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10 stress-busting tips for Christmas party planning

If you’re in charge of the Christmas festivities this year, you might be starting to feel the pressure. Christmas is a wonderful time, but it can also be very stressful if you’re the host! Here’s our handy, heart rate-lowering guide to Christmas party planning, to make life as easy as possible:

  1. Make your lists now

With everything written down, shopping is so much easier. Create a separate list for everything, from decorations and tableware to each of the ingredients for the food you’ll be making.

  1. Get friends and family involved in preparations

You don’t have to sweat away doing everything by yourself. Why not turn Christmas party prep into a festive tradition? The kids will love baking, while friends and family will be happy to join in making or hanging decorations.

  1. You don’t have to make absolutely everything yourself

If your local deli’s food is simply amazing and you’re already run off your feet, why not just go for it? It’ll save time and everyone will be just as happy.

  1. Ask guests to bring something

It’s the season of sharing and giving, and your friends and family will be delighted to bring along something for the party table. Even just a plate of mince pies or an extra bottle of wine will help to take the pressure off.

  1. Get all your party supplies in one place

Head to the Event Experts Christmas party shop to order everything at once – including tablecloths, paper plates, crackers, cutlery, decorations and more. One order and then it’s all done, another thing to cross off your list.

  1. Tackle cleaning one room at a time

It’s easy to succumb to Christmas cleaning fever, but remember that your guests aren’t expecting a showroom! Tackle one room at a time and break it down into half hour chunks or you’ll really wear yourself out.

  1. Mix self-serve drinks

Rather than rushing about getting everyone individual drinks, pop out a big bowl of punch or mulled wine and a ladle so that people can help themselves.

  1. Stick to easy, impressive food

It’s tempting to be overambitious with your Christmas party menu, but you may regret it. Instead, stick to simple, no-cook nibbles and other easy-to-prepare dishes that usually end up being the biggest crowd pleasers.

  1. Make use of pre-made playlists

Rather than spending hours putting together a suitably festive party playlist, why not pick one that someone else has made? There are loads to choose from on streaming platforms like Spotify. Unless of course making the Christmas playlist is one of your favourite festive traditions!

  1. Don’t be such a perfectionist

Striving for every detail to be picture perfect and for each Christmas to be bigger and better than the one before is what causes Christmas stress. Sometimes, ‘good enough’ really is good enough! Plan ahead and do your best, but remember that Christmas parties are supposed to be fun – and this means for everyone, including the host!

Want ghoulish? Want gory? Want realistic? Give Your Halloween Make-Up The Hollywood Touch

Halloween is creeping up on us and the race to get that perfect spooky outfit is on! But fear not… we’ve got all you need for your most impressive Halloween make-up ever, plus all the instructions on how to apply it.

Want ghoulish?
Want gory?
Want realistic?

Then Tinsley Transfers are your dream (or should that be, nightmare?) come true!

Designed by Hollywood special FX legend Christien Tinsley, Tinsley Transfers were developed during the filming of the blockbuster film, Pearl Harbor starring Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale. While working on the many extras who required ultra-realistic burn and wound effects, Christien realised speedy and easy to apply make-up FX were sorely needed. The end result was… revolutionary special FX make-up so realistic and so easy to use that it won Christien an Academy Award in 2008 for Scientific and Technical Achievement. Wow! So if you were creeped out by the prosthetic transfers and tattoo FX used on Gary Oldman in Harry Potter, or in the Oceans films, on Wentworth Miller in Prison Break, or on Vin Diesel in XXX, then prepare to impress, unnerve and astound your friends with the same professional results.

Have your friends in stitches with this FX

We’ve all been there… It’s never pleasant getting your zip stuck

Catch up on your admin with this Stapled look

Your mates will be cut-up when they see how realistic this FX is

 

Applying the Look

Applying the FX couldn’t be easier… all you need is water, a sponge and pair of scissors.

