No matter what you’re celebrating, a party is always a special occasion. Whether it’s a milestone birthday, the arrival of the holidays, a bridal shower, a wedding reception, a graduation, or maybe even Halloween, parties are all about getting people together for a good time.
And while there’s a lot that goes into planning any party, few tasks are as important as choosing a party venue. The space you choose is important from a practical perspective—the size, layout, amenities, and services offered by the venue are all crucial—but it also helps set the party atmosphere from the moment the first guest walks through the door.
So regardless of the reason for your celebration, here are some simple tips to help you find the perfect venue.
The Best Party Venues
There are so many different reasons to throw a party, and an equally diverse range of event spaces are available to suit the occasion. Whether you’re looking for unique venues or something more traditional, there’s a wide range of locations in a city that are ideal for special events. So before you start comparing venues, you must have a clear idea of the type of celebration you want your guests to enjoy and the atmosphere you want to create. Here’s a short list of some of the most popular event venues available in every locale.
- Loft Spaces
Loft spaces are elegant and refined venues that are perfect for sophisticated soirees. Warm and inviting, lofts boast gorgeous architectural features, high ceilings, and plenty of natural light, so they’re ideal for birthday parties or special events like a cocktail or engagement party.
- Penthouse Apartments
If you want to raise the roof, there’s nothing quite like a party in a penthouse. You can expect good company, good tunes, great views, and an undeniable sense of luxury—and if you’ve also got access to your very own rooftop patio, even better. Penthouse apartments are great for birthday parties and other social occasions.
- Bars and Breweries
A bar or brewery would be a wonderful place for any kind of party. You can find a trendy nightclub or a casual local bar, whichever fits your style. Breweries fall under unique party venues and are ideal for socializing, wetting your whistle, and celebrating in style.
What to Look for in Party Spaces
Choosing the best party space or event venue isn’t always as straightforward as you might think. There are so many great venues out there that it’s important to make a list of all the key features you need for your celebration. Here are the most important factors to consider.
Convenience is a must when choosing a party space, so look for something simple for guests to access. Consider issues such as traffic congestion and proximity to public transport. You might also want to consider what other attractions are nearby—for example, are there any bars and nightclubs nearby for anyone who wants to kick on after the party winds down?
Getting the size right is essential when choosing an event venue. A venue that’s too big will lack atmosphere, but if it’s too small it’ll be cramped and unpleasant. Get it right and you’ll encourage mingling without making anyone uncomfortable.
It’s also important to make sure the layout suits your needs. An extended family dinner for a milestone birthday party, for example, will require something quite different from an all-night dance party to celebrate a 21st birthday.
The perfect venue helps to create the desired party vibe. But the vibe you want will vary depending on what you’re celebrating and who you’re partying with, so make sure the party space you choose has the ambiance to match the occasion. Whether you want formal black-tie surroundings such as banquet halls or something much more casual for a birthday party, there are plenty of options available.
- Essential Features
Next, think about those key features your event location absolutely must have. For example, is there enough parking and adequate bathroom provisions, do they offer catering, and will you need to rent equipment or furniture? Put together a checklist to help make your decision easier when comparing venues.
Hosting a party can be an expensive exercise. There are plenty of expenses to consider, so don’t blow all your budget on the venue alone. Set yourself a limit and stick to it—no matter how tempted you might be by some of the truly spectacular event spaces out there.
Party Inspiration: Unique Venues for Memorable Celebrations
Not sure what sort of venue or theme would be the perfect fit for your party? Whether you are having a sophisticated soiree or a fun comedy night, there is a place for every kind of party. Here’s some inspiration to get you thinking.
- Dancing the Night Away
Want to hit the floor for a night of dancing, fun, and laughter? Find a club-style space where you can get your groove on, either to some DJ-spun tracks or some tunes from a great live band.
- Living It Up on the Rooftop
Special event venues like cozy rooftop spaces allow you to have spectacular views of the surroundings and celebrate in style and comfort. With an open-air feel and an atmosphere of privacy and exclusivity, small rooftop courtyards and patios are ideal for those intimate celebrations.
- Glamorous Garden Parties
If you’re planning a stylish and sophisticated celebration, lush, landscaped gardens can make the ideal party venue. We’re talking vibrant green surroundings, a stunning water feature or two, a beautiful twilight atmosphere, guests in their finest cocktail attire, and waitstaff circulating with glasses of bubbles and delicious canapes. Now that’s what we call celebrating in style!
- Colorful and Creative Spaces
Unique event spaces like a hidden courtyard decorated with colorful graffiti murals, museums with all manner of weird and wonderful works, or even just a private home decked out with garish retro decor are suitable for those who want to celebrate somewhere unconventional. This surreal 3D art museum, for example, offers a vibrant, immersive, and unique party space.
Choosing an event venue is just one aspect of planning an occasion. Begin your search by looking at various online platforms that make browsing and booking venues convenient. You can also contact your friends and ask them about the best unique venues around so that you know that they have been tried and tested. Lastly, don’t forget to read reviews left by previous clients, as these can tremendously help you gauge whether your desired venue will complement your needs and preferences.
BILLY FARRELL/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Written by: Katrina Sirotta
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Michelle Obama's 50th birthday party at the White House
When the first lady turns 50, she gets a big party. For Michelle Obama, that meant inviting 500 friends and family to the White House in January 2014. Beyoncé performed a set of six hits, John Legend sang two versions of "Happy Birthday," and Stevie Wonder spontaneously grabbed a keyboard to perform a medley of tunes.
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