A great party that indulges all your senses might seem like one fabulous soiree of rich tastes, tones and sounds, but the truth is, creating ambience by appealing to all five senses is a series of small steps. To kick your hostess game into high gear, consider how each sense is heightened and follow this simple guide that I’ve created as an event planner in Vancouver.
An event planner in Vancouver’s guide to appealing to your guests’ senses.
Your event’s colour scheme is likely going to be one of the first things your guests notice as they walk in the door, so make sure their first impression is off the charts. The trick here is to have a cohesive colour scheme that suits the mood of your event.
As a professional event planner in Vancouver, I recommend no more than three main colours, plus one or two neutrals. Think about what kind of a style you want to evoke and use that as your jumping off point.
Vintage pool party? Stick to a couple brightly-hued accent tones, like 70’s turquoise and a retro flamingo pink.
Want to mimic an old-school speakeasy with some killer whiskey cocktails? Go with richer tones, like espresso or jewel-inspired shades. An elegant wine party might call for dark, moody accents with a touch of metallic.
Thanks to the plethora of contemporary audio apps, creating your ideal playlist is a breeze. In fact, many programs, like Songza and Spotify have oodles of ready-made, exquisitely-curated playlists, which makes your job even easier.
However, it definitely pays to put some thought into what kind of soundtrack you want your event to have, as the sound is often an overlooked detail. You want music that accurately reflects your vibe and makes your guests feel welcome.
Having an intimate dinner party? Jazz music is not only sultry and unobtrusive but has been proven to reduce tensions, which makes it a great background choice.
Throwing an upbeat, boozy summer brunch session? Try a Soca-inspired playlist.
Vintage cocktails on the patio? Curate some Motown and make sure there’s room for dancing! The key when it comes to choosing music is to make sure that it fits your soiree’s style and is consistent throughout the event.
It may not seem like it, but textiles and other touchable features play a part in creating ambience too. Picture rich, luxe materials that evoke certain senses.
A winter dinner party might call for a carafe of red wine, some seasonal pasta dishes and a selection of faux fur throws across your dining chairs, which will help to inspire warmth and coziness.
Summer terrace soiree? Think about what materials evoke lightness and breeze … and maybe consider stringing up some gauze or muslin curtains, which not only diffuse sunlight but have that crisp, fresh feel to them.
Turning your condo living room into an A-list lounge for the night? Pile some cushions in luxe satin or brocade finishes with dramatic metallic tones.
A sometimes overlooked detail in party planning, the right scent can be just the icing on the cake for a glam event. A well-placed candle or essential oil diffuser can seriously up your ambience game and add to the overall vibe. Much like the sound aspect, the key here is choosing a scent that compliments the overall theme of your event.
An intimate cocktail party with the lights turned down low might call for a sensual addition, with notes of vanilla, amber or white musk.
Throwing a midday lunch party with some heavenly desserts? Try an energetic citrus with mood-boosting notes like grapefruit or bergamot.
The Aromagem 2.0 from Saje Natural Wellness is great for events. Not only does it infuse your air by diffusing essential oils, but it also looks super glam on a coffee table or console and doubles as a décor feature.
If coordinating all your party food by taste sounds complicated, rest assured, you don’t have to be a high-end sous chef to nail this aspect. A trick I suggest for making sure your guests’ final sense is heightened is to use small portions with distinct tastes and textures.
For colder seasons, think velvety cups of soup with crispy crostini or whiskey cocktails that go down smoothly with a hint of spice.
For warmer months or events in a hotter climate, choose a selection of crisp, fruity wines or cocktails.
For luxe textures that really pop, pair pops of cool, creamy gelato with a selection of mini, flaky pastries.
Also, think about who you’re inviting and what kind of cuisines you want to incorporate into your event.
Creating an ambience that appeals to all five senses isn’t that challenging when you break it down into steps like this and taking time to consider the taste, texture, scent and sound vibe of your event can really take it to the next level. If you need help creating your next event‘s ambience feel free to reach out to me, Susanna Stewart Event Planner in Vancouver, I can help make your vision come to life.
Let me know how you use these tricks to create ambience at your next party by connecting on social media or leaving a comment!