Welcome to my new 10-part series “Planning the perfect Spanish theme party”. I will cover party planning, food, drink, entertainment, activities, music, decorations, birthday parties, dance parties, and invitations and favours.
This is part 1: Planning your Spanish fiesta. Let’s get started!
1. Date, location and your dearest and nearest
First, you have to figure out three things at the same time. Don’t worry, this sounds worse than it is 🙂 Choosing your date, the location and making sure your dearest and nearest friends and family members can make it kind of has to happen in parallel.
So, ask those people who definitely MUST be at your party about their availability. Check this against your favourite venues’ availability. Et voilà, you can settle on a date.
2. Plan backwards and give yourself plenty of buffer time
Imagine it’s the week before your party: you’ve got your dream outfit hanging on the back of the warddrobe, you’ve just checked your emails and all your suppliers sent you brief notes to say how much they’re looking forward to serving you at the weekend, your best friend told you yesterday that they’ve got a surprise planned for you, you’ve memorised the speech you’re excited to deliver and you know all your friends have planned their travel and are staying in that lovely hotel just a short walk from your venue. Tonight, after work you’re heading to the hairdresser for the appointment you made a month ago and tomorrow you’ll have time to finish the last pieces of bunting you’re sewing with the kids.
Everyone always says party planning is terribly stressful, but I think it doesn’t have to be.
3. Make a promise to enjoy the whole ride
Yes, event planning involves a lot of tasks, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Here’s my top tip: Plan nice and early and make a promise to yourself, and anyone else involved in the planning, to not let it stress you, but to enjoy the whole ride.
4. DIY or external supply?
List all the things you want at your party and that you need to do. Then decide which ones you’d like to do yourself or with friends and family, which ones others might like to contribute and what you want to get suppliers for. Remember also that your venue may provide some things included in your arrangement, so double-check that too.
Everyone’s different. Some people love creating their own invitations, others have neighbours who will contribute a roast to the catering. In my circles, people like to offer a spot of entertainment and music.
If DIY is your thing, try this list of 25 fun and festive DIY party decorations by The Spruce Craft and adapt the colours to Spanish gold and red.
5. Research your suppliers
Time for the creative part. Head on over to Pinterest, Instagram or Google and search for your dream suppliers. You’ll find that you can book directly with suppliers or let an agency do some or all of the work for you. I wrote a blog about the benefits of both which I invite you to read.
- Catering and drinks
- Decorations and flowers
- Music and entertainment
- China, cutlery, furniture
5. Contact your suppliers
A good supplier will enjoy speaking to you over the phone. They will be interested in your plans, because good entertainers take genuine pride in delivering their very best for your special occasion. They will listen and ask questions. Discuss the fundamentals: date, timings, expectations and pricing. They won’t shy away from this as being direct and honest is the best way for everyone to find their perfect match.
6. Set time aside for your DIY
Things may take longer than you thought. Or they might not quite work out the way you envisioned them too. Or, they might go swimmingly 🙂
Here’s a little secret: It’s embarassing to admit for someone working in the entertainment industry, but for my own wedding we thought we wouldn’t need a DJ as we had such a great playlist on Spotify… Only a few weeks before the big day did we realise that it wasn’t going to cut it and it worried us quite a bit. We were extremely lucky to find a wonderful DJ at short notice and he really made a difference. I don’t recommend approaching suppliers late in the planning, but I’d also like to reassure you that the entertainment industry is full of passionate people who will do their utmost to help you have a great day.
If things don’t go quite to plan, it’s best to know as early as possible. Don’t leave the crafting until the last days. Start early, so you get a good idea for how things are going to work out.
I hope this post helps you make a good start! Next week, I will write about food. Stay tuned and let me know how your planning is working out in the comments.
If you’re planning a Spanish theme party and are interested in booking Flamenco entertainment, then browse my shows and get in touch.
I love performing at birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, charity and corporate events.
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