Ready for part 2 of my tips to organize and prepare a vintage party for family and friends?
Foresee enough shopping for during the party and for pick nick!
We booked the baker, caterer and bistro immediately and contacted them again the beginning of January. By then the baker decided to have a week annual leave, so we had to find the local greengrocer, who opened up especially for us to provide the bread rolls and croissants for breakfast. When we left, our car and that of my daughter and son in law, was loaded with items for a continental breakfast (chocolate paste, “speculoos” paste (Lotus), different jam, butter, sugar, milk, coffee, tea (all in small containers). Fruit and soft drinks we had to buy in the local supermarket as our car was loaded to the brim with ourselves and luggage and all the drinks. The wine we bought locally in our region and aperitif and after dinner drinks in Spain, as we live close to the boarder. For the children we provided chocolate milk and fruit juice (little containers with straws).
In the separate houses, we put coffee, tea and milk and sugar with a “help yourself” note for a late or early cup. The main food was stored in and outside the castle kitchen, as the weather was cold enough.
A friend of mine was hired as a help to fetch bread in the morning and to lay the tables, put on the dishwasher and other little tasks. Thanks Saveria! You do need help, you’re too busy during the party, entertaining guests.
We bought brown paper bags for a take away pick nick, as the caterer provided a midday cold lunch every day. These bags were useful too on the day people had to leave and could all take a road pick nick for their families.
Give time off!
Good was that people, during the day, could go anywhere they wanted or just rest in the castle. Also having three different programs for the evenings, kept everybody on their toes and boredom had no chance.
Music and internet!
I spent hours finding old-fashioned music to set the atmosphere, for when people arrived, to have background music during meals and dance music for the party. I asked all the guests to give their favourite song so I could include that one too. Major problem was though, that as we used iTunes to stream the music during the dance party, that we got publicity in between and because of all the youngsters using their mobiles, online all the time, it interfered with the good reception of the songs, so we had to ask them all to turn off their mobiles!
We asked no presents, just people coming to the location, being there was our present. We did ask them to prepare a speech of how they met us or with a fond memory. The speeches were grand and brought tears and laughter during the meals. Some people did bring something, but most did it in such a nice way, with a special gift full of memories.
Thank you note and pictures!
We warned everybody that we wouldn’t send a thank you note, but a cd with pictures instead. Make sure you ask several people to take a group picture and a picture of each individual family as a group, if you don’t, you’ll certainly have people or precious moments missing! Most pictures appeared on fb within days, but we made sure those we want to use for the thank you cd, didn’t appear!
We had three amazing days, well worth the year’s preparation. The only thing I forgot to do, was to give people a road description for our bistro outing and we managed to all drive away, leaving my daughter and her husband (my biggest helper for the blog!) behind at the castle… Luckily he’s a smart lad! Sorry mate …
So take your time, prepare well and you’ll have everlasting fond memories!
I loved our party, good luck with yours, keep me updated!