The Painting Party Concept
If you've ever had to secure a venue such as a hotel or banquet room for a birthday, anniversary, bachelorette or other party, you know it can be costly, with high deposits and minimums and often costs "per plate" or a minimum drink tab. One of the greatest features about a "paint & sip" party is that each guest pays their own entry ticket. The organizer can also also pay for all of the tickets, which expedites the entire process. The other benefit to a "paint & sip" party is that each guest is allowed to bring their own drinks and snacks, which most other venues (bar, hotel, etc) would never allow. Quite often the party organizer handles most of the food and drink, whether purchasing it through a local grocery or hiring a caterer. Other times, each individual brings what they like to eat and drink, it's easy for an organizer to set the terms through their party invite, which is emailed to each guest.
So, you want to host a great painting party? Then you, the organizer, will have three major objectives -- to set the food and drink terms, select a painting that the group will paint in the studio, and to get the invite sent out so everyone can sign up (and make sure they do so).
Painting Party Food
You, the organizer, know your guests best. If supplying the food for the entire party, one of the easiest ways is to have it delivered. Pizza is a very popular menu item for painting parties because you can order different styles and have even them delivered to the studio. Remember, some people like thin crust, or thick, it's a good idea to get one without meat for your vegetarian friend, etc.
Another commonly seen item is -- believe it or not -- a "crock pot". Whether used for warming up the "queso" for nachos or keeping that special bean recipe hot, they can be handy, cost effective, and they come in many sizes. Whatever the food preference, it's a good idea to keep "finger foods" and variety in mind.
Painting Party Drinks
For guests that enjoy adult beverages, it's a good idea to offer a mix of options. White wines such as Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio are affordable and served chilled, reds such as Merlot or Pinot Noir are typically served at room temperature. These are the most-commonly seen whites and reds at painting parties. You may or may not know every guest in the group so it's still good to offer variety. As for beer, normally the beer drinkers have a specific preference and you can ask them beforehand or they can bring their own. And don't forget juice and other refreshing, non-alcoholic beverages for other guests!
A little thought and a few dollars can bring a big bang to your party. Themes are popular, we've seen "Las Vegas Nite" decorations with fake poker chips and dice, and of course "baby-oriented" themes for baby showers. Check out your local party store and select a theme for your painting party to bring that extra bit of fun and ambiance!
Selecting the Painting
Consider your guests and the theme of the party when selecting the painting. If there are a lot of couples, try to select something "neutral" that everyone will enjoy. Does your group socialize a lot? Then pick something fairly easy, so they can paint, eat, drink, and catch up with each other during the event. Is it a team-building event for a group of graphic designers? Then maybe you will want to pick out something very advanced and detailed.
Be a Great Host / Organizer
Arrive on time and get set up, you want your guests to be impressed when they walk in! Connect with everyone -- you might not know her fiancee so head right over and ask to be introduced to put him at ease and feeling welcome. Take plenty of phone pics and share them on social media, everyone loves to see a good party.
After the Painting Party
Thank your guests for showing up and send them a link to your social media pictures of the event so all of you can share the memories online together!