Are you in charge of hosting the family Easter Day celebrations?

As Easter is in Autumn, an outdoor gathering with family and friends surrounding a table dressed with scrumptious food and drinks is always a great way to celebrate this choc filled day.

While the children are on the big Easter Egg Hunt, the fathers are cooking on the BBQ and the mothers are in the kitchen making family recipes.

A family recipe that we would love to share  is a drink that our grandmother taught us, a Sparkling Fruit Punch which is refreshing and serves all ages and if you want to add an extra “kick” you can make it with champagne.

To make this quick and tasty punch all you need is;

Sparkling Fruit Punch

  • 1 part White Grape Juice, chilled
  • 1 part Orange Juice, chilled
  • 2 parts Ginger Ale or Champagne, chilled

Mix the juices together in a pitcher and add the ginger ale or champagne just before serving it into a tall glass.

Enjoy, Happy Easter!

Your New Years Eve Checklist

New Year’s Eve is arguably one of the most enjoyed  nights of the year.

You may be one of those people that love catching the train into the city, finding a small spot amongst hundreds of other people all just to watch the New Years Eve fire works or you may be one of those people that love to party at home, after all you don’t have to worry about how to get home but more importantly you in the comfort of your own place to let your hair down.

Here is a checklist to help with your New Year’s Eve send off.

The Guest List

The size of your guest list should depend on the space in your home.  Ideally, everyone should have a place to sit. If you don’t have enough chairs or tables to cater for your guests, you can always hire these from Walkers Party Hire.  A small and intimate list will keep the stress of planning your party to a minimum.

The Menu

What to serve? Start with some appetizers, a tray of assorted cheeses, dips, crackers, fresh fruit and savory spreads and you have a nice start to any party. Flair up the BBQ and throw on some prawns, kebabs and sausages, you want to have you guests full if you know they are having a few drinks.

When time is a factor, consider using prepared appetizers, pizzas and party platters.  Don’t forget to include plenty of crunchy snacks, like tortilla chips and salsa, nuts, and olives.

The Drinks

A full bar can be complicated and expensive, so why not hire a Slushie Machine. They pour approx. 50 drinks per barrel and you can add as much or as little alcohol to it. It is a great novelty that your guests will enjoy and will reduce you having to buy several different types of drinks just to offer.

Accompany the Slushie Machine with beer, wine and soft drinks and your bar will then be complete.

Entertainment

There is no party with out a little entertainment. Get out your speakers that have the ipod connection out to set the mood with some tunes and set up your TV in an area that lets people watch the midnight fireworks.

Miscellaneous Supplies

To make your party really festive pick up napkins, balloons, plastic plates and cutlery (after all no one wants to be cleaning up on the year’s biggest night) party poppers, sparklers and streamers.  All these items can be bought at Walkers Party Hire.

Kogarah City Council wins Australian Event Award

Walkers Party Hire is proud to congratulate Kogarah City Council on receiving the Best Achievement in Sustainability Award at this year’s Australian Event Awards.

Held at ANZ Stadium, this is the pinnacle awards program for the events industry in Australia and draws entrants from across the country.

Kogarah City Council’s award was well deserved given the effort their team put in to their Major Events and Citizenship Ceremonies, particularly their Australia Day celebrations, Chinese New Year festivities and the famous Charity Bed Race which raises funds for The St George Hospital. Walkers Party Hire is the key supplier to Council for many of its major outdoor events and is delighted that council’s efforts have been rewarded.

On the night Kogarah City Council’s Events Coordinator Bridget Keating (L) and Events Assistant Daniella Belcheff received the award from Austalian publishing icon Ita Buttrose.

Congratulations Kogarah.

 

 

The Family Christmas Lunch

If you’re anything like my mother she likes to be extra prepared for Christmas day. But the pressure is on me this year as I have thrown my hand up to hold the Family Christmas lunch at my house.

I have followed my mother’s rules and started buying my cupboard fillers a few months ago so by the time Christmas Day comes around I have everything I could possibly need. It also helps with the budgeting.

As Christmas day is usually a humid day, I don’t really feel like heating up the house anymore than what it will already be by cooking a roast so I may give this duty to one of my sisters. With that task scratched off my list I continued to write what I feel would be the perfect Christmas lunch.

