If your stress levels are redder than Rudolph’s nose, chances are you’ve been tasked with planning this year’s Christmas party. From aunt Sharon drinking the bar dry to that one friend who just needs to make a toast, you’ve got plenty on your mind – so leave it to our elves to handle the styling fun.

Christmas Party Ideas

Christmas Party Idea 1: Classy Cocktail Soiree

Treat your colleagues to a tasteful party in one of Brisbane’s fancy function venues for your 2018 corporate Christmas party. From dining rooms draped in chandeliers to grand ballrooms, this is your chance to go festive to the fullest.

Raise a glass of bubbly as a prelude to a night of canapés, cocktails, and a chance to ditch your Monday to Friday uniform.

Christmas Party Ideas

Christmas Party Idea 2: Festive Lunch or Dinner

With all the shopping, wrapping, and Christmas tree decorating done, you’ve earned a Santa-sized feasting session. Ditch the milk and cookies in 2018 for a festive lunch or dinner at Darling & Co.

With fab seasonal flavours like turkey terrine, Mooloolaba prawn linguini, and frozen Christmas pudding, your work Christmas party might be the best feed you have in the entire silly season.

Christmas Party Ideas

Christmas Party Idea 3: High Tea with a Christmas Twist

Keep the work Christmas party classy this year with a high tea at one of Brisbane’s best cafes. Featuring tables decked in in bright colours and Christmas crackers, you’ll spend an afternoon indulging in scones, ribbon sandwiches, and Christmas goodies.

Organise a Secret Santa session over tea (and bubbly) as you escape the heat and the crowds with a lavish Christmas party.

Christmas Party Ideas

Christmas Party Idea 4: Wine & Cheese Night

Want your Christmas party to be the brie all and end all of the social season? Swap the ham, potatoes, and turkey for an elegant wine and cheese night in an airy Brisbane bistro.

A cost-effective work Christmas party idea, splurge on some nice bottles of wine to go with your artisan cheese boards and say cheese to a fuss-free 2018 Christmas party.

Christmas Party Ideas

Christmas Party Idea 5: Backyard Barbecue

You can’t mess with the classics! Rock the Weber this Christmas with a backyard celebration for a wholesome last minute Christmas idea.

From delivered catering to a potluck of plates from every guest, celebrations don’t come easier (and neither do the post-party hangovers). Keeping it casual with a backyard barbie is a simple way to celebrate the season and keep costs low sans venue fee!

Christmas Party Brisbane

Christmas Party Idea 6: Private Dining Experience

If you’re hosting a smaller group for your work Christmas party, consider a private dining experience to enjoy Christmas indulgence in a comfortable, celebratory setting.

Private dining allows you to effectively control your budget and is a great idea for a corporate Christmas party or small group celebration. What better way to celebrate Christmas than sharing a meal with colleagues and friends?

Christmas Party Venues Brisbane

Christmas Party Idea 7: Progressive Christmas Dinner

While Christmas parties are a lot of fun, the organisation and clean up can be less enjoyable. For a fun, last-minute Christmas party idea, why not set up a progressive Christmas lunch or dinner? Stop off at a different host’s place for each course, and share the washing up evenly!

Engagement Party Ideas

Christmas Party Idea 8: Bottomless Brunch

The festive season is notoriously busy, so a morning event can be a unique work Christmas party idea! Try a bottomless brunch for a fun, flexible way to get boozy this Christmas time, without taking too much of a chunk out of colleagues’ weekends.

Christmas Party Brisbane

Christmas Party Idea 9: Get Active

It’s hard to beat summertime in Brisbane, so heading outdoors can be a great idea for a corporate Christmas party – especially after spending all week in the office! Minimal-effort outdoor activities like mini golf, petanque, or classic barefoot bowls are a fun corporate Christmas party idea to get guests working up an appetite.

Christmas Party Brisbane

Christmas Party Idea 10: Christmas Cruise

Make it a summer celebration this Christmas by enjoying the amazing waterways surrounding Brisbane! Whether it’s along the Brisbane River or around Moreton Bay or Stradbroke Island, a cruise is a fab idea for a work Christmas party spent enjoying the sunshine. Pack a catered picnic for an easy way to feed the crowd.

 

Ready to start planning your Christmas party?

Get ahead of the crowd and start planning your Christmas party at Darling & Co!

We’ve seen it all before, when the initial rush from just saying “yes” quickly slides into one big “hell no” when faced with the task of navigating your engagement party. Love is grand when someone’s sweeping you off your feet, but if the very thought of planning your big day brings you crashing right back down to earth then maybe it’s time to head back to the drawing board and figure out how to throw an engagement party that won’t end in tears.

Engagement Party Planning Tips

1. Timing

It’s traditional to throw your engagement party no later than 3 months after the initial announcement, that way you can pick a date while the news is still fresh in everyone’s minds – and before the real business of wedding planning starts to set in. Or better yet, why not announce the news at the party? There’s nothing quite as romantic as a surprise engagement to keep your guests talking long past your big day.

Engagement Party Planning Tips

2. Engagement Party Style: Formal or Infomral?

While cocktail and canapé events may be increasingly common, they are by no means the only option. Why not break with tradition and try an elegant brunch, long and lazy lunch or an elegant candlelit dinner? Just make sure to keep the lines of communication open with your guests so that they can prepare or dress appropriately. If for example, you are planning a more casual celebration, then why not set the tone ahead of time by creating a fun and interactive Facebook event or website that guests can respond to? Or if your event is more of a formal affair then ensure that your guests are informed well in advance, that way you can avoid any embarrassing wardrobe faux-pas.

