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How to Host an Intimate Party at Home

Not all parties and celebrations need a swanky venue or an expensive restaurant to help you celebrate with loved ones. With some thought and planning, it’s easy to transform your home or garden into a stunning location where you can share an intimate gathering. 

Perhaps you’re celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, a hen or stag night or even an engagement. Whatever the circumstances, we know the tricks of the trade that will help you to throw the perfect dinner party. Keep reading to discover how you can create the ideal ambience, learn how to prepare delicious food and drinks with minimal stress and get started on how to make your at-home party memorable for all the right reasons. 

Determine the Purpose and Theme of Your Party.

Before you start planning your intimate party at home, it’s essential to recognise the purpose of the occasion. That way, it will help you decide on your menu choices, décor, and whether you need to invoke an overarching theme. You might be looking to host a cosy garden movie night, a sophisticated cocktail party or a relaxed garden BBQ – your choice will naturally be based on your party occasion. 

Saving your stress levels on the party day

One of the reasons why clients love to work with us to arrange their intimate gatherings is because they know that we will handle any stress for them. Throwing a home party should be fun and exciting. You can’t enjoy it yourself, if you’ve got yourself stressed and overwhelmed. 

Here are a few of our top tips to reduce stress levels as much as possible. 

Think about the cleaning.

It goes without saying that hosting a party at home involves mammoth cleaning sessions – both before the party to get ready and after your party when you need to tidy up. 

We often tell clients they could hire a local cleaner to do a few hours before and after. We promise that it will hugely reduce your stress levels. 

The average cleaner will charge between £15-18 per hour. If you asked them to come the day before and the day after for a few hours each time, it would only cost you approx. £30-40 for each visit. 

That sounds well worth the cost to us! 

Suppose you’re not sure where to find a local cleaner. In that case, we recommend asking for suggestions or recommendations on your local Facebook community group or via the NextDoor app. 

Consider hiring an external catering team.

Are you hosting a sit-down dinner or even an informal buffet or BBQ? Why not bring in external caterers to save you from spending hours stressing in the kitchen?

The quickest and easiest solution could be to rely on Uber Eats or Deliveroo and order takeaways from your favourite local restaurant. 

Alternatively, you could ask an external caterer to provide costs for your food. The advantage of working with an outside catering team is that they can ensure that any dietary requirements are met and provide allergen management. They can also advise on menu choices, negotiate rates with suppliers and reduce the amount of food wastage. They can also manage any post-event clean-up, saving you valuable time in the morning. 

We have a contact book packed with caterers specialising in various menu choices. If you need help securing an external caterer, please get in touch. 

Could an event coordinator help?

Being the perfect party host can be stressful. You will be trying to juggle many things! From making sure any suppliers are in place and ready to go, to welcoming guests and making sure everyone has a drink or somewhere to sit. You’ll even be directing people to leave their coats and handbags somewhere safe – all while simultaneously trying to socialise with your guests. 

Why not hire an event coordinator to help you manage the logistics? Not only would that person be able to liaise with your catering team and any other suppliers, but they’ll be there to answer the door and direct people to hang up their coats. Your coordinator will remove the stress so you can sit back and enjoy your intimate gathering . 

Contingency planning is vital.

As experienced event planners in Devon, we know that things can and do go wrong even with all the best planning in the world. Our role isn’t just to provide you with the event planning support you need for your party to succeed. We are here to provide risk assessments and contingency planning, so if something goes wrong, you know how to deal with it. 

For example, if the weather looks like it isn’t going to be favourable, you may need a marquee or gazebo. Similarly, if the caterer calls in sick, we know how to manage the catering with minimal fuss that you wouldn’t even know there had been a problem!

Hiring external bar staff

One of the questions clients often ask us is whether to hire a fully-fledged bar team for a small intimate gathering. If you think this sounds more like it belongs on a show like Real Housewives of Beverley Hills, you might be surprised by how affordable it can be. 

There are many different external drinks companies that can offer a wide range of drinks. They can even design specific cocktails just for you. The advantage of hiring an external team is that they will provide all ingredients, spirits and mixers, and the glassware and tableware. They’ll save you from having to spend hours standing in the supermarket trying to decide what drinks to buy, and they’ll save you from having bottles of leftover booze hanging around long after the party ends. 

Hiring an external bar team will keep your guests outside if your intimate party is a garden party. Everyone will be continually refreshed, and you won’t have to worry about a thing.

Do you have any entertainment planned?

Do you have any plans for entertainment during your intimate gathering? Whether you’re considering live music, hiring a sound system or other forms of entertainment, you need to consider when your entertainment will occur. Will it begin as your guests arrive? Or will it be something to take place towards the end of your evening (we promise, it won’t be like an episode of Come Dine with Me!).

One top tip is to always speak to your neighbours in advance. If you have a sound system or loud music, as a matter of politeness, you should always let your neighbours know. Remember that there are legal limits for sounds between 11am and 7am.

If you’re unsure what entertainment you could bring to your house party, why not get inspired by following us on Instagram?

Never forget about the toilet situation…

Finally, if you’re hosting a home party or an intimate gathering, it may be worth hiring in Portaloos for your party. Even if you have a downstairs toilet, if you’ve got several guests, hiring external temporary toilets can be an easy way to make sure that your home remains your sanctuary. 

Hiring external toilets doesn’t need to be too expensive. You can ask us how much it could cost to add a Portaloo to your intimate party. 

If you want further help or support to host a private party at your home, please talk to us. We can help you find the ideal suppliers to bring your vision to life. 

Our event planning services are ideal for those living in Devon or the South West. Alternatively, if you need any inspiration, why not head over to our Instagram or Facebook page.


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