*Prawns for the barbecue on ice and with lemon wedges;
*Fresh Fish from the market
*Smoked glazed ham;
*Tossed green Salad with beetroot and onion, and maybe some asparagus;
*Snags, lamb chops and lamb cutlets;
*Fresh fruits
*An esky full of beers;
*A few bottles of wine for the girls;
*Wine for the more refined; and
*More beers for the esky;

As Christmas is in summer, it can become really hot and humid and I just don’t have the space to cater for the 36 people indoors, I will have to hire a marquee from Walkers Party Hire just for some shade out side and while I am at it I should hire some more tables and chairs, so people will have somewhere to sit and enjoy the feast that I’m putting on.

Wish me luck for my first Christmas lunch.

Christening celebrations at home vs reception venues

It’s that time for me to start thinking about organising my daughter’s christening. I want to organise something beautiful and amazing but not to costly. I would love to be able to have the event at home but my husband is adamant about having it in a reception venue, so I look at our budget and the cost factors as well as the pro’s and con’s of having the christening celebrations at home verse at a reception venue.

I look at my living arrangements, small home but large back yard. I would have to erect a marquee in the backyard as I would hate to try jam 80 people into my home, I would also need to hire tables and chairs, I then look in my cupboard at our quantity of plates and glasses, we fall about 74 short in each piece, thankfully I work at Walkers Party Hire so all this will be easiest enough to book.

By having the celebrations at home there will be no time limit (this could be a positive for some and a negative for others), no issues with parking, a jumping castle can be installed with no issues but most importantly I have my daughter’s cot upstairs which is a big bonus, after all it is such a long day for the little ones that having their cot at hand will be more enjoyable and peaceful for EVERYONE.

The only things that concern me about having the celebrations at home is the house cleaning prior and post event. It’s difficult enough to clean the house day to day with two babies but when you know it’s a big event and you also have to get the babies ready the morning of the christening, I am already exhausted just thinking about it, but thankfully that is what mothers and in-laws are for.

All the positives of having the party at home supposed to a venue are all the venues negatives plus some and the only positive to the venue idea is the only negative to having at home, the cleaning.

My mind has been made, not only is it more cost efficient with only having to hire a marquee, table, chairs and a caterer supposed to price per person and the ridicules bar costs, it is more practical with young kids and the entertainment. Now to persuade the husband

What’s Creeping up behind you?…… Its Halloween

It may be a very American tradition but  many people are celebrating Halloween in Australia.

Children dress up and roam the streets, knocking on doors and yelling trick or treat? The odd person or two will choose to ignore the chants and the knocks but many people answer their doors with a boo and plenty of sweet treats.

There are many people getting into the Halloween spirit by dressing their houses with cobwebs filled with fake spiders, orange and black streamers draping from windows and even Jack-O-Lanterns at their doorsteps awaiting their guests, some even prepare a table covered with a black table cloth and with little tricks and goodies for the Halloween enthusiasts.

Its a little bit of fun for the children and some enjoyment for the people who wait at the door ready to give a scare.

Happy Halloween.

 

 

 

Wedding Budgets

Which elements are the most important to you, the romance of a wedding or the reality of paying for it?

Whether you want to have a barbecue for 20, a formal dinner for 100 or a cocktail reception for 400, the first thing to do is to sit down with your fiancé and work out who is going to contribute.

Although it was once tradition for the bride’s family to pay for most, if not all of the wedding, this is no longer the case. Today many couples pay for their own wedding, with help from either or both sets of parents. Therefore, the bride and groom must add up the amounts that they have from various sources and plan their wedding accordingly.

After deciding what the budget is, the next step is to prioritize expenses. For example, the bride might insist on an elegant evening reception. After some research, it may be determined that up to 60% of the budget will need to be spent to achieve her ideal, leaving few funds for a designer gown, fabulous photographs, quality invitations, flowers a plenty and a dream honeymoon. Or perhaps, the top priority is flowers, with orchids spilling from crystal vases on every table. Obviously, your budget will strongly reflect these preferences.

Try to group expenses into major categories: reception (to include the location, rentals, food, drink and cake), fashion (to include bridal wear and other accessories for the groom and wedding party), flowers, photography and videography, music and entertainment, honeymoon and miscellaneous (to include initiations, stationary, favours and transpiration).  Ideally the reception should be about 50 per cent of your budget and the remaining categories the other 50 per cent. It might be a good idea to have your budget outlined on paper. This hard copy will aid in resisting vendors who will try to tempt you to stay beyond your means. Be sure that you understand all costs involved before finalizing any arrangements and read contracts carefully before signing.