Engagement Party Planning Tips

3. Who Should Be Invited

It’s a good thing that you love your family and friends, because once you realize that your wedding guest list has blown out past the 200 mark, at least you can take comfort in the fact that you’ll be sleeping on their couch while you pay off the big day. So unlike your wedding day (which tends to come with a slightly more exclusive guest list) your engagement party is the perfect opportunity to invite extended family and friends to be involved in the celebrations who might miss out on the big day itself.

 

4. However

You left it on amicable terms and from time to time still check in to see how the other one’s mother is doing, but if there’s one thing that watching 15 years of ‘Friends’ re-runs has taught us, it’s that your engagement party + you + ex = disaster. Avoid your very own “Ross and Rachel” moment and put that invitation right in the bin where it belongs, because as well-meaning engagement party ideas go, this is one big “I don’t”.

Engagement Party Planning

5. When to Invite

Make sure you give your guests plenty of notice so they can clear the date. People are living increasingly busy lives, so advanced notice is a must. Set down a time, place and date as soon as possible, then everything else can be worked out in the interim.

 

6. How to Invite

Party invitations are getting more difficult with the rise of social media and getting committed RSVP’s is often impossible. To make sure you reach everyone, consider a social media event page and traditional sent to the mailbox invites. Social media is the easiest way to reach younger generations, however, attendees tend to be flakey. The hard copy invites will appeal to your older family members and will be a second reminder to the younger crowd.

 

7. Decide on a Menu

No matter how casual or grand your engagement party is, always be sure to provide guests with plenty of good food and beverages. Organise your menu and drinks well in advance, and if you’re hosting the party yourself, sort out someone to help with cooking and serving food.

Engagement Party Planning

8. Gift Registry

If you are hosting an elaborate engagement party and know you will be receiving gifts, consider organising a gift registry beforehand. This makes your guests lives easier and ensures you will get gifts that won’t go to waste.

 

9. Thank You Letters

Even though gifts are not customary at an engagement party, it is not unusual for many of your guests to come bearing them. For an informal party given by friends, it is unlikely that the guests will arrive with anything more substantial than a bottle of wine or some flowers, the same tokens they might bring to any festive event. Regardless of the cost or effort, you should always endeavour to play the gracious host by formally acknowledging the gesture. Whether it’s a thoughtful handwritten card or an email, it’s important to show your appreciation.

Engagement Party Planning

10. The Host

Traditionally it’s the bride’s parents who host the engagement party. But if you want to throw tradition to the wind, by all means, go for it! Whether it’s the bride’s parents, your best friend, your siblings or yourselves, set a designated planner in advance. Give them time to organise the event and keep yourself available to answer any questions they may have.

 

11. The Venue

Your choice of wedding venue will be largely influenced by both the formality and the theme of your event. For a more casual affair, a family member’s backyard or a public space like a park or a coastal wedding venue by the beach is a great place to host your event. For something more formal, a private dining room at a restaurant or small function venue is the perfect way to go.

Engagement Party Planning

12. The Theme

As with every other engagement party consideration, theming can be as intricate or simple as you like. The whole point is to celebrate, so decorate in a way that feels like a celebration to you. Whether you want an all-white theme, modern elegance or rustic flowers, the choice is yours so pick a theme you love and enjoy it.

 

Start Planning Your Engagement Party

Now that you’ve popped the big question it’s time to pop your cork and leave all the nitty-gritty details to the experts at Darling & Co. Because when it comes to throwing the best engagement parties in Brisbane, our team promise to love, honour and obey your every wish.

When it comes to the hen’s party, not all brides-to-be wish to have phallic-shaped objects all over the place, just as others don’t wish to sit in a quiet room eating sandwiches with their crusts perfectly removed. Darling & Co caters to all varieties of hen’s nights, offering several sophisticated function room available to hire for hen’s parties to make your farewell to maidenhood particularly special.

High Tea Brisbane

1. Champagne High Tea

A modern twist on the classic bridal shower, take to town with your ladies and enjoy a hen’s high tea with a little more sparkle – and we’re not just talking about the ring. It’s time to bust out that little floral number, dust off those gloves and make like a lady with this ultimate classy hen’s party idea. Think champagne, delicate finger sandwiches, darling little quiches and heavenly macarons set against the lush botanical backdrop of our main restaurant. “Hello, decadence, are you there? It’s me again.”

Restaurants Brisbane

2. The Ladies Luncheon

If you’re looking for a hen’s party idea with a little more ‘ooh, la, la’ then you just can’t go past the indulgence of the lady’s luncheon. Indulge your inner Upper East Sider with four exquisite courses like Wagyu bresaola, goats curd, truffle honey, figs, and our decadent chocolate fondant, vanilla ice cream and honeycomb. For maximum effect remember to pack a swipe of red lippy and turn your long lunch into an even longer evening.

Hens Party Venues Brisbane

3. The Secret Cocktail Party

Planning your bridal shower doesn’t mean you have to play innocent. So why not kiss goodbye to single life in style with a sultry and super exclusive cocktail hens party a la Mad Men? Go back to the golden age of glamour and opulence while you sip boutique cocktails in your very own private candlelit function space. Add a sophisticated selection of canapés and the sinful atmosphere of our Unforgiven function room and you’ve got a classy hen’s party idea that will keep your girlfriends talking long after the big day.

Brunch Brisbane Breakfast

4. The Bridal Lunch

Ladies who lunch don’t have to have all of the fun, so when it comes to planning a classy bridal shower, sometimes it’s best not to forget the most important meal of the day. A rite of passage for every lady of high society, the ladies brunch is a little like breakfast, but with cocktails…lots of cocktails. Think Sex and the City (minus Mr. Big).

Hens Party Ideas

5. Cupcake Decorating

When it comes to hen’s parties it is often a good idea to have some fun activities planned to keep everyone entertained. Cupcake decorating might sound a little bit childish, but it’s also really fun! Have some cupcakes pre-made and set up a craft table with a variety of options for decorating including coloured frosting, edible glitter and whatever other fun and tasty pieces you can find.