  1. Open the packaging and take out the card. Peel the plastic off the adhesive paper. Now, grab the plastic by the corners, turn it over and lie it back down on the card with the FX facing down. Rub outwards from the centre of the adhesive to smooth out any bubbles. Keep going until all trapped air is gone.
  2. Now, cut around the piece, being careful not to cut into the transfer. (TIP: hold your wound up to the light and using a marker pen, trace onto the back of the card, where the wound is. This will help you with more accurate placement when you come to apply the FX).
  3. Before applying, make sure the skin is completely clean and free of any dirt, make-up, oils and hair. When you’re ready to apply, peel off the plastic exposing the sticky underside. When you’ve decided where to apply the transfer, press it firmly onto the skin.
  4. Once your transfer is secure, dab your adhesive paper using a wet sponge. It is very important the paper is fully saturated, so don’t rush this bit! When you’re ready to remove the paper, give it one last push and then slowly peel the paper away.
  5. After you’ve peeled the paper away, you may see an air bubble or lifted edge. Simply wet your finger and press the transfer back into the skin.
  6. To finish the look and make it ultra-realistic, add Blood FX or make-up.

That’s it! Be creative and explore the depths of your imagination!

Shop Here

And with our quick delivery, you’ve still got plenty of time to work on the best way to terrify those trick or treaters!

 

Bonfire Night countdown! 10 party essentials to get sorted now

Throwing a Bonfire Night bash this year? It’s a fantastic way to catch up with friends and family, as well as enjoying all those things we love about this time of year – from the crisp autumn weather to spiced wine and warming food.

There’s not long to go until the big day, so start planning your party prep right away! Here are 10 things to do now, then you’ll be super organised for the big day.

  1. Pick a spot for the bonfire and get hold of materials for burning. You should choose a spot that is comfortably away from the house and any trees or shrubs, as well as from fireworks if you’re having them. Make a firepit, using a ring of stones or a dug out circle of turf to contain the fire. Then all you need is wood to burn (wooden pallets are a great idea) and someone who knows what they’re doing to build and manage the bonfire.
  2. Get your Guy made. You’ve got to have a Guy to burn on your bonfire, it’s tradition. Commission the kids to make him or her, but start doing it now as it takes time to put one together.
  3. Plan a fireworks display. Not every bonfire night party needs fireworks, as the sky will be full of them on 5th November, but it can be nice to set some fireworks off to add a little extra excitement to the evening. Choose and buy your fireworks now, even if it’s only sparklers. Then remember to keep them somewhere secure, safe and dry.
  4. Choose some delicious autumnal recipes and get ready to cook up a storm. There are hundreds of recipes to be found online that are perfect for Bonfire Night, from spicy pumpkin samosas to ginger cake, as well as hot dogs, toffee apples, treacle toffee and many other delicious treats. Start making your shopping list now!
  5. Order your party supplies. This is another way to be organised and get ahead, by ordering your paper plates, napkins, cutlery, tablecloths and other party supplies from The Event Experts in advance.
  6. Brush up on Bonfire Night safety. This may not be as fun as browsing Bonfire Night recipes or making a Guy, but it really is essential. You’re in charge of proceedings, so you need to make sure the bonfire and fireworks are 100% safe for your guests.
  7. Buy lots of candles and outdoor lights. Flickering candles and atmospheric garden lights help to set the perfect tone for a Bonfire Night party.
  8. Cosy up your home. This means putting out extra blankets, cushions and throws to make your home extra cosy and welcoming ready for the big night, when it may very well be a chilly one.
  9. Plan some games. This is particularly important if you’ll be entertaining younger guests, and you can even make a kids corner where they can enjoy toys, games and colouring in while the grown-ups enjoy a few drinks.
  10. Practice your hot drinks. A spiced cider or mulled wine is a great choice for Bonfire Night, as is hot chocolate with all the trimmings. It’s important to get these things just right though, so you may have to do some practice batches to test beforehand – but we’re sure you won’t mind!

