Seven Time-Tested Tips for a Picture-Perfect Spring Soirée!
By Marilyn Patterson, CEM
Woo Hoo!!! It’s finally springtime!!! Everything is blooming. The rainbow of yellows, oranges, lavenders, pinks and whites are sprouting out of the greening landscapes. The mild temperatures are calling us to come enjoy the outdoors. While it’s not quite sundress season yet, we can certainly pack up most of the sweaters as we move to this cheerful time of the year.
If this season beckons you to reconnect with family and friends in an intentional and fun way, you’re not alone! What better way to kick off the joy of this beautiful season than by hosting a celebration at your favorite place? Executing will be stress-free and enjoyable if you consider the following tips as a guide to organizing your spring soirée.
1 - Purpose
Why? Before you do anything else, get clarity on why you are having the party. Even a ‘just because’ party will ultimately need a unifying theme so that it is worth your effort and your guests’ time. Keep this first step simple – to enjoy laughter and fellowship, to give visibility to a new entrepreneur, to support a charity, to build a community around a cause… Celebrate everything!
2 - Theme Think focus. A theme unifies the whole experience and can be as simple as choosing a color like white parties, alumni gatherings, game night, philanthropy, gender-specific; the options are endless. The chosen theme impacts everything that follows. Planning the overall experience through the senses by being intentional about what your guests will see, hear, taste, smell and touch translates into how much you care. Guests will recognize it and praise you for it.
3 - Time of Day
Day parties rule! The popularity of day parties is surging. Picture an afternoon gathering between noon and 6:00 p.m., the perfect temperature to get some Vitamin D, the perfect time to have fun and the freedom to leave in time for later day commitments. Awesomeness! Moms with school-aged children will treasure this afternoon delight! Another beautiful time is early evening as it gradually becomes dusk. A well-lit outdoor environment makes for a picture-perfect soirée! Consider it…
4 - Guest List
Think depth versus breadth. Soirées typically evoke thoughts of intimate, informal, social gatherings where engaging conversations can blossom. This is deeper than corporate networking chit-chat. Keep your numbers under control. As you curate the guest list, consider your backup plan in the event of inclement weather. Be sure that your enclosed option (in the house, canopy, tent, etc.) can accommodate the numbers if you must transition the location of the party on short notice.
5 – Food and Beverage
The choice of culinary treats can make or break a party! As you consider what to serve that compliments the theme, be mindful of the various dietary sensitivities of your guests. During the pandemic, many have taken time to explore new and healthier options. Plant-based enthusiasts are certainly on the rise, so plan to incorporate savory and sweet plant-based options to your menu. Mocktails are also all the rage! Introducing great non-alcoholic mixology will also add to the conversation starters. Be creative!
6 - Hire Help
Be a guest at your party! Plan well, consider all the factors previously mentioned, then get a support staff to execute on the day of the soirée. Make your guests feel special by giving them your undivided attention. Others can ensure that the food and beverages are perfectly displayed and replenished and that the environment is well-maintained throughout the party. Be the soirée ‘hostess with the mostest’ and be a rock star by delegating, not doing.
7 - Cheers!
It’s time to celebrate! Take a moment to observe the scene. You’ve planned and executed an amazing experience for your guests and everyone is having a fabulous time. The ambiance is perfect. The scenery is beautiful. The food and beverages are amazing. The conversations are flowing. Grab a glass of your favorite beverage, get everyone’s attention and offer a toast, "To health, well-being, good friends and community! Cheers!" Celebrate joyously!
A picture-perfect soirée can be the springboard to a summer and fall filled with entertainment, fun and new relationships. Be the catalyst for it all with these time-tested tips in your pocket. Your spring soirée will be the talk of the town!
Marilyn Patterson is the Chief Experience Organizer with Joyous Events LLC, an event consulting and management company headquartered in Alexandria since 2004. Over the past 18+ years, Joyous Events has organized and executed over 500 socials, weddings, fundraisers and festivals. As you make plans for your next soirée, consider the Joyous Events motto: “Building relationships. Delivering excellence.” Because delivering excellence builds relationships.