There are five general areas to consider for a nice banquet. Of course the size of the banquet can greatly change the needs of your planning. These plans are made for banquets for 20-50 people, but may be adapted to your needs for any size banquet.
3. Decorations 4. Music
5. Entertainment and speaker
These areas do not have to be done all by the same person. If your banquet is serving 20 or more you may need to assign 2 or 3 people to oversee different activities. Be sure people involved know the areas they are to cover. If it is a church banquet, your Pastor may want to arrange the speaker. If you have 3 people to help, I recommend one person oversee facilities and caterer, one person for decorating and one for music and entertainment.
1. Secure a meeting place for the banquet. You may need to do this early in the year to ensure that you have the place you want. A church banquet can meet at the church if you have the accommodations. If not, consider a club house, recreation center, or banquet center.
2. If it's a new location, be sure you Pastor approves the new place.
3. Find out what kind of tables are available for use. Round? Square? Oblong? How many feet long?
4. Figure out how many people the room can seat.
5. Find out what they will allow you to do for decorating. Can you tape on the walls? Can you tie fish line to secure things to the ceiling or walls? When can you decorate? Can you decorate the night before? When does it need to be cleaned up? Inform decorators of these details.
1. Choose a restaurant or person to cater the food.
2. Pick menu items and have them estimate the price per person. Have this done at least 4-6 weeks before the banquet so that the price can be announced.
3. Are drinks included?
4. Ask if it will be delivered or needs to be picked up. Delivery may be extra cost. Find out if the food is going to be in aluminum trays for use in warmers. Do you need to have warmers?
5.Find out how to submit an announcement including details about the meal, menu, price per person, theme, etc.
6. Find out if your pastor is ok with the meal price per person. It may be better to keep the cost minimal so a variety of people find it affordable.
7. Secure warming trays to use for the night of the banquet if not provided by the caterer.
8. Secure 2-3 servers for the night of the banquet if necessary. Usually people that are not attending the banquet. Adult singles or capable teens. You may choose to make it self serve.
9. I recommend that the person organizing catering oversee table coverings and settings. (Some banquet facilities provide them.) This includes table cloths, plates, silverware, napkins and cups. Be sure to coordinate colors according to what the decorators want.
1. Choose some soft and appropriate background music to be played that will contribute to the atmosphere. It may be coordinated with the theme of the decorations.
2. Our church has music approved by the Pastor or church music coordinator, including background music and special music.
3. Arrange one or two specials to be sung if desired.
1. Choose a theme. Start with a few words that can be built upon. Use a word or a few words that provokes imagination, or a word that means several things. For example, Rubies. Rubies are beautiful but are not imaginative. They could be a part of a Treasure theme though. Tigers! Exciting, but not a good theme. Instead of choosing tigers, you would want to choose maybe a Jungle theme. Then you have tigers, monkeys, palm trees, parrots, etc. Maybe the name of a song.
2. Some past themes we have done at our church are; Precious Moments, Seasons of Love, Fairytale Love, Chinese, Under water (bubbles and treasure), Moonlight and Roses, Italian, traditional Valentine.
3.Remember to save receipts when purchasing materials. You may be able to turn all your receipts in to the pastor or financial secretary after the banquet for reimbursement. Inform others who might be purchasing materials of this.Your church may have a different policy, so I advise finding out before spending what you do not want to come out of your own pocket.
4.Find out if there is a price limit for purchasing. Be sure to inform others doing purchasing of this also.
5. Plan a centerpiece for tables. It can be as simple as a single candle with candies and confetti scattered around.
6. Be artistic, imaginative, and creative!
7. You may want to use prom magazines to give you some ideas. www.stumpsprom.com They will send you a free magazine. Stumps Prom and Party 800-348-5084
8. You can purchase decorations from Stumps and like places, but I recommend making your own to save a load of expense!
ENTERTAINMENT AND SPEAKER
1. There are a variety of games that can be played. Word puzzles for couples to work on together, questionnaires about each other, guessing the number of candies in a jar, challenges and competitions.
2. You may be able to do some kind of skit.
3. Music specials can be included with the entertainment.
4. Prizes for the wining couple are enjoyable. Everyone likes prizes.
5. The speaker can certainly be someone from outside of your church, but do not over look your own people. A Valentine banquet is an important opportunity to teach about marriage and focus on subjects that we generally do not center on in regular services.
Liberty Baker is a Pastor's wife, Counselor, and teacher. Her and her husband specialize in building and strengthening relationships.
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