Julie's Tips for Big Gatherings
Julie, an events coordinator who owns a company in Irmo, South Carolina, called Celebration Creations, has lots of good advice to help you host a big event.
- Select a theme. It helps focus the menu, decorations, and planning.
- Come up with a timeline on a calendar. That action sets goals, helps narrow down the amount of clever ideas you try to pull off, and helps you pace yourself.
- Organize to efficiently use helpers. Julie lined up 18- gallon plastic storage bins inside her front door. Each was filled with everything for one table. It was easy for Julie to ask friends to "grab a bin and set a table."
- Leave cleanup for the next day. Julie hid the now empty bins, plus trash bags, under each table during the party. After dinner, guests scraped food from plates into the trash bag. It, along with the dirty dishes, went into the bin. Friends popped the lid on and slid the bin back under each table, leaving the work for the next day.
- Weather always threatens, so have a backup plan. Look for a rain date, or move the party inside.
- Be sure and turn off the sprinkler system. ("Yes, it did go off," says Kevin. "Luckily it happened after guests went home, which made for a crazy next-day cleanup.")
- Be considerate of your neighbors.
"Front-yard Fiesta" is from the May 2006 issue of Southern Living.