Remember that many companies will require a deposit so it might help to highlight dates for payment on your spending plan.

There are a few key elements that will vary the cost tremendously; time of day, menu, length of reception, level of formality and the size of the guest list.

If you set out your budget and find you keep cutting where you would rather not, perhaps a longer engagement period would give you a chance to put away the extra cash needed. A monthly savings program as little as one year can make a big difference to achieving the wedding of your dreams.

Another way to economize is to accept generous offers from family and friends; whether an aunt volunteers to fill the church with flowers from her garden or a friend from school sings a rendition of Ave Maria, not only will enhance the personal side of both the wedding and your memories.

A little creativity will stretch your budget a long way. Church decorations and flowers can be reused at the reception and, if you have the inclination make your own gifts for the bridesmaids and the ushers. Take a course at the local college in stained glass, ceramics or even Chinese painting; these gifts shall be cherished and will cost nothing more than the registration fee, materials and your time. Plus, the class might be a good way to wind down each week throughout the stressful planning period.

Finally, many travel agencies have savings plans for honeymooners; if you don’t mind waiting a few months before departing, then go ahead and register your honeymoon, then invite guests to contribute. This is an ideal registry for couples who have already set up house and are more in need of the dream vacation that an additional set of china or glassware.

Lugarno Lions Spring Festival is on again

Walkers Party Hire has been supporting the Lugarno Lions Club and its Spring Festival for many years. Held on Sunday the 23rd of  September, the festival draws over 40,000 people and has been described as the biggest festival in Sydney outside the Royal Easter Show.

The festival started out as a small Education Week function over 30 years ago and now boasts 200 stallholders, 400+ vintage and classic vehicles, an international quality showjumping spectacular and much more. It is held in Gannons Park at Peakhurst and the Lugarno Lions have work hard to continually improve the event. You never know what you are likely to see – past events have included boat races, jousting (yes, REAL jousting on horses with serious looking jousting sticks), rescue demonstrations by the local State Emergency Service – the list goes on and on.

Loads of parking is available for a small donation which includes a short bus ride across the festival grounds to and from the parking location. Access to the parking is off Forest Road via Boatwright Avenue.

Walkers Party Hire’s Peakhurst branch supplies marquees, stages and furniture to the Lions at great prices and is a very proud supporter of Lions and their humanitarian work.

If you want to know more about this great community event, take a look at their website at http://www.lugarnolions.org.au/spring-festival.html

We hope to see you at the festival.

Spring is blooming here, this calls for a picnic!

Spring is here so pull off the BBQ covers and throw on the snags. What’s a better way to spend your Saturday or Sunday’s then with your friends and family enjoying a BBQ picnic?

The best part of a picnic is the food, but packing picnic baskets or eskys (chilly bins)  is a difficult task. Always wondering if you have put enough in and will it be burgers, hot dogs or snags that Hubby or Dad will be throwing on the hot flame grill.

Now that your basket is full of picnic favourites, layout your rugs or set your picnic tables, then sit back and watch the kids run wild and the men chargrilling the meat.  Such a great way to spend your sunny spring days catching up with friends and family or even celebrating your daughters or son’s birthday.

The latest trend…Candy Buffets

Planning a candy buffet for an event sounds really, really fun (what’s not to love?), but when you get down to business, there are a lot of decisions to be made.

With so many candy flavours, colours, shapes, textures, sizes—and just as many containers, scoops, labels, and table props to consider—two g’s come to mind: “gulp” and “gasp.”

You can take two paths, you can set up a buffet yourself to save a few extra dollars, but with that comes planning, shopping, sourcing, setting up, creativity and the wondering of what you will do with all the equipment after your event is over or you could pay a hundred or two more to have that stress taken off your shoulders by hiring a candy buffet specialist who’s work is like looking at a fashion runway with so much attention paid to colour, style and accessories.

If you are trying to cut costs at your wedding, Candy Buffets range as low as $200 and anywhere up to $1000 + (if a whole tribe is coming) but if you put it against what you would be paying for bonbonniere, which your guests would probably put in the trash or burry it deep in a draw than the Candy Buffet should defiantly be high on your planning list. You could save even more by supplementing the candy buffet instead of a dessert menu.

Kids parties, weddings, Christmas parties, conferences or what ever the reason the Candy Buffet is the modern day dessert bar, lolly bag and bonbonniere. Get amongst the increasing popular trend for your next event.