.
Function/Reception Centre: A venue which primarily operates providing dining/entertaining facilities for large groups 7 days a week.
Please note that every event is different so we do not service an event until a site inspection is undertaken to ascertain further requirements. Sometimes this incurs a fee which will be reimbursed if you chose to proceed with our services.
Some other considerations
Incidental Costs we advise to be considered in your planning and budgeting:
- Rubbish removal.
- Catering equipment hire.
- Theming and venue requirements.
- Travel and accommodation costs.
- Menu upgrades.
- Heating. cooling and power.
Some of our Partners
So we can ensure your confidence in our service we work with people we trust to deliver your event on the date we have agreed!! Here are a few from our list:
- Your Event Solution
- Affair with George
- Form Over Function
- White Umbrella
- Melissa Bowman Events
- Kennards Hire
- Anchors Fruit
- Gumnut Patissiere
- Williams Meats
- Fearocious Feed