How to Throw the Ultimate Southern Bash
We’ve enlisted the best event planners around to help give your special evening a Southern shine.
LIGHTING – There is nothing that has the power to instantly change the mood or feeling of a party like the perfect lighting. Whether outdoor bistro lights hanging like fireflies in the sky, papier-mâché balls floating lazily above the crowd, candlelit lanterns nestled in the trees, or even cozy fire pits on a brisk Southern night, finding the ultimate lighting fills both the night and the attendees with a warm glow.
Ginger loves planning parties, social and corporate events, fundraisers and weddings. She can be reached at 912-433-5766 and gingerfawcettevents.com
Sebrell Smith, Sebrell Smith Designer Events
INVITATION – It’s becoming a lost art form, but if you want to be true to your Southern roots, you have to do invitations. It’s not a proper party without a proper invitation. Depending on how formal or casual, 4-6 weeks for casual, 8 weeks for formal. But absolutely hand-write the envelopes. You have to follow the old-school rules.
Sebrell Smith offers professional guidance, planning, production and detail management for any event. We specialize in destination weddings. You can reach her at 912.604.6852 or sebrellsmith.com
Bethany Boles Hewitt, Southern Graces
THE ELEMENT OF THE SURPRISE – I refer to this as “stacking the event” – meaning that I want every event to unfold for our guests. If every aspect of the event is available at the beginning, you may lose the energy and have the event fade out early. Don’t let your guests experience everything at once! Having cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in one area, and then inviting guests to a new space for dinner and dancing is a tried and true way of doing this, but I like to take it several steps further. Have the lighting change in a dramatic way when transitioning your guests from dining to dancing, send in roving carts of fresh hot donuts for something sweet after the meal, or hire a break dancing group to break into the dance floor as the evening progresses.
Need help with your wedding, social gathering or corporate events? Call Bethany at 912.509.0878 or visit her website: southerngraces.com
Tammy Moseley Ray, The Detail Department
GIVE YOURSELF TIME – One of the most important considerations for a successful event is to allow enough time to properly plan it. For example, in my opinion, the ideal lead time for small events such as networking receptions is at least three or four months and about nine months to a year for larger events such as galas. Can it be done in less time? Absolutely. I once planned a VIP reception on 48 hours’ notice and my client was very pleased with the results. But having more time generally means a better event. More time allows the opportunity for brainstorming ideas to make the event more meaningful with special touches. More time allows more options for budget-friendly expenses, by soliciting quotes for best pricing and also eliminating the need for rush fees. More time allows for the full development of an invitation list that includes as many people as possible and removes the likelihood that someone will be overlooked in haste. More time allows guests to have more notice for an event, which yields better attendance. Time is valuable and its value to events should not be underestimated.
You can reach Tammy at thedetaildepartment.com, or call 912.604.1267
Bonnie Karr, First City Events
MAKE A GREAT EXIT– Geography is on our side and you can have so many different fun and unique exits. Horse and carriage, yacht, sail boat, kayak or canoe, trolley, limo, classic car, pedi cab, mopeds, helicopter…the list is endless.
First City Events can help you with a variety of events, and they even have their own DJ specializing in receptions, dance parties, private events, clubs, fashion shows, gallery exhibits, and block parties. 912. 695.0087 or visit firstcityevents.com.