How to Plan a Red Carpet Event

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Have you ever watched the Oscars or Emmys and wondered what it'd be like to attend a red carpet affair? Well, you don't have to be a celebrity to party in style. Planning a red carpet event can be simple and cost-effective, if you set and adhere to a budget, work with local vendors and keep your guest list modest.

  • Decide on the purpose and theme of your event. Are you planning a party to provide entertainment, a charity or fund-raising event to raise money for a cause or are you celebrating a major milestone or accomplishment?

  • Develop a budget for your red carpet event. This will keep you on track as you come up with your guest list and select a venue, a caterer and décor.

  • Make a guest list. This will give you an idea of how many people will attend the event, which you will need to know when you make decisions about your party location and menu.

  • Visit 5 to 7 locations to find the perfect venue to host your red carpet event. Compare the capacities, the cost and the convenience or uniqueness of the locations, and consider the season for outdoor venues.

  • Search for vendors. You'll want to get price estimates and menu ideas from at least two different caterers. A red carpet event could include a buffet-style or a sit-down dinner. Decide whether you want to do an open bar or cash bar. Be sure to price appetizers, entrees, cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages and desserts. Find a local photographer to take pictures during your event. Contact a florist and select decorative flowers that complement your party theme.

  • Create your invitations. You can make your invites at home using a word processing program like Microsoft Word or a design program like Adobe Illustrator or Microsoft Publisher. If you'd rather buy your invitations, visit your local stationery stores and office supply stores to review your options. Be sure to inform guests of directions, date and time of the event, proper attire and instructions on how to RSVP. Send invitations to everyone on your guest list 6 to 8 weeks before the scheduled event.

  • Visit your local party supply store or superstore to pick up elegant items to decorate your venue. Candles and balloons are popular, but you may find more unusual decorations. Use your imagination.

  • Don't forget to rent or purchase a red carpet! Check your local party suppliers or do an online search to find sources. To give your event real Hollywood appeal, you may even consider purchasing a step and repeat wall, the large-scale banner printed with media logos that is hung along the red carpet at the venue entrance. You can have banners custom-made with your own party-themed logos.

  • When you have received all your RSVPs, follow up with your vendors and give them your final count of attendees.

  • Create an agenda for your event to keep you organized on the big day. Include a schedule of tasks that need to be done before the event, the start time, any special activities during the event, the end time and tasks for the clean-up period, if necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • Begin planning your event at least 6 to 12 months in advance. Put all information event information into a tidy binder to keep yourself organized. Enlist friends and family to help with set-up and clean-up. Consider creating a program for your event you can distribute to attendees. Consider creating a seating chart to avoid any confusion at the door.

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