13 things you need for the perfect Halloween party

There’s not long left to Halloween 2018, so it’s all hands on deck if you want to plan the perfect Halloween party! Here at the Event Experts, we can help. Follow these 13 tips for a scary good bash:

  1. A brilliant theme. Your theme could just be ‘Halloween’, but why not be more creative? Ask your guests to come as their favourite scary movie characters, or choose something more specific like ‘Zombie Apocalypse’.
  2. Carved pumpkins. These are essential decorations that no Halloween party can be without, and they’re fun to do too. Get the kids involved and once finished, get those pumpkins flickering away menacingly on the windowsill.
  3. Candles. Nothing says spooky like a room full of flickering, dribbling candles, just make sure you use them carefully and keep away from the curtains!
  4. Silly decorations. Cobwebs, bloody handprints and fake spiders may be silly, but they’re really good fun too. Your guests will love them.
  5. Blood red cocktails. Whip up a big bowl of ‘Dracula’s blood’ punch, using grenadine to give your cocktails that blood-red colour.
  6. A spooky playlist. It’s worth putting some time and thought into this one, as the playlist can make or break a party. There are loads of spooky-themed party bangers to choose from, so have fun and take your pick!
  7. Hilarious finger food and snacks. This is another area in which you can really have some fun. Create edible zombie fingers with chocolate and dates, ‘poison’ apples, meringue ghosts and chocolate eyeballs.
  8. Halloween movies. This is a great one to keep kids as well as grown-ups happy – simply stick on your favourite classic scary movie in one room of the house to get everyone in the mood for a brilliant Halloween.
  9. Mood lighting. Halloween doesn’t feel like Halloween in a brightly lit kitchen, so you really need some dimmable options. Lamps are essential, to give you just enough light to see by while also creating a spooky den of horror.
  10. Terrifying surprises. If you have the time and energy (and creativity), why not rig up a terrifying pop-up surprise for your guests? For example, a glowing skeleton that springs out of a cupboard or even a huge fake spider falling from the ceiling.
  11. Party games. These aren’t just for kids, although it’s probably a good idea to go easy if you’re planning an adults-only party. Apple bobbing can be super silly and fun, or why not prepare a Halloween quiz with a great prize for the winning team?
  12. Costume competition. Offering prizes for best costume is a great incentive to make all your friends and family really make an effort, so you should get some awesome costumes at your party.
  13. Tableware and party essentials. In all the Halloween chaos, don’t forget those party essentials! Napkins, balloons, utensils, tablecloths and paper plates should all be on your shopping list – you’ll find them all in the one handy place here at The Event Experts.

No last-minute preparations for you this year! How to get 100% ready for Halloween 2018 now

Do you often feel that Halloween sneaks up on you? How ever much you love this spookiest of holidays, it’s easy for life and work to get in the way. Before you know it, it’s 30th October and you have no costume and are rushing about trying to throw a last-minute party together.

Here are some tips to help you avoid the last-minute panic and throw an epic, super-organised Halloween for you and the kids in 2018:

  • Start thinking about it now. It may be early, but early planning is essential with a day like Halloween which involves costumes. It can take some time to decide on your costume, not to mention the prep you’ll need to do if the kids are going trick or treating. Start by having a chat with the kids, or your friends, about costume ideas. It can take some time to find the perfect one!
  • Get online and do your research. No idea what to dress up as this year? Get on the internet and start doing your research to find some inspiration. Pinterest is a great place to start, there are literally millions of images of imaginative and creepy costumes for Halloween on there.
  • Send out a group message or create a Facebook event for your party. If you’re planning to throw a Halloween party, you’ll need to let everyone know before they make other plans. This is a huge advantage of starting your planning super early, as you can get in there before those other invites start flooding in. The result? Lots of guests and a brilliant Halloween party!
  • Do some family crafting. With lots of your time at your disposal, there’s no need to panic about your costume and rush out to secure the last (and worst) one in the hire shop. Why not make your costume instead? Even if you aren’t the craftiest, you can at least create a cool mask with your own fair hands. Making Halloween costumes is also a brilliant way to get the kids involved in and excited about Halloween, and it’s a lovely way to spend time together and have fun!
  • Make your party shopping list now. Another problem with last-minute party planning is the dash to the supermarket to throw party supplies in your shopping basket, usually including a wrestle with another shopper over the last Halloween pumpkin. Avoid all that stress by making your shopping list now and heading to the party supplies shop at The Event Experts to place your order.
  • Decorate early! Some people like to put their Christmas decorations up weeks or even months before the big day, so why not do the same with Halloween? If you’re Halloween-mad, why not get into the spirit nice and early? As long as you’re not leaving for work with cobwebs in your hair, you can make the spooky season last just a little longer by getting your decorations up early.

