Top tips from party planner to the stars Steven Duggan


Steven Duggan creates exceptional, one-off events and weddings and his bespoke gatherings have won him a legion of fans and a black book of celebrity clients including Sir Elton John, Adele and Simon Cowell. Here he shares his top tips for entertaining...

What are your fail safes for entertaining at home?

People are being very clever with the way they entertain at home and my top tips would be to create a functional, elegant setting in each room. Candlelight is key, use it to replace over-bright ceiling lights and high-wattage lamps. Canapés, light bowl food or finger food is always a nice touch – serve it as guests arrive and then later in the evening to soak up the alcohol! When decorating, I always recommend floral design. This makes the house more attractive and adds drama. It also radiates a nice scent.

What can we do to make sure our dinner parties are the best ever?

The table centrepieces must be the focal point of the entire day or event – sit-down events such as weddings, dinner parties and so on are all about the food and table talk. I like the idea of personalising each place name or plate to make it more fun. Include a custom menu design to whet people’s appetites and games to lighten the mood and space out the evening. Provide an act; nothing too longwinded or risky as it must suit the evening and all guests present. If you’re feeling creative; think about introducing some interesting artistic features to your event – such as paper lanterns, ribbon, hanging lighting or larger props that tie in with the theme.

How do you organise an unforgettable party?

We design from scratch, we study and get to know the client and then draft a design to excite, amaze and impress them. The process continues as we go about selecting elements, menus and products and begin to build the dream! It will always be unforgettable. I like the challenge of creating to remember! There are many ways to do this. It’s about the WOW factor and, of course, your imagination. Features, lighting choices, prop selection, well-presented food and great entertainment all come together to create a successful party.

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Steven Short, Guest Editor

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