Hens Party Ideas

6. Pamper Session

Before the bride heads out on her hen’s night, treat her to a pamper package so she feels beautiful for her last night of freedom. Start with a relaxing massage, followed by a pedicure and manicure and finish up with a makeup artist and hair stylist. Once the bride is looking and feeling fabulous, take her out for some elegant cocktails so she can show off.

Hens Party Ideas

7. Breakfast at Tiffany’s

What bride wouldn’t want to emulate the queen of elegance and class, Audrey Hepburn? For the bride that has a soft spot for pearls and elbow-length gloves, a Breakfast at Tiffany’s themed hen’s party is the perfect event. Be sure to include a luxurious breakfast spread including fresh fruits and croissants. Incorporate plenty of Tiffany blue and long strings of pearls in the decor. You may also like to ask the guests to dress up, giving them the chance to dust off their tiaras and favourite little black dress.

30th Birthday Ideas

8. Charter Lunch

For the bride who really loves nothing more than a high-end meal, consider ditching the nightclubs for a 5-star restaurant with private helicopter charter. Private charters offer charter flights to a chosen destination, scenic tours of South-East Queensland and destination lunch packages to a range of sought-after venues and vineyards. Make her day extra special with a sky-high trip to lunch.

Hens Party Ideas

9. Weekend Getaway

A weekend away is a great way to celebrate your bride to be’s upcoming nuptials. Book a large house on the coast or in the mountains for her closest loved ones. Get yourself to the house before the lady of honour and stock the bar car with her favourite spirits, cocktail ingredients and wines. Fill the fridge with fresh ingredients for home cooked meals and plenty and cheese and meats for charcuterie boards.

Hens Party Ideas

10. Bootcamp & Brunch

If your bride to be is a fitness fanatic who loves an early morning then organise a private group workout followed by a bottomless brunch. You can pick her favourite workout or challenge her to try something new. The options are endless with activities like boxing, Crossfit, yoga, pilates, barre, rock climbing and hiking to name a few.

Hens Party Ideas

11. Glamping

For an outdoorsy bride to be a night glamping under the stars is a perfect celebration. Enjoy the peace and quiet of nature, in the luxurious comfort of glamour camping. Celebrate around the campfire before settling into your private tents complete with proper beds and all the amenities you could possibly need.

 

Start Planning Your Hens Party

No matter your hen’s night style, Darling & Co has the versatile function spaces and function packages to accommodate your big celebration. Speak to one of our expert party planners and start organising your bridal shower now!

It’s official: despite your best efforts to describe your age as “25ish” for the last five years, the time has finally come to accept the inevitable – you are fabulously 30 and there’s only one thing you can do it about it. No, not a facelift – we’re talking about throwing your cares to the wind with one of the hottest 30th birthday parties Brisbane has ever seen.

So dust off that little black dress and light the candles, we’ve got five 30th birthday ideas that’ll keep them talking for the next 30 years.

Christmas Party Ideas

1. Wine & Cheese Blind Tasting

First off the bat for ideas for your 30th birthday party is our blind wine and cheese tasting. Order an assortment of artisan cheeses (yes, even the mysterious blue ones) and source your desired mix of red, white and rose wines. Try and find the widest range possible for the most successful party (and most intake of wine).

At the party, give each guest a notepad and dish up the goods without revealing their origin. Guests win points for correct guesses about the wine or cheese’s type, brand, and region. Truthfully, any person allowed to gorge on wine and cheese all night is already a winner.

Function Venues

2. Whiskey’s of the World

Don’t worry, our 30th birthday party ideas can save any event on the rocks. Festivities will reach neat new heights with our whiskey tasting party. Pick out a selection of ‘round-the-world whiskeys for this spirited affair.

We recommend a single malt (like Macallan Amber), an American drop (such as Jack Daniel’s or Canadian Club), a home-grown whiskey (like Johhny Walker Blue or Belgrove Rye), and even a Japanese variety like Yamazaki 12 – if you’re feeling like a whiskey hotshot!

30th Birthday Ideas

3. Chartered Flights

You only turn 30 once (or you know, three or four times, depending) so why limit your celebrations to the ground? Ditch the amateur status and kick off your big day with a chartered helicopter tour. Most private helicopter charters offer a range of charter packages. If you have a taste for heights then a scenic tour over South East Queensland might be the perfect activity. If you love a long lunch then why not charter a flight to a destination lunch in the vineyards? If you consider yourself a photography whizz then book in for an aerial photography tour. The options are endless, so celebrate your big day up in the clouds.

High Tea Brisbane

4. G&T High Tea

High tea? Great. High tea with gin? Ever better. Be fair warned: our spin on the classic high tea may turn into literal spinning later in the afternoon, but as far as birthday celebration ideas go, it’s gin-uinely a favourite of ours.

Pair those finger sandwiches and melting moments with energetic gin-based cocktails. Trust us, high tea will reach daring new heights you’d never even considered – and a better welcome to 30, we couldn’t imagine.

30th Birthday Ideas

5. Dessert Degustation

Two words and we’re instantly weak at the knees. You won’t find a sweeter birthday idea than the concept of a dessert degustation, that’s for sure. Pack tables full of your favourite goodies and let loose. Nothing says ‘I’m an adult, damn it’ more than a night of affogato, malted milk chocolate mousse, and your favourite fortified wine.

Let’s be honest, the wine is just the sherry on top of an already rockin’ 30th birthday.

 

Start Planning Your 30th Birthday Party

It’s time to start planning your 30th birthday party. Get in touch with our functions team and find out how we can throw a birthday party to keep everyone talking for the next 30 years.

