It’s time again to re-hash what could be improved. In all, I must say this is my favorite party that I’ve done to-date (I’m including parties that I’ve done pre-blog that you haven’t seen), but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t things that could be improved.
– Time Management: I still can’t say I got everything done in time. There were projects I had hoped to get done that had to be scrapped due to time. I don’t think the party was any worse because of it, but I really wished that I could have added those few extra special touches. And there was no way I would have gotten everything done without the hostess and her friend helping me (please don’t judge me for this, the hostess had specifically ‘hired’ her to help out). At least this time my makeup was mostly finished when the first guest arrived!
– Table and Buffet Placement: The space pretty much dictated how everything was placed, so there’s not a whole lot to say here. Seriously, that house is set up so perfectly for entertaining – I’d love to design another party there just to see how I could change things up!
– Backdrops: I finally feel as though I got one right this time! I love the way that the buffet turned out. I tried to remember the concepts from previous lessons learned: scale, framing and simplicity. How much simpler can you get with a bit of pretty ribbon pinned to a canvas, framed by a pretty garland? The only critical element I have is that I wanted to frame the bottom of the buffet as well, but I think it could have easily ended up looking too busy.
– Develop a Comprehensive Plan: I wouldn’t say that I put together much of a plan. From our consult there was a pretty straightforward menu in place with a few specific ideas; and everything else just kind of came together aroundthose elements.
– Define a purpose for each space: Again, the house dictated the fow of the party from the beggining, so there was no concern here.
– Buffet Design: I can’t say I had a plan for the buffet design before I arrived. I just made sure that I had serving pieces of varying heights and that my serveware coordinated! I even went so far as to have two sets of food labels ready so I could see which I liked better!
– Budget & Tracking Expenses: This was probably the first party where I had a concrete budget. I must admit that it was fairly generous, considering the number of guests. That said, I wish I could say that I stayed totally within budget. I only requested reimbursement for the perishable items and the custom items, and even then I was pretty might right there at my budget. What was my downfall? Flowers…of all things, flowers! I always expected food to be a large portion of the budget, but didn’t realize how expensive flowers are…so I ended up buying wholesale stems to make my own arrangements!
How do you think I should deal with the cost of necessary, but reusable items? Should I charge the customer in full; in part; or should I just count it toward overhead? I’m at a loss here, and I’m wondering how I could create a profitable company if I’m having to buy specific items for parties, but not get reimbursed in full. Then again, I would feel wrong getting fully reimbursed for an item that could clearly be reused several times.