Are you ready for the double summer bank holiday?

The kids are off school and driving you crazy, and it’s baking hot. But there’s good news on the horizon – it’s nearly time for not one but two summer bank holidays! The first and last weekends of August are lovely long weekends, with an extra day to enjoy the sun.

If you’re wondering how to spend all this extra time off but are quite rightly concerned about the bank holiday crowds at local events and holiday destinations, why not stay at home? Here are just a handful of fabulous ideas for summer bank holiday parties to keep the kids entertained and the adults sane…

Throw an ice cream party

If it’s roasting hot, what better way to cool down than with an ice cream? This is an idea that both adults and kids can get on board with, and you can even ask your guests to try making their own. Experiment with sorbets, gelatos, frozen yoghurt and more, along with all kinds of tempting toppings from fruit and sauce to sprinkles and even edible glitter. It’ll be sticky, but mega fun.

Back garden picnics

This is the easiest way to enjoy the weather and still feel like you’re making an occasion of it, without leaving your back garden! All you need is a picnic blanket, basic party supplies like napkins and paper plates, and of course – some lovely summer food. Fresh fruit, scones, sandwiches and snacks are all ideal for a back garden picnic, and the grown-ups can even spice things up a little with a glass or two of fizz.

Get a piñata

You’d be amazed at how much a simple thing like a colourful piñata can turn an afternoon in the back garden into a super fun kids party. Hang one from a tree and enjoy the decorative effect, until it’s smashing time of course! Children simply adore piñatas, and they can even form the basis of a whole Mexican-themed party. Throw on those sombreros and embrace colour in your decorations!

Summer movie night

This one will take a little setting up, as you’ll need a projector or outdoor screen, but it’s so much fun! Invite friends and family to a screening of your favourite film (singalongs are usually a good bet, but you can have everyone vote on the film in advance). Grab the popcorn and a few drinks, let the kids stay up late in their pyjamas and make the most of those warm summer evenings.

Backyard camping

You don’t need to drive for hours in a boiling hot car to enjoy a taste of the great British outdoors on a camping holiday. If you or a willing friend or family member has a back garden, pop up a tent and spend the night under the stars. The kids will absolutely love it. You can even have a little campfire (being extremely careful of course) and toast marshmallows while you tell ghost stories, and enjoy a mini adventure right outside your own back door.

Remember, you’ll find all the party supplies you need right here at The Event Experts.

How to throw the perfect dad-friendly Father’s Day bash

Some dads are party animals, while others prefer a quieter time spent with family. It can be tricky to find the right balance when planning a big Father’s Day party, but here are some tips and ideas to help you (pleasantly) surprise dads of all types…

A BBQ is nearly always a winner

Father’s Day is always in June, which means that there is a good chance that the weather will be good enough to fire up the barbecue. With very few exceptions, pretty much all dads love a BBQ. You and the rest of the family can handle the cooking while Dad enjoys a cool beer and tells you everything you’re doing wrong, unless you think he’d enjoy picking up the BBQ tongs himself of course.

Make him his favourite food

It’s Dad’s special day, so why not cook his favourite meal? Served up with the tipple of his choosing, this is the perfect way to show him how much he’s appreciated. Your dad may need to eat more greens or watch his cholesterol, but Father’s Day is very much not the time. Just for one day, let him have a real treat and the diet can start tomorrow.

Keep it relaxed

Not all dads enjoy a big fuss and the chaos of a massive party, so you might want to consider taking a more relaxed approach to Father’s Day party planning. Keep invites to a few close friends and family, the plans simple and don’t make dad have to wear a suit or his uncomfortable formal shoes. Aim for a low-key ‘we just threw this together’ vibe.

Skip the fancy decorations

Most dads simply won’t notice your intricate table settings or hand-sewn bunting, so you could perhaps skip these in your preparations. Remember, you’re not planning a fancy wedding or a baby shower.  It’s best to focus your attention on things that he will notice, like balloons and balloon banners, and practical things like colourful table covers.