Same-Sex marriage is now legalized in Australia, and couples across the country are celebrating this tremendous news by saying their “I – Do’s”. As the country undergoes this transition the number of same-sex marriages in Brisbane continues to rise with plenty of businesses proudly offering same-sex wedding venues and same-sex wedding catering options.

Embrace this exciting time and head down the aisle to a different tune with a wedding theme tailored to you. For those in search of crafty wedding themes tipped with a little extra personality, grab some unique wedding inspiration here. Trust us – tying the knot shouldn’t turn into ‘trying not to copy Linda’s wedding’. Find your own voice and shout it from the rooftops.

Wedding Themes & Ideas

Wedding Theme 1: Black & White

Chic and always destined to match, dedicate your day to two colours that will never go out of style. We’ve all cringed at wedding photos with bridal parties packed with clashing colours – ditch the curse with simple style and timeless elegance.

A classic black and white wedding theme will leave you with happy guests, easy shopping lists, and wedding albums without great aunt Hilda rocking the noisiest outfit you’ve ever laid eyes on.

 

Simple black and white wedding ideas…

A gorgeous black dress and ivory bouquet will have every bridesmaid feeling fab, and with a white bridal gown and black suit for the groom, heading to the altar has never looked so schmick. Add a pocket square for the groom or jewellery for the bridesmaids to add a splash of colour.

Your elegant black and white wedding theme is easily carried over to the wedding reception venue with inclusions of monochrome signage, striped tablecloths, black linen napkins, and themed confetti. Top it all off with clever menu inclusions such as oysters and cupcakes rocking black and white icing, and you’ve got a personalized wedding with unmatched style!

Wedding Themes & Ideas

Wedding Theme 2: Rustic

Take it from us – after the long haul of wedding planning, every couple in town will be dreaming of ‘getting back to nature’ for an escape. Escape the city’s hustle and bustle with a rustic ceremony at an affordable wedding reception venue such as a vineyard, garden or farm.

 

Rustic wedding theme ideas…

For rustic wedding theme colours, keep things within a natural range – think pastel pinks, forest greens, and earthy tones. Dress bridesmaids in flowing chiffon dresses and complement your chosen colours with wooden furniture and brass-coloured tableware.

To add an extra element to your rustic wedding decorations, why not serve canapés and share platters on wine barrel cocktail tables?

Wedding Themes & Ideas

Wedding Theme 3: Nautical

Avast! Can’t make it to the coast for the coastal wedding of your dream (or don’t want to risk beach hair in your photos)? Bring the sand and the sea to you with some nautical wedding theming. Whoever said a CBD beach wedding was impossible?

 

Nautical wedding ideas…

Kick off your wedding theming and welcome guests aboard with nautical themed wedding invitations dressed up with letterpress anchors.

If you still managed to grab that summer glow, carry that casual beach-side atmosphere over into the wardrobe with a strapless bridal gown and linen grooms’ suit. And while nautical themed bridesmaid dresses may sound like a mission, shorter skirts and blue-green tones are all you’ll need.

After dressing up your venue of choice in decorations styled after ship wheels, anchors, and lifeguard rings you’ll be ready to set sail over dinner: all that’s needed? Seafood platters set over blue table runners.

Take your favourite wedding ideas and run with them – it’s your day, so make sure it feels like yours!

Wedding Themes & Ideas

Wedding Theme 4: Summer Festival

If you and your partner are regular music festival goers, why not let this shared interest inspire your big day. This is a particularly good idea for summer brides as this is when festival season is usually held allowing you to incorporate the same fun, relaxed, carefree vibe you get from hanging out at your favourite festival. Here are some essentials that should be included in your festival style wedding.

 

Festival Style Wedding Ideas…

Flower crowns are a classic festival motif and also look beautiful on a bride. Building flower crowns is a fun activity for you and your bridal party. On the big day, team your flower crown with a light and comfortable white or cream boho style dress. The groom can keep things casual as well with a white cotton or linen shirt and tailored shorts.

Choose a wedding reception venue that brings to mind a festival location such as a grassy paddock with a festoon and plenty of fairy lights. For wedding catering, consider hiring some food trucks. This is a unique wedding catering idea that allows your wedding reception to feature a variety of cuisines from around the world just like at a festival. This is much more exciting than the traditional lamb or chicken option. Festivals are all about live music, any festival themed wedding needs a great live band that will keep you dancing late into the night.

Wedding Themes & Ideas

Wedding Theme 5: Outback Australia

An outback style wedding makes the most of Australia’s beautiful country landscape. Country style weddings often include country or outback motifs such as the inclusion of horses, utes and maybe even cowboy boots.

Outback weddings aren’t just popular amongst those who live regionally. Many couples choose to have their weddings in country locations as it can be more cost-effective and also allows for plenty of space. Not to mention there are hundreds of beautiful spots to get married in outback Australia.

 

Host Your Dream Wedding in Brisbane

If you would like to start planning your dream day at our Brisbane wedding venue, contact us and a member of our team will be in touch with you.

Planning a 21st birthday? You can’t afford to miss our top four party ideas.

You know it, they know it, we all know it: turning 21 is a big deal and you only get one shot to make it the most memorable birthday of your existence. Take your cue from one of our 21st birthday ideas and your heyday will be remembered for years to come.

21st Birthdays Brisbane

21st Birthday Party Idea 1: 1920s Cocktail Party

Did you spend your high school years drooling over dog-eared pages of the Great Gatsby? Flapper dresses, stylish headpieces, and tons of champagne – the glitz and glam of the ‘20s is tough to ignore.

Drinks: Boutique Spirits & Cocktails
You know what they say about the classics! When wondering what to drink on your 21st birthday, you can’t look past an Old Fashioned or elegant champagne cocktail.

