An event may seem like it’s easy, effortless and perfectly scheduled, but that impression is impossible without a lot of work and coordination behind the scenes.
For my father’s 60th birthday party, it wasn’t just booking one of the Savoy’s ballrooms and picking the meal but so much more!
Most of the people who were invited live everywhere from Peru and the USA, to Morocco and Switzerland. With such a diverse group of people, it was necessary to provide recommendation lists for hotels and activities, tuxedo rentals in London and transport. The party website was probably one of the most valuable tools, for RSVPs and all the addresses and tips our guests would need.
Coordinating the gift
We chose early on to get one gift from all the guests, as this would be easier for people travelling from afar and mean the most to my father. For months I was researching Panther motorbikes, sorting out the purchase of our chosen one, the restoration and delivery to the Savoy, to be unveiled on the big night.
A big fan of jazz, we thought about gifting our father with a private performance of one of his favourite singers. As well as the booking process through her manager, I had to book rooms, make sure she and her musicians had everything they needed before their performance and during.
Scheduling was down to the minute with this event: we had to calculate when people should arrive, allow for them to be late, when my father needed to arrive, when my sister would need to let me know when they had left home, prepare the confetti, move people to dinner, the present unveiling, the musicians, the cake, the DJ, etc. It was all perfect though and went seamlessly, just how it should have.
Keeping the secret
As my father and my sister have a week between their birthdays, my sister pretended that it was her celebration that night and for nearly a year, every single person kept it a secret. It was a full time job reminding people to not mention they’d be in London, not mention his birthday, etc., but everyone played along wonderfully. After the party, my father confessed he’d been suspecting a dinner with a dozen friends, but not the extravagant, 60 person event complete with private concert and vintage motorbike. Mission accomplished!