Plan dad-friendly entertainment

Not all Father’s Day party plans revolve around food, so it’s time to think about entertainment. This one should be quite easy if you consider your dad’s interests and hobbies – hopefully he has at least one! Popular options include:

  • Arranging the party around a sporting fixture, such as a World Cup match, and displaying it on a big screen TV with plenty of beer and snacks
  • Investing in a great sound system to blast out Dad’s favourite bands and songs, no matter how cheesy they are!
  • Planning some family-friendly party games (perhaps letting Dad win at least once).

Spend some quality time together

Ultimately, this is what every dad wants on Father’s Day. By all means plan an amazing party to celebrate the occasion, but don’t forget to actually hang out with your dad on the day!

In need of party supplies ahead of Father’s Day? You’ll find everything you need for a bash to remember here at The Event Experts, from decorations and luxury foods right through to great gift ideas.  

One May Bank Holiday down, now to plan the next!

May is a marvellous month, as it has not one but two Bank Holidays. If we’re lucky enough to get such glorious weather for the next one, the Spring Bank Holiday weekend from 26th-28th May, it’s the perfect excuse to throw a garden party.

Here’s just a handful of other fabulous Bank Holiday party ideas, perfect for making the most of the spring weather:

Hold your own bake-off

If you adore the TV programme and fancy yourself as the next Mary Berry, why not prove it by organising and winning your own cake competition? It’s easy to plan, and the Event Experts have all you need to present all of the icing-topped cakes and bakes beautifully – from colourful table covers to candles and cake supplies. Ask all of your guests to bring along their own cakey creation, and you can even set a theme or category if you like. The very best part is that everyone gets to enjoy tasting the entries and choosing a winner!

Add your own twist to a BBQ

BBQs don’t have to be all the same, just hot dogs, burgers and buckets of coleslaw. Why not add your own twist this Spring Bank Holiday and do something a little different? There are loads of ways to spice things up, such as asking your guests to bring foods for the BBQ from a particular country or trying a vegetarian-only barbecue. You can have a seafood-only menu or try only foods that you’ve never tasted before. You can even have a cook-off between all the budding BBQ chefs that you know. Just shake things up a little and see what fun you can have!

Throw an outdoor fun day (ideal for families)

If you have lots of friends with children, the perfect way to keep the kids occupied is to organise some sort of interactive sports tournament. It could be as simple as a football game, or you could really push the boat out with an inflatable ‘It’s a Knockout’ style obstacle course. As long as you’ve got enough space and enough people to take part, it’s a great excuse to get outdoors and celebrate the brilliant weather.

Pop up a marquee

We all hope the weather will be gorgeous for the second May Bank Holiday weekend, but it’s best to make sure you’ve got some cover for your party. A marquee is the ideal way to enjoy an indoor-outside experience, where you’ve got protection if it rains but can throw doors and sides open if the sun shines. If you’re having a Bank Holiday blowout, a marquee is a party essential.

Remember – don’t leave it too late to organise your party supplies. Spring Bank Holiday 2018 will soon be here! The Event Experts is a one-stop party shop where you can find everything you need for a fun-stuffed Spring Bank Holiday all in one handy place. Shop now and make party planning just that little bit easier.

Spring has sprung! 6 outdoor party ideas for the May Day Bank Holiday

After a cold, wet and windy winter, it’s finally here – spring! Even better for the desk-bound workers of the UK, there’s a bank holiday coming up. The May Day Bank Holiday falls on Monday 7th May, giving you a lovely, long three-day weekend to enjoy what will hopefully be warm and sunny weather.