Eat: Canapés
Cocktail parties are all about the social factor. Keep platters of canapés moving around the room for everyone to enjoy. Our 21st birthday tips for your ‘20s fare include freshly shucked oysters with Yuzu pearls, and braised brisket with casarecce.

Venue & Styling: Secret bar
Shh! Prohibition’s keeping this event under wraps. Draw the curtains closed and light some candles – or simply hold the party in a secret bar like The Unforgiven.

Attire: Gatsby-esque
The greatest throwback to this way-back-when affair is in your outfit. Guys can go full tux or gangster, with girls free to pick their favourite flapper dress or risqué burlesque pin-up.

21st Birthdays Brisbane

21st Birthday Party Idea 2: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Who says the drinking has to wait til sunset? When it comes to the best 21st birthday party ideas, nothing makes the most of your celebrations like kicking off with breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Drink: Classic Cocktails
Sip sixties style with classic martinis and ever-efficient cocktail pitchers. Nothing makes drinking in the morning more acceptable than looking like James Bond while you do it.

Eat: Brekky Nibbles
While a re-watch of the film probably won’t help you out on the menu front, it’s all in the name. We recommend sticking to brekky classics like pastries, spanner crab omelettes and Eggs Benedict.

Venue & Styling: Modern Bistro
Today’s theme? Style. Throw this 21st birthday party in any elegant restaurant or bistro. As long as you can sip happily on that plate-side martini, you’re golden.

Attire: Black
Time to channel your inner Audrey Hepburn (and no, you don’t have to buy the pearls). A classic black dress and some Ray Bans is all you’ll need to pull this off. Wide-brimmed hats and elbow gloves are optional, but earn full credit points.

21st Birthdays Brisbane

21st Birthday Party Idea 3: Lannister’s Lunch

Winter may not be coming, but one of the top 21st birthday ideas Brisbane-wide sure is! Bound to be the mane event of your social season, we’d be lion if we said we weren’t a little jealous of this Game of Thrones themed event.

Eat: Meat, Fish & Veg
Feast like Westeros’ wealthiest family at this affair. Fine-tune your meat & veg menu with Sovereign Hills lamb belly, Cone Bay barramundi, and daily cheese with bread, crisps and sweets. You’re not stuck on the Night’s Watch, so don’t eat like you are!

Drink: Wine
21st birthday drink ideas never went astray with a little wine. We recommend drops like Ochota Barrels’ ‘Wild Berries’ wine or the Pinot Noir by Farr Rising – perfect for lavish lions.

Attire: Gold, Gold, Gold
And more gold (if that wasn’t clear). Cersei never strays from a good bedazzling, so layer those gorgeous threads with everything glowing golden in your jewellery box.

Venue & Styling: Long Table Luncheon
Like the royal family dining in a feast hall, pick a venue that can stick every guest at one long table (more room for wine, we say).

21st Birthdays Brisbane

21st Birthday Party Idea 4: Desperate Housewives dinner

Wysteria Lane’s sassiest group may not be on the air anymore, but their witty comments and extreme margarita intake is always available at 21st birthday venues Brisbane-wide with these tips.

Eat: Pizza
Take a slice out of Lynette’s book and settle down with pizza a-plenty. Alternatively, emulate Bree’s fondness for baking and stick to the dessert menu.

Drink: Cocktails or Wine
Like a porch-side gossip session with the group, any 21st begs for cocktails and wine at an unceasing pace. That’s right – no stopping, not even for secret love affairs with the handyman.

Attire: Pick a Character!
Fancy the more casual side of things? Tone your outfit after Lynette and Susan’s fave pieces. Want to wow the crowd? Head after Bree and Gabby and don’t look back.

Venue & Styling: Relaxed Drinks
The Desperate Housewives didn’t need a fancy restaurant to party – keep this one laid back.

 

Start Planning Your 21st Birthday Party

Speak to an expert and start planning your 21st birthday party at one of Brisbane’s best function venues.

So you’re throwing a Charity Gala. Organising an event that raises money for a good cause can be an extremely rewarding experience, but it’s also a challenging task to manage. As one of Brisbane’s best gala venues, we’ve put together five easy steps to follow to ensure your charity gala is a success.

 

Step 1. Pick a theme

When picking a theme for a charity gala, it’s a good idea to keep things simple. Pick a clear theme that won’t get too confusing and will make things easy when it comes to decoration and costume. Some good theme ideas for charity gala’s include ‘golden glitter party’, or an ‘All White Party’, or a ‘Welcome to Summer Party’. Once you have settled on a gala theme, stick to it and consider it in every element of your planning process. It is the smaller details that will really get the attention of your guests and make your gala even more special.

 

Step 2. Pick a function venue

When choosing a function venue for your charity gala, there are a number of things that should be considered. This includes:

  • Budget: How much do you have to spend on the function venue alone?
  • Capacity: How many people are you hoping will attend your charity gala?
  • Weather: Is it likely to be hot or cold? Wet or dry?

While a good gala venue is key, it is important to be realistic about your budget and how much you can spend on hiring a function room.

 

Step 3. Invite guests/sponsors

When it comes to hosting a charity gala, your guest list can make or break the event. A charity gala is all about raising money and you need to make sure that the guests you invite will provide appropriate donations. You’ll also need to approach some sponsors who are willing to get behind the cause and contribute some money, or goods to the event.

 

Step 4. Organise entertainment

The entertainment at your charity gala will be responsible for the atmosphere of the event. If you want to host an elegant soiree you might consider hiring a string quartet, if your goal is to get everyone up and dancing a cover band might be more appropriate. It worth investing in entertainment as the last thing you want is for your guests to get bored.

 

Step 5. Organise Catering

No one likes being hungry, that is why organizing the catering is one of the most important steps of organizing a Charity Gala. You have a few options, you might like to treat your guests to a sit down three-course meal, or instead you might opt for cocktail style canapes to be handed out throughout the night. Remember while there may be some budget restraints, it is always better to over cater.

