Just recently we held our 25th-anniversary party at the farm. This all started with a lot of trepidation on our part as to how successful holding a full-on party would be, as opposed to just us celebrating our 25 years together. It took us about a month to talk to our friends and relatives about a wide range of things such as the theme, the food and even the kind of crockery and cutlery we were going to use to make an actual decision to go ahead and hold a party for a large number of people. Although, the biggest thing we found out from talking to everybody was that they were really impressed with the idea that we made it to 25 years as opposed to anything really useful in terms of holding the party. It’s not that they expected us to fall short, but in this day, anything that lasts for 25 years turns out to be impressive.
How We Planned It
We have space, but unless everyone was going to be sitting on the grass and enjoy, we really did not have the necessary equipment to hold a party. It was around this time when we started doing our research. We were glad we had given ourselves at least four months to organise this event. Initially, just the sheer amount of tables and chairs we needed to seat up to 200 people completely took us by surprise. After that, of course, we had to keep everyone dry if it was to rain, which made us add marquees to the list, for which there was a myriad of options. For example, the first thing we were concerned about was whether we were going to go for giant marquees that could seat up to 50 people each or smaller and more intimate marquees for each group.
We decided that the smaller marquees would not be a good idea as that would allow each separate little group to stay separate and not mix in with the others, which would make us wind up with half a dozen little parties within the main party. We also planned on having themed decorations on the tables. The dining tables were going to be six seater rectangles with Rubik’s cube print covers, appropriate for the 80’s. We found some old posters of pop stars and movie stars of the era, which we were going to hang all around the place. All the plates and cutlery were going to be loud and bold colours to fit into the theme. The bar was actually going to be a mate’s bar from his man cave which also looked like an old pub bar from an 80’s hotel.
We were also going to have food straight from the 80’s. We were going to have coloured deviled eggs, cheese cubes on a stick, hot chips covered in tomato sauce and a meat platter guaranteed to raise everyone’s cholesterol levels. The main course was going to be my speciality; Lechon on a spit with salad which everyone would have wanted. Dessert would have been the classic, jelly and ice cream. It surprised me that some of the kids had never even seen this wonder food.
Change of Decision
Although initially, we decided that we could do it, less than a month later we decided we really didn’t want to do it as it was turning into a total nightmare. But then there was a suggestion that saved the whole idea, which surfaced of the blue. A good friend suggested that we hire a party planner. We knew that hiring a professional party planner would make it slightly more expensive. But on the other hand, it was just a couple of thousand dollars added onto an already $30,000+ bill. Furthermore, it would also take all the pressure completely off us and actually allow us to enjoy ourselves during the whole process.
We went and talked to a local party planner. Search it – there is quite a few around. But do yourself a big favour and check out the recommendations and reviews and hire the best one you can. I know ours was excellent, did a thoroughly professional job and made our whole dream come true.
The first thing our party planner asked us was, “what is the theme of the party?”, I must admit I didn’t have a clue what the hell she meant. To me, a party is a party. But she quickly explained herself. I have to agree the idea sounded good and in the end turned out even better. We decided to theme our party on the 1980s which was the decade in which we met. Now here is where the party planner’s expertise really comes into play. She knew where to hire all of the equipment we needed to make a 1980s theme party. We would have spent weeks even trying to figure it all out. But she knew all the answers from the beginning.
With virtually no input from us except the funding, our party planner organised, booked, got it all setup and then came and ran it on the day to perfection. Now I know, that she ran into some problems along the way. But with her level of expertise, she solved them easily. You could hire all of the equipment that she did for us without her help. We know that. But having one person in total control of the event is something I would suggest that everyone does. Even if you don’t hire a professional, at least appoint a dictator to run your party. It works.