You’d love to get married at your childhood home or host the entire office at an off-site location to celebrate company successes. But, is it the right space for your event? Check out the top questions to ask your caterer (and yourself) before hosting a party in your own space.
- What rentals may be needed?
Of course you’ll need tables and chairs, but to host an off-site event that doesn’t have an actual venue will also require a tent, tent flooring, a dance floor, tent siding (plan for rain), kitchen prep tent, lighting, heating, cooling, portable generators… That can seem overwhelming, but a professional caterer will help you navigate your needs.
- Have you evaluated your space to choose the ideal spot for your ceremony and reception?
Your site’s terrain will dictate if it is possible to host your event. If your party area is at the foot of a hill, the rain might roll downhill, right into your party. Also, be realistic: you need much more space than you may think to accommodate seating, décor and feasibility. You’ll also need to be sure that you location is accessible for guests with limitations. It is important to plan ahead for the comfort of your guests to get to the event space safely and comfortably.
- What is your weather plan?
Naturally, you want the weather to be in your favor on the day of your event, but should it be less than favorable, a plan needs to be in place to ensure the event goes on without a hitch. Discussing rain plans with your catering manager and putting those arrangements into place before severe weather strikes will help keep you and the event covered.
- Have you considered local curfews, noise ordinances and neighbors?
When you’re hosting a large event at home, it is always a good idea to extend the invite to the neighbors. If they’re enjoying your party, they won’t mind the noise. At the very least, reaching out to your neighbors to make them aware of the event and passing along a phone number for any complaints on the day of are also a great option.
- Do you have the power?
Not only is a power source needed for lighting, heather or cooling, but also for vendors too. Nothing stops a party like a DJ or band losing power or a culinary team that cannot prep properly. If the property can’t accommodate all the power needs, a portable generator is a must.
- Do you have adequate lighting?
Once you arrange your power source, you’ll want to think ahead and plan to install lighting well in advance of your event to test, test and test once more. Planning for the safety of your guests to navigate your event space in the evening is vital. A few twinkle lights and candles will not put out enough light to keep your space well-lit, but can help add to the atmosphere.
- How will you keep your guests cool or warm?
Outdoor events in the heat of summer of chill of fall will require you to do your part to keep your guests comfortable. Consider portable tent fans to cool in the summer months or heaters that are safe for tent use to keep your guests warm in the cooler times.
- Where will your guests park?
The parking situation. A good rule of thumb is to allocate one parking space for every two guests. If your property doesn’t have parking available, consider local alternative such as a local church or business park that may offer a large parking area from which you can shuttle your guests from if it is too far away. Valet services are another option to allow your guests the ease and VIP experience of door-to-door service.
- Do you have bathroom facilities that can accommodate your guests?
Lastly and truthfully, this is the most overlooked item. Most home systems cannot handle 100+ guests, and your location may not have any facilities available. Consider renting portable restroom trailers. They look, feel and act like a regular restroom and can handle your guest count.
Hosting a party like this may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Don’t go at it along. Hire an experienced and highly-rated professional catering company that can help you navigate the off-site experience. A great caterer with excellent off-site experience will be able to lend you their knowledge to help you plan for, plan around and execute your event with perfection.