Let all the Christmas cheer go to your head and your career won’t stay cool, calm and collected this Christmas.

Your social calendar is probably filling up with work Christmas parties and events, so we’ve assembled a guide to help you survive the festive season.

Here are some bad choices we don’t recommend you make at this year’s work Christmas party.

Christmas Party Ideas

1. Plan Ahead & Avoid a Case of the ‘Hangries’

We’ve all been there before, you’ve spent the last two weeks exercising your self-restraint just to squeeze into that new dress for the evening. Now that you’re feeling suitably trimmed and fabulous it’s finally time to reward yourself with a proper feast. But after turning down every single delicious fruit mince pie that made its way into the office kitchen you’ve arrived to the party only to find out you have to fight over half a cheese platter between 43 people (44 if you include pregnant Debra from accounts). Our number one tip to avoid office Xmas party starvation – and accidental inebriation – is to plan ahead.

Find out early on in the game whether the event is a sit-down meal or a cocktail and canapé affair and maybe pop a muesli bar in your pocket, no one wants to suffer an attack of the hangry this close to contract re-negotiations.

Christmas Party Ideas

2. The Buddy System

Dreading getting stuck under the mistletoe with Michael from HR? We suggest adopting the buddy system! Check ahead of time with your boss if it’s ok to bring your better half along for the ride for moral (and hey after a few cocktails probably physical) support. That way you can enjoy your office Xmas party with the added bonus of going home with the cutest person there (other than yourself).

 

3. Avoid Engaging in an Office Fling

On that note…Unless you want the awkward Monday morning stares and tension! There are plenty more fish in the sea – it’s just not worth it. For those with poor self-control we would steer clear of private function spaces where possible and instead persuade the powers that be to hold a Christmas party in at a function venue that has other people that you can plant your Christmas kiss on.

Office Christmas Party Tips

4. Don’t take sneaky snaps

As those drinks keep coming all night, that’s your cue for your second bad choice – uploading a photo to Facebook you’ll regret (we’ll leave the specifics to your imagination). We’ve all been there the morning after – thumping headache in place, you fumble for your phone half passed-out, only to find it buzzing with notifications.

An easy tip to avoid this occurring is to choose a shadowy Christmas party venue with dim lights. Unforgiven, the just-opened bar underneath Darling & Co, has a seductive interior that’s sure to keep your camera phone light working overtime and minimise the chance of any sneaky drunk pics!

Office Christmas Party Tips

5. Beware of Social Media

While we’re on the topic of ‘instashame’ and ‘twe-gret’ you might want to take a moment to consider your social media habits after a round or two. Got clients who follow your social media accounts? Put down the telephone! There’s nothing that takes the shine off an office Christmas party quite like having to explain yourself at your next business meeting. To put it simply; professionally shot office group photos – good. Bathroom selfies with your new favourite intern – bad.

 

6. Loose Lips Sink… Careers

You’re four hours in, half cut, stumbling about (with too much to say and no one to say it to) and decide to tell your boss how good his wife’s ass is – bad decision. If splurging on a few at the work function means your self-restraint is low, you need a back-up plan. Avoidance. The trick to avoiding the senior coworkers who’ll get you into trouble is ensuring your office Christmas party venue has some room to move.

Very few events give you the opportunity to screw up your career, your love life AND your social life all in one fair crack – so grab the opportunity by the reindeer horns and give us your best bad choices. Season’s greetings!

 

Start Planning Your Work Christmas Party

If you would like to start planning your work Christmas Party, simply head to our Xmas party page and submit an enquiry.

Ok we get it, it’s your wedding day and as the bride-to-be you are entitled to nothing less than Pinterest worthy perfection. The dress, the shoes, the custom light-up sign and beautiful little party favours, nothing escapes your sharp attention to detail and impeccable taste. But if there’s one trap that almost every bride falls into on her big day it’s those dreaded wedding clichés that should have died in the 90’s – we’re looking at you “unity sand”. So before you say “I do” take a moment to check out our list of “don’ts” with 6 big clichés to avoid on your wedding day.

Wedding Cliches

1. The Matchy-Matchy Wedding

Heaven knows we love a little coordination, but there’s a fine line between matching your shoes to your lippy and matching your lippy to, well – everything. Accent colours are the perfect way to personalise your big day but there’s nothing more off-putting than wading through a sea of peach coloured decorations at a wedding reception venue. Take a restrained approach instead and incorporate the natural character of your function space like the botanical charm of The Garden and add delightful and surprising pops of colour to your flower arrangements instead.

Wedding Cliches

2. Bridesmaid Dresses You’ll Regret

If there’s one tradition we will just never understand, it’s how the act of picking the perfect bridesmaid dress can turn the sweetest bride into a fire-breathing bridezilla. The result? Attack of the hideous bridesmaid dress! But contrary to popular belief, if there’s one sure fire way to take your guests attention away from you on your big day it is the sight of a puffed sleeved, taffeta nightmare walking solemnly down the aisle ahead of you. Skip the drab, and opt for simple and elegant cuts in complimentary colours – trust us, your future photo album will thank you.

Wedding Cliches

3. The Dreaded “Cake Smear”

Your dress is custom. Your make-up, a work of art. Your four-tiered wedding cake, a thing of beauty – so why on earth would you ruin all three by allowing your future hubby to smash a slice of red velvet in your face? We don’t know where this tradition started, but it’s time to cut it out for good. There’s nothing more cringe-worthy than getting a sticky kiss on the cheek from a bride with marzipan all over her face, and besides, when you order one of our handcrafted masterpieces for your wedding cake it would be a sin to waste it.

