How the Italians do venues

Italian Wedding Party Venue

Glamorously, obviously. I’ve been in southern Italian, walking mostly, but often putting my head into venues and admiring the style with which the Italians engage in formal entertaining. In New Zealand casual chic is the norm, even for weddings. We do a good line in rustic charm. Prettily decorated barns are desirable venues. Our Bride […]


Six Sure Ways to Fancy Dress Success

Fancy dress Steam Punk Themed party

Photo credit: John Miles Six Sure Ways to Fancy Dress Success (and why the Steam Punk Traitor’s Ball worked so well) We went to a Steam Punk Ball last week, to launch local author Gareth Ward’s book: The Traitor & The Thief. Dressing up in Steam Punk costume was optional, but the town came to […]


Summer vibe with talented local musicians

Hawkes Bay Party Band Verdant Blue

Nothing adds instant class to your party better than live music, and in Hawke’s Bay we are so lucky to have incredibly talented musicians whose sound  – smooth or jumpy – enhances the sunshine mood and trips off the fairy lights sparkling on the grape vines. Here are some of my favourites.  Give them a […]


Icebreakers & Party Games – Would I lie to you?

Would I lie to you Questions

Here’s an ice breaker for a big party – it gets people (aarrggh!) talking to strangers and sparks some interesting, if not always honest, conversations. It’s based on the BBC panel show with the hilarious David Mitchell, Rob Brydon and Lee Mack, but you don’t need to call in the professionals, the game works equally […]


How to photograph a party

How to photograph fancy dress party

At the end of the day (or maybe late the next morning after coffee), you want gorgeous, glossy bright party photographs like something out of a magazine – smiling happy people all in focus, naturally in off-the-cuff poses doubling over with spontaneous laughter or posed groups, formally casual  – every shot well framed and lit […]