Churches are often used to host events like weddings, graduation parties and charity balls. Entertaining at a church is cost-effective since facilities are often free for members or rented out for a small fee. Many churches come complete with restrooms, a kitchen, established seating and sometimes even free decor.
Although your church may solve your venue issue, there’s still a lot of planning to do for a formal event. Upscale parties should make a memorable and unique impression on guests. With the right planning and some creativity, you can host the upscale event of your dreams at your church. Here are five tips to get you started.
1. Plan for a Wow Factor
The wow factor is what sets upscale parties apart from other events. These parties are designed to surprise, stun and delight your guests. They become a cherished memory because they offer an experience that is so unique from guests’ everyday lives. Most luxury parties achieve their wow factor by generating a sense of awe with stunning and unusual decor.
To achieve a wow factor at your church venue, start with lighting. Aim for soft lights with a warm tone instead of harsh, blue lighting. This goes for the bathrooms too. For an evening event, you can rely on candles to create the right ambiance. Decorate the outside of the building with light installations and make sure the first room that guests see feels exciting and fabulous.
2. Have a Dress Code
For an upscale event, you should always create a dress code. This ensures that no one shows up in an outfit that ruins the unique feel of your party. In general, formal suits and evening gowns of varying styles are perfect for upscale parties. Extravagant jewelry and updos are also encouraged. However, the exact details to fulfill your vision for the event are up to you.
Once you’ve decided on a dress code, include the details in your invitations and remind guests again before the event. If the dress code is essential to your party, make sure to reiterate that when you touch base with guests before the event. Most people enjoy dressing up and will be excited about the prospect of attending a fancy dinner or wedding.
3. Choose High-Quality Items
When you’re putting together an upscale event, every detail matters. Layering is key for creating a sense of luxury. For example, table settings with a tablecloth, runner, placemat, several stacked dishes, specific utensils and a personalized place card will feel much fancier than a simple table setting.
If you’re serving a meal, remember that quality matters much more than quantity. Consider high-quality delicacies like aged caviar, but make sure you know how to properly serve it. Fancy drinks like wine, champagne and sparkling water will instantly make any party feel special. You can also add detail with elegant glassware and table linens.
4. Delegate Everything
Another important part of upscaled events is that they should make hosting look easy. All your work should be done ahead of time so you’re not stressed or harried on the day of the party. During the event, work will still need to be done and someone will need to stay on top of the event schedule. These tasks should be delegated so no one person is overloaded making sure everything runs smoothly.
The number of organizers you’ll need depends on the type and size of the event you throw. For example, a charity ball that’s entertaining 100 people will need a much larger team than an upscale bridal shower thrown for 15. Never overestimate what you can do personally – you’ll be a much better hostess with the support of others.
5. Capture a Feeling
Although the details do matter, you can throw an upscale party with a small budget. The key is to invest most heavily in focal points and party pieces that make a big difference in your guests’ experience. For example, you can create a fabulous chandelier entwined with fairy lights and then opt for a simpler table setting underneath.
Upscale events are all about the feeling you create in the space and the memories your guests take away. Since you’re after a feeling, make sure to cover each of the five senses in your party planning. What will your guests see? What will they hear, taste, touch and smell? Decide what you want your guests to say after the event and work backward from there.
You’ve Got This
Throwing a party takes a lot of planning, time and energy. Fancy formal events are even more complicated because they need to feel seamless and be relaxing for you and your guests. Use these five tips to plan an upscale event at your church that will live on in your guests’ memories for years to come.