Wedding Cliches

4. The Fake Tan

Ladies (and who are we kidding, gentlemen) we know how desirable that gentle sun-kissed look is on your big day, but you when it comes things to consider you’re your planning a wedding you need to made aware that BIG expensive white dress + and even BIGGER fake tan is the BIGGEST recipe for disaster. Avoid the dreaded Oompah Loompah effect by coordinating a plan of action with your beautician prior to the big day – remember exfoliation is your friend!

Wedding Cliches

5. Overused Ceremony Music

If we had a dollar for every time we heard Pachelbel’s Canon in D at a wedding… sure it’s a fabulous traditional piece of music, but we’re here to remind you that the best thing about tradition is having the freedom to start your own. Break up with the bad cliché wedding songs and opt for something memorable like a mariachi band. It may not be the white wedding your grandmother had in mind, but it’s a sure fire way to make your wedding stand out from the crowd.

Wedding Cliches

6. Inappropriate Speeches

The wedding speech can be a dreadfully daunting affair if left in the hands of an amateur. Sure some nervous giggles can be endearing, but there’s nothing worse than a fully loaded best man pointed at a captive audience. Sure the sheep joke seemed like a good idea at the time but save those kinds of anecdotes for the locker room. If there’s one wedding cliché you want to avoid, it’s a big old dirty speech in front of your great grandmother – no matter how progressive she might seem.

 

Start Planning Your Dream Wedding

So start your strut into married life with your best foot forward and let the talented team from Darling & Co guide you down the aisle. View our affordable wedding reception venue now.

“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the bar, the office workers were all mingling, even Deb from HR.” Don’t you just love the holidays? If not, then it’s likely you’ve been stuck with the daunting task of putting together this year’s celebration. Don’t let this year’s festivity get you into a bother, just leave it to Darling & Co’s friendly elves to help you come up with the perfect Christmas party idea.

Christmas party ideas Brisbane

1. Soiree/Gala

If you’re going to do something, you might as well do it right, and nothing makes an impact quite like a glittering black-tie gala affair. Impress your clients and reward your colleagues for another successful year by throwing a soiree worthy of the silly season.

What you’re eating: Add a rich and hearty option by dotting risotto stations around the venue for guests to congregate about. Because water cooler conversations are so 20th century.

What you’re drinking: Free-flowing champagne, premium boutique wines and summery cocktails are a must do, for added effect choose a signature cocktail for the evening. Think of it as a business card, but tastier.

What you’re wearing: It’s time to suit up! Gentlemen that means tuxedos and gowns for the ladies. Unleash your inner James Bond.

What you’re listening to: Keep it lively and fun with a modern jazz or swing band a la Great Gatsby. It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.

Christmas party ideas Brisbane

2. Awards Night (Banquet)

Congratulations! You’ve made it through another year, and that deserves an award – but because we don’t have one handy, we guess that means it’s time to make up a whole new one! When it comes to capping off another successful year, there’s nothing like a Christmas party/awards night combo to reward your employees (and who knows, maybe nab that ‘World’s #1 Boss’ award too).

What you’re eating: Keep it communal with a shared banquet style feast. It will add a fun shared element to your event without the formality of a three-course meal.

What you’re drinking: Keep it relaxed but luxurious with a selection of local and imported wines and tap beers from our extensive menu.

What you’re wearing: Striking the right balance between formal and smart casual we recommend collared shirts and ties for the lads and cocktail dresses for the ladies.

What you’re listening to: Ditch the live music and invest in a local comedian to MC the event. It’s a great way to keep the crowd entertained and saves you from having to write jokes about your CEO… dangerous territory.

Christmas Party Venues Brisbane

3. Long Luncheon

Is there anything more sacred in the corporate world than the long lunch? If there is we haven’t heard it! So keep the tradition alive this festive season and lock in a Christmas with less snooze and more booze. So grab your stretchy pants and settle in for the long haul, because Santa is bringing a ho, ho, whole lot more to the table this year.

What you’re eating: They’ve worked their hands to the bone, so it’s time to reward your hardworking employees with a three-course lunch bursting with this season’s freshest flavours.

What you’re drinking: ‘Tis the season to be jolly, so top up the bar tab and get into the season of giving. Your staff and clients will thank you for it.

What you’re wearing: While we recommend keeping it slightly dressy, there’s no regret quite like the staff member who wore high waisted trousers to a feast. Exercise common sense, skinny leg jeans are not your friend here.

Christmas party ideas Brisbane

4. Midweek Cocktail Party

Looking to keep your Christmas function an intimate affair? Give the gift of exclusivity this year and book yourself a private midweek cocktail party at Unforgiven. Fully equipped with low lighting, cozy nooks and a private bar, there’s no better way to celebrate the silly season than getting a little silly yourself – far from the prying eyes of strangers.

What you’re eating:
Keep it classy and neat with handcrafted canapes and decadent cheese platters served on our signature mirrored tables.

What you’re drinking: With some of the world’s finest tipples at your fingertips, make your Christmas party the most wonderful time of the year with an exceptional range of cocktails and rare imported spirits.

What you’re Wearing: Enjoy the luxury of privacy and pick a fun theme like Mad Men to add a touch of fun to your event. BYO Christina Hendricks.

Christmas party ideas Brisbane

5. After Work Drinks

Uh oh! Left your Christmas party planning to the last minute? Or did you accidentally blow your budget on this year’s EOFY extravaganza? Just because you’re short on time and supplies doesn’t mean you have to settle for less. Just book your favourite table by the bar, drop your credit card details with the bartender and celebrate the silly season freestyle with your colleagues.

 

Start Planning Your Christmas Party for 2017

Are you filled with the holiday spirit? Start your Christmas party for 2017 planning journey today!