Here are 6 of our favourite outdoor party ideas to help you celebrate the Early May Bank Holiday weekend with friends and family:

  1. A fun day for the kids. If you have the space, turn your back garden into an adventure playground for the kids. Hire a small bouncy castle, play some music and let the little ones roam free while the grown-ups enjoy a cocktail or two.
  1. Throw a cocktail party. For something a little more grown-up, why not invite some friends round for a rather sophisticated drinks party. Choose a handful of concoctions (mojitos are a great bet for nice weather) and get everyone involved in making them. If the evening is warm, head outside to carry on the party in the balmy spring air.
  1. May Day fireworks. Celebrate in real style this May Day Bank Holiday with your own fireworks display! If there’s nothing organised in your local area, why not plan your own pyrotechnics extravaganza? As long as you follow local authority and safety guidelines, you can have a light show in your own back garden.
  1. Put up a maypole. This is the traditional way to celebrate May Day, and kids still absolutely love it. A maypole is really simple to make too, as all you need is a sturdy pole or tree and some colourful ribbons. Nowadays, maypole dancing isn’t very common so it’ll be a really memorable and fun experience for your guests. You can even add in other elements of traditional celebrations, such as sweet stalls and cotton candy.
  1. Plan a picnic. Held either in your garden or a local park or green space, a picnic is a great way to bring friends and family together – especially if the weather is lovely! Arrange for everyone to bring an item (either homemade or shop-bought, and coordinate to avoid too many of the same foods and drinks) and don’t forget balls and games for the kids.
  1. Choose a flower theme. Flowers are traditionally associated with May Day, and using them to decorate your party venue is a wonderful way to welcome in spring and summer. You can even use flowers as part of craft activities for children, as well as creating beautiful flower garlands for your guests and using flower shapes, petals and flavours to decorate cupcakes. Use flowers alongside balloons and bunting in bright, warm spring colours to really set the mood for your party – and open the windows to let plenty of light and fresh air in!

For all of your May Day party supplies, as well as ideas and inspiration, head straight to the Event Experts.

 

7 tips for an unforgettable family Easter party


Want to make Easter 2018 the best ever? It’s not too late to start planning your celebrations, to make this Easter Sunday the biggest and best family party you’ve ever had.

To help you get organised before Sunday 1st April rolls around, here are 7 tips for your Easter party planning:

  1. Keep the kids occupied with an Easter egg hunt. Provided you can contain the chaos to a space outside of your food prep and party planning area, an egg hunt is a great way to keep the little ones out of the way while you get everything ready. The kids can hare around in the garden looking for eggs while the grown-ups enjoy some Easter fizz. Tip: make sure you have some eggs in reserve to make sure that everyone gets one at the end of the hunt – it’ll save a lot of tears!
  1. Get everyone involved in egg decorating. Egg decorating isn’t just for the kids, and you’ll be surprised just how competitive the adults get if you offer a prize for the best egg! Provide some hard-boiled or fake eggs and some craft materials (and a protective tablecloth, newspaper or mat) and let everyone’s creativity run wild.
  1. Decorate with spring flowers. Daffodils and tulips are the perfect way to set the tone for an Easter 2018 party. These seasonal flowers will really freshen up the room and get everyone feeling excited for the start of spring.
  1. Choose the right colour scheme. Just like with the flowers, which simply scream spring, your party decorations should evoke the freshness of spring and the fun of Easter. Bright pastels, including pinks, purples and light blues, are a great choice – but you could also push the envelope and go for something bolder and more unusual. You don’t need to decorate the house from top-to-toe, but some balloons, napkins and perhaps some bunting will all add a splash of much-needed colour and flair to the party.
  1. Plan the food plenty in advance. The last thing you want is a last-minute dash to the supermarket on Easter Sunday to fight another family for that last leg of lamb. Plan the menu in advance, try to keep it simple so as to avoid making extra work for yourself, and buy all of your ingredients in plenty of time.
  1. Make sure there’s plenty of chocolate! It sounds obvious, but the kids (and adults) will be disappointed if your party doesn’t feature at least a few Easter eggs or special chocolatey Easter puds.
  1. Send your guests away with personalised party favours. This a real crowd-pleaser, especially if you have lots of younger guests and family members coming to your house on Easter Sunday. Personalised mini Easter eggs, lollipops and other treats will go down a storm, and you’re sure to be asked to plan next year’s Easter party – if you’ve got any energy left!

To help make your party easy as well as special, shop our range of Easter party supplies here at The Event Experts.