Hosting your own Red Carpet Event
It turns out that you really don’t need to be an A List celebrity to attend a red carpet event and feel like a VIP. In fact, all you actually need is a cracking venue, a fantastic support team and a guest list of your own Very Important People. And eBay. Where else would you find a 15ft red carpet for £7.50?!
Some of you may know that I have been involved in a fundraising campaign since March this year. I met a wonderful family at my bereavement support group who wanted to raise money in memory of their son, Ryan Anderson. Ryan passed away aged only 21 months on the very same day as my mum last year. We have been on a mission over the past 3 months to raise £5000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities. This amount of money will enable Ryan’s family to sponsor a room in his name at the Manchester House.
So we decided to throw a Red Carpet Charity Evening with an aim to smashing our fundraising target. Did we do it?? Read on to find out! Whether it be for a charitable cause or a personal special occasion, here’s some tips on how to create your own fabulous Red Carpet Event.
Why choose a Red Carpet theme?
Let’s face it, if you’re going to the trouble of organising a big event – it must be for a special occasion. Or you’re doing it for someone special. Whatever the reason, it’s important. It doesn’t have to be movie themed. There’s no need for full sized cardboard cut outs of Tom Cruise or pretend paparazzi. (though admittedly, I did Google these..). A red carpet event is the perfect way to just make people feel special – whether it’s for a charity, birthday, anniversary or another celebratory occasion.
Get your team together
I admit, I’m a control freak. I like to do everything myself, in my own way, so nothing can go wrong. However, organising this charity event showed me that I don’t have to always do things alone. There are people out there with the same ridiculously high standards as me. People who care about the small details. They are often the most important to make an impact at an event such as this. People who didn’t mock me when I spent 2 hours hand painting my Guest List stand in gold because guest list stands are NOT Bonsai Green. And people with the same motivation and work ethic who you can rely on to make the event a massive success.
My Team consisted of:
- Me – Event Organiser, Hostess and Head of Room and Table Décor. Obviously.
- Dave – my partner in life and in crime. Also Chief Photographer for the evening, snapping amazing shots of guests on the red carpet as they arrived.
- Dad – you always need someone who enjoys a challenge. That’s dad. If you need it, he can find it. If it’s broke, he will fix it. They don’t call dads heroes for no reason. Make sure you have someone on board who is a good problem solver and will help you out with anything that you are struggling with. Dad also trebled up as Chief Auctioneer and Compare for the evening so don’t be afraid to work with your team’s best assets!!
- Yuri – our venue owner and culinary superstar. Yuri was fantastic to work with, always contactable and available to chat. Communication is so important when co-ordinating an event as you often need to make decisions pretty quickly to get jobs done.
- Dean and Sam – Ryan’s parents and my newest BFF’s. Winners by far of the most ticket sales, they had an unfaltering dedication to just getting everything sorted.
- Sophie – Ryan’s beautiful 12 year old sister. Sophie was my Assistant Hostess and right-hand girl for the evening. We all need one and she did a fab job in supporting me. And had one hell of a red carpet walk.
- Karen – my oldest BFF and the most laid back member of the whole team. Which, trust me, is needed when you’re flapping around in a last minute panic…
Choose your venue.
Where you decide to hold you Red Carpet Event will depend on a few things:
– what your occasion is and how many guests you are expecting – we had 60 people attending and we wanted somewhere comfortable, welcoming and intimate where people could relax with each other. Telve Cafe and Bistro was the perfect choice. Dad and I are regular customers and have a great friendship with the owner Yuri. We knew we could trust him to help us make sure it was a night to remember and he didn’t disappoint.
– location – make sure your chosen venue is accessible to people. Telve Cafe and Bistro is located on a main road in the centre of Hazel Grove, has easy transport links and public car parks less than a 5 minute walk away.
– entrance – if you are going for a Red Carpet Event, you have to make sure you have the space to run the carpet. Telve was a great choice because it’s set back from the main road, with a fabulous run up to the entrance. We were able to roll out our red carpet and still have a good few metres of space for people to prepare their big walk before stepping onto it! Telve also has great visibility from the main road and so our carpet, balloons and banner made it clear what we were hosting!
