New Orleanians love a good party, and the city is noted for throwing entertaining fetes. Whether a small gathering for friends and family or a large soiree for a couple of hundred guests, a successful party will be remembered for years. The basics of party planning are the same regardless of the size of the guest list, and we asked local event planners for advice about how to create a memorable event with unforgettable flair. (See the detailed “Party planning checklist” on p. 15).
When and why
According to EmilyPost.com (“Six Ways To Be A Good Host”), being a good host means planning well and considering the variables involved in having a party: the reason for the celebration, the size of the event, the venue, the budget, the time of year and more.
The date of the party is usually the first decision made. Next, local event designer and planner Kellie Mathas of Tchoupitoulas + Vine says she begins with the person or people for whom the party is being given and the demographics of the guests.
“How I’m going to spend the budget and plan all depends on the demographics,” says Mathas, who in 2001 became the first person in Louisiana to obtain Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) accreditation. “Knowing who is coming to the party affects everything from the dinner plate and the band to the seating.”