What can I do to make my NYC event special?
This is a question we hear all the time at 583 Park Avenue and Guastavino’s. I like to tell people that to make an event special you first must get basics right, but that’s not the kind of guidance most party hosts are looking for. Truthfully, there is not much you can do that is really going to make a memorable difference beyond the basics: music, décor, food and service. Getting all of that right is an accomplishment in itself; but there are two little extras that can pay off.
1) Seating Arrangements
Bear in mind that no one is coming to your wedding, bar/bat mitzvah or fundraiser to make new friends. People want to sit with people they know and LIKE. Don’t force guests to sit with strangers or enemies just because you think every table must have ten seats. One of the biggest mistakes that amateur event planners make is trying to force their guests into a fixed number of spots per table.
Taking that thought a step further, one way to enhance your guests’ evening is to have individual place cards at each seat, in addition to the place cards at the entrance. It shows that extra care and thought have gone into insuring that each guest enjoys him or herself. It’s a lot of work, but thoughtfully assigned seating will often result in a better party.
2) Take Home Gifts
Our clients often ask about what gift, if any, they should give as their partygoers’ head home for the evening. In my experience, take home gifts at private at events are a waste of money (as opposed to goody bags at charity parties, which are fun).
My professional opinion aside, I know that in some cultures take home gifts are a must. In this case I suggest a having a candy table by the doors as your friends and family leave. Guests adore sweets at the end of the night. Best of all, you can make your offerings as lavish or as simple as you wish. For one spectacular wedding we did an all-white chocolate table loaded with goodies. The very sophisticated guests stripped it clean!
Herbert Rose is Director Emeritus at GUASTAVINO’S and 583 Park Avenue. He has over 40 years of experience as Director of Catering at New York’s finest venues.
Have a question for Herbert? CONTACT US today and he will be happy to address it in a future post.