Guest List and Tickets
Make sure you draw up a guest list when you sell your tickets. You don’t want to forget who’s coming and have an awkward moment on the door. I made an official Guest List which I had on my (gold, not green) Guest List stand at the entrance. As we greeted guests, Sophie ticked off their name and they were then shown to their table. This way you can 1) meet everyone personally and thank them for coming 2) make sure you’ve not accidentally forgotten anyone and 3) ensure the man sat at Table 3 hasn’t wandered in from the pub next door. However it did NOT stop surprise guests ‘The Wallaby’s’ turning up unannounced from London – aka my sister Emma and brother in law Lee – what a shock when they pulled up onto the red carpet! I’ll remember it forever xx
On that note as well, make sure you post a couple of signs on the window/door stating that your Red Carpet Event is a ‘Private Function’. This should keep the randomers out! (thanks to my sister Emma for this suggestion!)
Involve local businesses and celebrities
We were overwhelmed with how kind local businesses and celebrities were to us. They gave us a combined amount of over £1000 worth of prizes for us to raffle and auction off. Thank you so much to them all – I’ve given them all a special mention at the end of this post.
Again it depends on what occasion your event is for but if it’s charitable, ask people for help. You may be surprised at the willingness of others to do good still in this world.
If your Red Carpet event is for a personal celebration, still involve local businesses to keep things simple and stress free. Our fabulous balloons were provided by B for Balloons in Hazel Grove and they were delivered right to our venue for set up.
Plan your room and table décor
Well there was nobody else going to do this job but Vintage Twee! I co-ordinated all the room and table décor to compliment the sophisticated Red Carpet theme.
– choose your colour scheme – we opted for burgundy and silver. Red and silver or red and gold just screams ‘Christmas’ to me. Compliment the style of the occasion with a subtle colour scheme that states classy, rather than brassy.
– plan a backdrop – you need somewhere on the red carpet for guests to have their photo taken by. I didn’t want a rubbish bin, car park or taxi poster in the background in any of our photos. So I ordered a fabulous pull up banner online where guests could strike a pose without dangers of any photobombing. Apart from my dad occasionally in the background….sorry ladies..
– research props – this was actually my favourite bit of all the planning. eBay was THE place to go. I got the red carpet and photo props for all the tables from here for under £15 in total. I had an old display stand in the loft that I used to use at wedding fairs and painted it gold to use as our Guest List stand. Just steer clear of the tacky accessories – nobody needs a 10ft inflatable popcorn bucket.
– decide on stationery – again, being Vintage Twee, no event would be complete without elegant place cards, menus, table names and personalised favours. It makes your guests feel like ultimate VIP’s and shows your appreciation for their support at your event. I also made a large display board in the style of my wedding table plans. This listed all of the prizes up for grabs on the raffle and auction so guests could browse it at their leisure during the evening.
Look fabulous. And enjoy it.
Don’t be afraid to dress up. It’s a Red Carpet Event after all! And tell all your guests to dress up! We have become armchair socialites. All we do is Like, Pin, Snap or Instagram from the comfort of our living room. Ok, we can wear stretchy pants behind the safety of our mobile phones and no-one can judge us. As long as you have your make up on and the camera is pointed upwards, no-one needs to know what’s below the waist line. But look what we’re missing out on!
I took myself off to my very favourite vintage boutique where I live in Glossop, Barberella Boutique, and got a new dress. Well, 2 actually. But I did need the other one as well… And despite suffering from a bad bout of sinusitis on the lead up to the Red Carpet Event, I felt great. My dad, partner Dave and Ryan’s dad Dean all wore suits and looked so smart. Even the staff were in waistcoats and black ties. It made for some fabulous red carpet shots!
Don’t Forget Your Thank You’s
We presented Yuri with a special award on the evening to thank him for his continued support with our campaign. We also showed our gratitude towards our musicians, Peter and Mark, who gave up their time to play us live music throughout the evening. And finally, we thanked each and every single person in the room for making our night a HUGE success. We raised over £1800 for our charity with our Red Carpet Event, taking us way over our £5000 target! It was memorable, emotional and proves that you don’t need to be a celebrity to feel like a VIP.
Special thank you’s to all the local businesses who donated prizes to our raffle and auction:
Pink Panda Handmade, Glossop
Hazel Grove Flowers
Headquarters Hairdressing, Glossop
Earth Angel Healing, HG
Beauty by Megan, Hazel Grove
Norfolk Arms, Glossop
Hazel Grove Snooker Club
Barberella Boutique, Glossop
Simmondley News & Post Office
Glossop Foot Care
Amirage Hair & Beauty, Hazel Grove
MacLure Barbers, Manchester
Fairways Garage, Glossop
Topkapi Palace, Hazel Grove
North Plasterers, Glossop
Bodytech Repair Centre, Padfield