Looking for celebration inspiration? Want your party to have the wow-factor? Look no further, as Liz Taylor of event planners TLC steers you along the path to party success.
As managing director of UK and European event planners Taylor Lynn Corporation (TLC), Liz Taylor has held her fair share of parties over a 30-year career. Here she shares her top tips on how to host the best party ever!
Don’t Blame It On the Moonlight
Any venue can look great, but lighting is key. How about using a wash of coloured light over stone walls, or perhaps candles and spotlights to illuminate niches? “Railway arches, disused warehouses and amazing urban spaces are the choice of the party elite. The key to styling an architecturally rich venue is to let the building shine,” says Liz.
Lighting adds drama, energy and warmth to your venue – it is an essential ingredient in any event, and statues, artwork and building features can all form part of the lighting design. But what if a venue has high ceilings? “High ceilings are lovely, but they can drain atmosphere from an event, so use lighting at different levels to create a more intimate feel,” explains Liz. “Chunky candles on top of exquisitely dressed pedestals could be complemented by a digital lighting extravaganza over your dancefloor too.”
The quality of the catering can make or break a party. Whether a gathering is large or small, for a birthday or end of year bash, food brings people together.
Fusion and authentic cuisines are this year’s culinary must-haves it seems. International foods can be delivered in a stylish and innovative way, while late night buffets can reflect the magic of the occasion. For a bespoke buffet table, think Middle Eastern or Italian menus for mouth-watering morsels.
However, as Liz explains, dishes should be inclined to comprise simple recipes presented in a cutting-edge way. From the canape to the cutlery, guests will always eat with their eyes first. Presentation is, of course, key: “Menus are tending to be sophisticated in their simplicity and deconstructed classics are still popular too. The biggest change though has been in the style of food served at parties. Definitely more relaxed in its content, but more elaborate and cleverly contrived in presentation.”
Bubbles are in, says Liz, with prosecco is a firm favourite and sometimes preferable to Champagne. But most importantly: “Make the drinks entertaining! Try popcorn cartons filled with a cocktail, which are almost as exciting as the plastic zip-up bags – complete with a plastic goldfish inside and a straw – filled with vodka, lime and soda. Watermelon and lychee martini is popular at the moment, and delivered in ornate bird cages or poured from a teapot is sure to wow guests.”
These ingenious ideas all contribute to the most exciting cocktail experience. Not forgetting those behind the wheel, all these fun cocktail ideas can be altered as a delectable non-alcoholic choice that is just as exciting.
Get The Party Started
So you’ve chosen the venue, created the menu and sampled the show-stopping beverages. Now it is time to ensure that guests have every excuse to get up and have a boogie.
Liz’s advice is that entertainment is an integral element in the party mix. Go all out and hire the best DJ or band you can afford. Make sure that they play at least a couple of sets throughout the night and ensure you approve the playlist beforehand: “There has to be songs for everyone so consider all age groups. Get it right and you will create an instant party atmosphere and everyone will be dancing until dawn!”
From the moment guests arrive to the minute they leave, exclusive details that make guests feel special all contribute to the drama of the occasion. As party-goers depart, Liz suggests: “Why not think about leaving guests with a last memory of the party. How about a firework display in the back garden, or brown paper party bags filled with goodies and branded water bottles.” Who said the party had to be over?
To find out how Liz Taylor of Taylor Lynn Corporation (TLC) can make your party memorable, visit Tlc-ltd.co.uk.