A touch of class is something that means different things to different people. The impression that it brings up in most minds is probably the idea that a lot of money has been spent. Expensive champagne. A top-of-the-line car. A dress that looks like it was made bespoke by a name designer. All of these are things that people associate with class. For better or worse, the word class has come to be synonymous with price.
Let's be honest about this, there is good reason that this has come to pass. Class has come to be associated with cost, because the theory goes that anyone can spend a little money, but only the few can spend a lot. But there is a flip side to this. We've all seen extremely rich people who spend a lot of money on something just because it cost a lot. How many of us think that, for example, a gold-painted Rolls Royce oozes class?
When planning an event, this is something that needs to be borne in mind as well. If you have an unlimited budget, it should be easy to plan the perfect event. But there are some events that cost a lot of money to put on and give of all the understated glamor of someone setting fire to a large pile of cash. A lot of money and glitz does not immediately denote class. Maybe some people think the Trump Tower is a wonder of architecture, but a lot more do not.
With that said, is it possible to have class without putting down a lot of money? That is a harder question to answer. Everything has its price, and if you pay the lowest price for everything, can you make it look classy through wit alone? It may be possible, but it's highly unlikely. The main reason for this is that if you always pay less, you're unlikely to get real quality. With a lot of hard work you can make it look better, but maybe you need to spend at least a little more.
Planning an event that will have people talking for years to come is a tricky thing to do without at least a little spending. Sure, some of the best evenings we have are the impromptu ones that build from nothing. A few drinks in someone's garden turns into a barbecue with a fine time had by all. But if you're planning a showpiece, you do need to spend. Maybe not huge amounts of money, but you will need to lay down a marker.
Catering: Class Doesn't Come Cheap
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If your gathering is to involve a sit-down meal, then you will be talking about a certain outlay. Some negotiation over the price may be a good idea, especially if there is a cash bar at the event. By ensuring that there will be a good gathering of people, you can secure a cut in the price because people will spend freely on drinks. If it is a charitable event, you can also get a lower cost by promising to promote the venue's involvement.
If you are hosting the event somewhere other than a sit-down venue, you can lower costs and keep it classy by shopping around. Instead of paying more for table linen, take advantage of deals on table napkins for catering and weddings. These are typically offered by wholesalers who deal in bulk and will give lower prices the more you buy. By saving money in as many places as you can, the overall saving grows.
Entertainment: Use Your Connections To The Maximum
Any event with entertainment provided will attract more people and more glamour. Hence, it will gain more interest. Of course, this will come at a price, but it is up to you to get the best deal on that price. For example, if you have friends in a band, hiring them to play can save some money. Also, people in bands know people in other bands, so see if they can get others to join in.
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If it isn't the type of event where guitar and drums will fly, then you can look into other options such as a string quartet or a DJ. If the rest of the event is well done, you can go a long way with just an MP3 player and a decent sound system. Pick music that is well-matched to the event and allows the evening to flow. If we're talking class, it's best to keep the music in the background so that people can talk.
Hosting: Make Yourself Available And Approachable
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Any event with class will involve a host who is on hand to make sure their guests are having the best possible time. It's almost inevitable that there will be moments during the night where someone needs assistance. Being on the scene to help with these issues is the job of a good host. Your role may include dealing with door staff, bar staff and the owners of the venue to name but a few. The image you project in doing so will be remembered.
This is one area in which class really does cost nothing. Certainly you want to be well dressed. Whatever your personal style may be, people will have a negative impression of a host dressed in sweats with their hair in a mess. But most important is the way you conduct yourself in hosting the event. Don't spend most of the night talking only to people you know and like. Circulate, be gracious and get issues sorted out quickly.
Class means different things to different people. In many ways it is a hard term to define. But one thing that everyone agrees on is that it is something you will recognise when you see it. The important thing to bear in mind is that true class leaves a lasting impression. Perhaps the only thing that leaves a more lasting impression is the absence of class. So make sure that you keep that in mind.
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