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Making Casual Entertaining a Breeze at Your Estate

Garden party with umbrellas and a set table with flowers

With Spring upon us, many are dusting off their entertain hats (put away after the holiday season) and ready to venture back into hosting friends and family for events with nicer weather. Spring brings religious celebrations, graduation season, and rolling into summer brings family celebrations of Mother's & Father's Day that lead into patriotic gatherings with fireworks on warm summer nights. Planning the details for any function takes a clear goal and proper communication between all parties to ensure smooth execution of the event.

Here are some steps to consider when planning an event on your estate:

1. Have a conversation with your staff on your expectations for each particular type of gathering and what your definitions are for "casual" or "formal." These words are catch-all-phrases that do not provide enough direction to your staff and can set everyone up for a communication error if not articulated correctly. What is very formal to me may be very informal to your family, so it is essential to set the parameters for what these words entail that is specific to your estate. These guidelines may be detailing the specifics on what table linens and table settings you prefer, whether or not you want to rent casual use dinnerware from your local party rental supply company, or whether or not you're going to pull out all the stops and what the budget is for this particular event. Not giving your staff enough direction sets everyone up for failure, so it is crucial to set the parameters for what you expect that your team can execute your desires accordingly.

2. Once you have made your wishes known for the parameters for the occasion including decor, budget, floral, date, time, food & beverage, etc. It might be helpful to your staff to package all of your preferences into a "template" to give them some sense or context on how you want the event to run based on other events that you may have hosted in the past. For example, you can say: "For garden parties on the estates for this type of guests I like to have these particular elements, but for another type of invitee these parameters would change." Etc. If you are hosting work colleagues you may run a garden party very differently than you would family function, so even though the setting is the same the intention for the event can change, so if you give some framework for your staff to work in each time based on the variables you can set up a baseline from which to plan the event.

3. Make sure each element is in place before the "change window" closes and you approve each element in enough time, so you are satisfied with all aspects of the function. There is a certain window of time it takes to order each element and asking for change orders after that only puts unnecessary stress on the staff. Fresh floral has a window for ordering the correct items, food has to be purchased and started the prepping process sometimes days before an event, so please ask your staff to confirm the "cut off window" of time for changes or additions to your orders with each vendor, and put those on the master planning sheet so that everyone is aware and you can make the final decisions well before each deadline approaches.

Entertaining on behalf of an employer can be challenging for many reasons, but with communication and proper planning, it can be a well-orchestrated function that does not have to cause stress for you or your staff. If you need a comprehensive event planning manual at your estate that details all of your preferences and articulates different types of functions and the parameters for each, please contact Luxury Lifestyle Logistics to schedule a complimentary consultation today to equip your staff to execute these events flawlessly!

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