Guide to Planning a Birthday Party on Long Island

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"Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." Buddha quote

Birthdays are perhaps the most commonly celebrated event in a person's life. If you're one of the lucky ones, you'll have someone like you in your life - Someone who's planning an extra special birthday party that requires the ideal catering hall. But where should you start? Why not with us and with this easy to read guide? Just answer the questions below to find that perfect hall:

  • Is there a specific geographic area you would like to restrict your search to?
  • Knowing what region you do or don't want your shower to be located in can easily help rule out several hundred catering halls. Of course the more specific your desired geographic area, the fewer options you have to work with. When it comes to geographic area of the birthday party, consider the following - the location of the birthday person, the location of the majority of the anticipated guests, the overall budget of all of your anticipated party guests (in case an out of town location would be desired), whether or not there is a large number of anticipated attendees from one specific location, whether there is a location where the birthday person wishes to visit, and whether there is another location of sentimental value that should be considered. Of course, you should also consider the age of the birthday person. If the age is very young (baby - toddler), or very old (taking health into consideration, of course!), perhaps sticking to home is the best and easiest idea.

  • Is there a specific type of catering hall (i.e. hotel, vineyard, restaurant, etc.) you would like to restrict your search to?
  • Limiting your catering hall search to the type of catering hall is another way to quickly narrow down your top choices. Restaurants or wineries can offer cozy yet impressive spaces, while hotel ballrooms can offer grand spaces that can hold a large number of guests.

  • What is the date of your birthday party?
  • This may be an obvious "to do", but it is nevertheless an important factor in selecting the perfect catering hall for your shower. Just like selecting airline tickets, the more flexible you are the more likely it is to get better rates, options and availability. Of course, as the party planner, you should try to arrange a date for the party as close to the date of the guest of honor's actual birthday as possible. However, if it is well known that the guest of honor's own wishes would include as many guests as possible, then a compromise of the date can be taken into consideration. This may hold especially true for major milestone birthdays.

  • How formal an affair do you want your birthday party to be?
  • The level of formality of your birthday party doesn't necessarily equate to the level of pricing of the catering hall. Instead, it can help you to select an appropriate type of hall if given the choice. If you were hoping for a more laid back affair, then perhaps a formal hotel ballroom isn't the perfect catering hall for you, despite the large number of people it can hold. Perhaps an outdoor space or winery would better suit your needs.

  • Is there a specific theme you would like to portray?
  • Selecting a theme for your Bar or Bat Mitzvah party could really enhance the overall experience for the guest(s) of honor as well as for everyone else. Birthday parties are especially known for sticking to and celebrating a theme. And carrying through with a theme does not have to stop at the location. For example, if you are celebrating a nine-year-old boy's birthday party and the theme is sports, perhaps it would be fun to host his party at a sports-related restaurant or museum.

  • How many people will you be hosting at the birthday party?
  • The number of anticipated guests will undoubtedly help limit your catering hall choices, especially if it's a large number, and especially if the number of guests is inflexible. This could be the determining factor of where your event should be located at, simply due to the number of catering halls available with a large capacity.

  • Will you be requiring onsite food catering?
  • Most of the catering halls we showcase on our website include food catering. However, some do not and will require additional cost and planning in order to provide quality food for your guests.

  • How much do you expect to spend on food/beverages?
  • As alluded to earlier, this is an important consideration, and could be the deciding factor on which catering hall to go with. Depending on your budget, you can decide to offer drinks and/or bar service, food stations and hors d'oeuvres. One way to cut costs a bit is to choose a catering hall that allows for buffet lines, rather than table service. Catering halls at restaurants may also help cut costs since there would be no cost for transporting food, or for special chefs.

  • Will you be requiring a Kosher, Vegetarian or Vegan menus?
  • Many catering halls do offer Kosher, Vegetarian or Vegan menus. If this is a must for your event, make sure your catering hall choice has this option.

  • Will you be requiring a full service bar or food stations/carving?
  • Most catering halls (especially hotels and large halls) will offer this service in a customized party package. If the catering hall of your choice does not offer this service in a package be sure to inquire about the additional costs and how it may or may not affect the overall scheduling of your event. Depending on the age of the guest of honor, it might be a fun idea to arrange for "special drinks" at the bar. Such as drinks named in honor of the birthday person or drinks made with ingredients that the guest of honor especially likes.

  • Will you be requiring a catering hall that provides party favors?
  • Perhaps not surprisingly, these days many formal catering halls automatically offer you a selection of party favors to choose from in order to streamline your party planning. Many of these packages, however, are catered to wedding parties so the style of party favors may not match a birthday party needs.

  • Would you prefer a location with attached or nearby accommodations for out of town guests?
  • If your answer to this question is yes, then you should highly consider hotels as your choice of catering hall. However, pay special attention to non hotel catering halls that are in close proximity to other hotel accommodations. Most halls should have this information ready at hand.

  • Will you be requiring a party planner?
  • If you book your birthday party at an established catering hall, chances are you will be provided with an in-house party planner that can help ensure that your event goes smoothly. If you are not provided with one, but you are still interested in having a party planner, keep in mind that Long Island party planners have a wide range of rates, involvement and expertise. The catering hall of your choice could also assist you in finding a party planner who has been involved with past events at that location.

  • Would simultaneous events at your location be acceptable?
  • This is an important, yet often overlooked, factor to keep in mind when booking your birthday party. You may not want to compete with a neighboring party that will have loud -and perhaps clashing- music. On the other hand, catering halls that offer simultaneous events could help keep your costs low and could even fuel the party spirit.

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