Sometimes you need to plan a last-minute party or event. With Nashville’s rapid growth, we’re seeing more and more last-minute requests from new businesses and new folks who have just moved to town. With these requests in mind, we thought we might offer a few tips for planning a last-minute event, from making the initial inquiry to executing a flawless event with the help of professional vendors.

#1. Determine a single point of contact and a preferred contact method.

First thing’s first, you need a venue and you most likely need food too. When you reach out to venues and caterers, be sure to pick one method of communication and one point person to make the inquiries. When multiple people send inquiries for the same event, it can get confusing to determine who needs what information, who is the authorized signer and decision maker, and who should get priority. By picking one person to gather all information from the venue and other vendors, you are streamlining communication and ultimately making things easier for everyone! Also by choosing your preferred method of communication right away (and using that method to make these inquiries), your vendors will know the best way to reply with information.

#2. Include as much pertinent information as possible in your initial request.

This might include:

  • Date – flexible or not?
  • Type of event – corporate, wedding, fundraiser, etc
  • Location
  • Estimated Guest Count
  • Timeline
  • Menu Selection – If you have reviewed the company’s material, make note of what you are interested in. If you have not reviewed anything, include notes such as if you’re planning a full sit-down meal, a buffet or appetizer come-and-go event.
  • Will you need help with rentals? This is included at some venues, while at others it is not. Rentals could include tables, chairs, linens, flatware, glassware, etc.
  • Do you need bar service assistance? Are you providing alcohol and in need of bartenders? Do you need the catering company to handle all aspects?
  • Is there an area on-site that your vendors can use as their work stations? Caterers often need a behind-the-scenes area to prepare food and beverage.

#3. Be patient and heed the advice of the professionals you are hiring!

Most companies have a 24-hour response policy. These companies often assist in pop-up events regularly, and while it may be very stressful for you, your vendors will gladly provide all pertinent information and explain next steps to get everything confirmed and planned. Be prepared to make decisions quickly but because it’s all last minute, you might need to be flexible based on what the vendors are able to accommodate! Sometimes with short deadlines, certain staffing limitations may apply as well as service styles, vendor deliveries, etc. Your vendors will be upfront with you about what they are able to offer at a premium service level.

The Loveless Barn is Nashville’s most versatile event venue with the main hall, two side porches, large lawn and private courtyard. The Harpeth Room is ideal for intimate events of up to 70 adults, situated in the original Motel dining room and featuring an attached porch area. The Loveless Events culinary team creates incredible menus that can be served at other venues, homes or offices in the Nashville area, from classic Loveless Cafe fried chicken & biscuits to cast-iron seared ribeye steak and blackberry bruschetta. Click here to learn more about Loveless Events!