Planning your guest list? Did you know that it is quite common for only two thirds of the guests that have said they will come to actually arrive. It is better to be overcrowded than appear to be empty.

Set your tables at random with as much space between them as possible. It is a good idea to make sure each table has plenty of room for people to get out from behind them and access the dance floor.

People tend to guard their seats until they have eaten, so try to have any food as early as possible. Alternatively a running buffet would allow people to help themselves whenever they like.

A first dance is an ideal starting point for the party; make the most of it. If you are having food, have your first dance at least half an hour before. If people have an opportunity to dance before their food, they are more likely to return to the dance floor later.

If your function is a wedding, your best man and / or chief bridesmaid will be more than happy to organise the first dance and other tasks so that you are free to meet and greet.

It helps to ensure that any of your guests who do not like loud noise sit away from the speakers.

Children don’t tend to eat much at parties. They prefer crisps and other small finger foods rather than sandwiches and salads.

The maximum sustainable time for a party of children aged ten is just 2 hours plus 30 minutes for food as a break in the middle. Time will need to be adjusted for younger children.

Try not to over plan the music. An indication of your and your friend’s preferred tastes plus a maximum of 10 must plays will allow a good DJ to deliver a better mix of music than a list of everything you think you would like played. After all that is why you are employing a professional DJ.

Make sure you set aside some time for yourself to enjoy the party.

It is best to stick to simple themes for fancy dress parties e.g. a 60s or 70s theme. Once people are in fancy dress they are less inhibited about dancing.

The best parties aren’t planned down to the very last detail; they evolve as they happen. Keep the rules simple.

Most important , set aside time to enjoy yourselves!