Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Party Architecture

As perennial party hosts, we've thrown enough parties to have the basics down. But what about the intangibles that elevate a good party to an awesome party? You know it if you've ever attended a party where something was missing... but you couldn't put your finger on it.

I'd read about "party architecture" on Apartment Therapy a few years back, but now that we're planning a wedding (really just a BIG party), I'm seeing it with new eyes. The four aspects of party architecture are density, structure, lighting and flow.

1. Density - crucial for dinner and dancing. While you don't want to cram your guests around a table for dinner, a packed dance floor is less of an issue. Especially if you have issues about dancing. *raises hand* A crowd can hide a multitude of dancing sins. Unless you're the one in the big white dress. Crap.

Our venue's living room. Our dance floor and DJ booth.

2. Structure - the right layout for the right atmosphere. Minimally, we'll need separate areas for the bar, music, food and photo booth. Not placing these areas on top of each other is a good place to start. Next time we're at the venue, I think we'll bring a tape measure.

3. Lighting - we'll have a mix of candles, lanterns, uplighting and overhead lighting but knowing how much and where is just as important as the type.

The tented terrace will need lighting attention before it can host dinner.
(all personal photos)

4. Flow - will be (mostly) in the capable hands of our venue coordinator, staff and vendors. Making sure guests are fed with full bellies and drinks is just the beginning. As the night wears on, furniture will be rearranged, lights dimmed and music cranked. One of the keys to flow is to keep moving - something of particular interest to me.

Any tips for spending quality time with each guest AND still enjoying your wedding?

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