How-To Plan An Intimate Event, Part Two: Vendors

With every event you plan, you will encounter situations and questions about who will provide certain party needs and where you will get the equipment, materials, and more for the party. Who will cater the event? Who will provide the tables, chairs, tents, and linens? Who will provide the entertainment? Who will photograph the event? Where is the venue? Does your yard need to be treated if the event is at home and outside? These questions are usually answered in the form of vendors. I am sharing a few tips and thoughts about vendors below. 

Tip #1: Venue 

Where is the event being held? If you would like to rent a space for your event, you can do some research on hall rentals. Many hotels, restaurants, and event halls will have venue managers or on-site coordinators to assist you with your party needs. When you look into venues, consider things such as price, room capacity, floor space, road accessibility, date availability, and the time-frame for renting the space. If you decide to host your event at your home, you should consider all that is listed above in addition to noise ordinances, street parking rules, and more. For my sister’s baby shower she decided to host it at my house. Behind our yard, there is an unused lot that was big enough for an outdoor event. However, the space needed to be cleaned up and the yard needed to be treated for insects. We had to consider getting a vendor to do that type of work. We also had to notify our neighbors that we would be using the lot, as it was adjacent to their yard.

Tip #2: Tents, Tables, Chairs, and Linens 

If you host your event at a rented venue, they often include tents, tables, chairs, and linens. Whether they do or do not, you should consider the following things. How many people are on the guests lists, and how many sent in their rsvp responses? What style of tables and chairs will you need – round, rectangle, square, bistro, high-top, plastic, metal, etc.? What type, style, material, and color of linens will work with the event and theme? For my sister’s event, we needed to find vendors for the tables and chairs. We called various vendors, and we had to take into account the price for the specific style of equipment we needed and well as the quantity. When it was time to research tents, my sister opted to purchase her own from a local store. Now she has tents available for future events. In addition, my sister and her boyfriend wanted to use the Peacock chairs for pictures, so they rented two from a party store. Peacock chairs are popular for baby showers and events with regal themes.

Tip #3: Food and Beverages 

Hiring a caterer may seem like the easiest part of event planning when matters concern food and beverages. However, catering services come with their own set of challenges. There are many things to consider, like the costs and more. First, what type of food do they provide? What about beverages? Second, what is the caterer’s reputation? Third, is the catering company full-service? Some caterers only provide appetizers and main courses, while others are specialty services, like food trucks and dessert companies. Or, you might want to hire multiple food and beverage vendors because you want a separate bar service or a vendor for the cake, especially when hosting events for baby showers, weddings, etc. In some cases, the venue will have an event package that includes their catering services, or they charge a fee for outsourcing. You should definitely inquire about that so you are not surprised. Additionally, if the caterer is not full-service, you will need to consider hiring food servers and wait-staff or assigning that task to someone on the event planning/host team.

Tip #4: Photographers 

It is nice to hire a photographer for events, but it’s definitely not a necessity. When it comes to hiring photographers, my tip is very simple – Do Your Research! Do not hire the first photographer you can think of or the cheapest you can find. Do not hire a photographer who specializes in single-subject portraiture. Do not hire a photographer whose style does not fit what you are looking for, such as a black-and-white photographer when you want colorful images. Do not hire a photographer who only works in studios when you want them to capture live-action, candid photos, and landscapes. Make sure the photographer that you hire has experience shooting events on location. My sister hired a local photographer for this party.

Tip #5: Party Favors 

Most people choose to outsource party favors, and that’s always a great option. There are many vendors who love to provide favors for events with the hope that it will increase their exposure and their business. You can find vendors to personalize items such as mugs and tumblers, t-shirts, pens, hats, bracelets, and more. If you want to stand out, you can give away those more expensive gifts such as watches and electronics, or you can make the party favors yourself! I made the party favors, safari-themed keychains, for my sister’s baby shower. I used UV resin, resin pigment powder, and dried leaves to create the keychains, and I placed them in gold organza bags with potpourri. In addition, we had a candy table so the guests could take home a treat with their party favors.

Tip #6: Entertainment 

The entertainment at an event can make or break it. Do your research when it comes to hiring DJs and performers because you want entertainers who will keep things lively. My sister hired a DJ to keep the music flowing throughout the day, and a DJ is always a great option for music. Most DJs can read a room, and they know just when to play a particular song. For additional entertainment, we actually planned some popular baby shower games instead of looking to vendors for that. A baby shower isn’t a shower without baby-related games. Here are a few games you can play if you’re hosting a baby shower, or you can modify them for different types of parties, if possible. 

  1. Don’t Say Baby: Give each guest a colored safety pin, and whenever someone says baby the person who caught them can take their pin. The winner is the person with the most pins at the end of the event. 
  2. Measure the Baby Bump: Each person cuts a piece of string, ribbon, etc. to the length they think the baby/mother’s stomach is measuring. The person whose ribbon measures closest to the actual size of mommy’s belly wins! 
  3. Guess the Baby Foods: Remove the labels from different baby foods and have the guests guess each food. To take it a step further, smear the baby food onto baby wipes or diapers to make it more of a challenge. 
  4. Men’s Bump Challenge: It’s common knowledge that pregnant women have trouble tying their shoes when their bumps are big. Give the men at the party balloons to put into their shirts and have them try to tie their shoes. Whoever does it the fastest without losing their bump wins! 
  5. Winner Takes All: This game is a raffle in which party guests buy raffle tickets, under the assumption that the winner of the raffle takes all the money. However, the winner actually takes home All Detergent, and the money goes to the expecting parents for their child. Babies are expensive! 
  6. Baby Bottle Challenge: Give the guests a baby bottle filled with a liquid of your choice, and have them race to drink all of the liquid the fastest. Whoever finishes first is the winner. It is a challenge to drink from a baby bottle, because the pinhole in the nipple doesn’t allow a lot of liquid to be released at once, but to put an even difficult spin on this game you can fill the bottle with a hard to drink liquid like rice milk or cranberry juices. 

Trust me, people love these games, and they are sure to be a hit at an event. Don’t forget to give the winners a small gift for their hard work!

*Disclaimer: Event photos taken by the vendor and downloaded from gotpicz.net*

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