You’ve just said ‘yes,’ and now it’s time to start planning the wedding you’ve secretly had a Pinterest board for since you were 17. But those euphoric feelings of finally being able to research wedding venues and honeymoon spots to your hearts content start leaking away when you realise one thing: how much it’s going to cost you.

The average Australian wedding costs a hefty $36,200 – not small change in anyone’s bank balance. And when it comes down to starting your wedded life with a house deposit or a mountain of debt, it can be pretty tempting to just run away to the registry office. But before you go planning how to break it to your parents that there won’t be a big white wedding, here’s where to save some dosh for that honeymoon with a few budget wedding ideas.

Affordable Wedding Tips

Budget Wedding Tip 1: The Wedding Venue

The first thing you book is also the most expensive, especially if your ideal reception is a 3 course sit down dinner for a few hundred people. Avoid any potential hidden costs by choosing a budget wedding venue in Brisbane that provides clear minimum spends, or if there are none, be sure to clearly state your budget in your initial enquiry.

If you can’t bear the thought of spending big on a separate ceremony and reception venue, some venues can host both in one location, which could save you a significant amount. Pick an affordable wedding venue close to the CBD and you’ll also save on transport – both for your wedding cars and those annoying loving guests who demand you organize their travel for them.

Best Wedding Venues Brisbane

Budget Wedding Tip 2: Off Peak Venue Hire

Struggling to find a cheap wedding venue Brisbane wide that still offers everything your Pinterest board desires? Why not consider a Friday, Sunday or even midweek wedding, when most venues lower their prices? Booking the venue out of peak seasons like September and May can also mean reduced prices.

Budget Wedding Tips

Budget Wedding Tip 3: Wedding Photography

‘You charge HOW much?’ was probably the choked response to your first quote for wedding photography. Yep, those treasured memories will cost you, and it’s not something you want to skimp out on. Before you agree to mortgage your soul, decide if you really need photos of the bride getting ready and venue set up, or of your family and friends when they are drunk on the dancefloor at 10pm. For weddings on a budget, consider picking a 2-3 hour time frame that covers the important moments of the ceremony and reception venue arrival, then use a service such as Instathat for social photos and a faux photobooth.

Budget Wedding Tips

Budget Wedding Tip 4: Wedding Catering

You may have your heart set on a 5 course sit down banquet, but for weddings on a budget, canapés and platters are often significantly less expensive. Whichever option you choose, just be sure to choose a venue that provides set food and beverage packages so you don’t find yourself paying for extras, and ask if there is separate pricing available for kids meals – they probably don’t need a $100 per head meal, after all. For cakeage, if your venue chargers per person, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they’ll change it to a flat fee, especially if your guest list is getting alarmingly large.

Budget Wedding Tips

Budget Wedding Tip 5: Styling & Theming

Sure you probably didn’t dream of spray painting mason jars and arranging flowers when you got engaged, but you can save a whole lot more for that honeymoon with some DIY styling. Before you start frantically collecting recycled jars, however, ask the venue to clarify what is included in their wedding package – and ask if they offer AV equipment, table settings and even those Tiffany chairs you’ve dreamed about since you were 7. Also, try and pick a venue that allows extra time to bump in so you (or your family and friends) can set up decorations, flowers, lighting and the like, which could save you if styling and theming isn’t included in the package, and will be much cheaper than hiring a professional stylist.

 

Start Planning Your Dream Wedding

Start planning your dream wedding for an affordable price. Contact our wedding coordinator for more information.

You’ve announced your engagement to your family, called your besties to tell them the news and made the obligatory Facebook post #shesaidyes. Since everyone already knows, and you’ve thrown yourself headlong into Pinterest boards and venue shopping, do you really need to host an engagement party?

Absolutely! While you may think it’s just an excuse to celebrate (with more than a few glasses of champagne), engagement parties are a tradition to uphold for more than just the obligatory engagement presents. Here are our top 6 reasons why you should have an engagement party – and not a single one involves the ancient Greek tradition of the bride’s father selling the bride to the groom.

Engagement Party Ideas

1. Engagement parties help to break the ice between families

No matter how long you’ve been together, there’s bound to be long lost family members on either side that you’ve never met. To save awkward introductions when you’re being congratulated after the ceremony on the big day, an engagement party is the perfect way for both you and your partner to meet extended family, and for your family members to meet each other and become acquainted. Who knows – Uncle Jerry might just finally meet someone who’s model car collection is as big as his and save you the trouble of having to hear all about his latest addition at the wedding.

Engagement Party Ideas

2. Engagement parties are an opportunity to bring friends together

Let’s face it – in today’s busy world, it’s rare that you have a chance to bring all your friends together. But while after work drinks and weekend catch ups are easy to avoid RSVPing to (we’ve all got one of those friends), no one can say no to an engagement party invite. It’s a rare opportunity to have all your favourite people in one place – don’t let it slip past.

Engagement Party Ideas

3. Engagement parties are a great pre-planning exercise before the wedding

In case you hadn’t quite figured it out yet, weddings are HARD. Coordinating the venue, the outfits, the transport, the accommodation, the guest list, the menu, and a whole lot more can be pretty damn challenging, especially if you’ve never put together so much as a dinner party before. Hosting an engagement party is a great opportunity to start taking note of how many guests you’ll need to plan for, how much people are going to eat and drink, and whether there are any guests who may prove to be a little more needy than others (yes, Aunt Betty, we are aware you will need a gluten free, vegetarian, organic meal at the wedding).

Restaurants Brisbane

4. Engagement parties: an excuse to eat & drink

Does this one even need more of an explanation? Who could say no to that?

Engagement Party Ideas

5. Engagement parties can help to reduce the guest list prior to the wedding

If you’re planning a small wedding, or perhaps even thinking about eloping to some exotic location, an engagement party is a great way to shorten the guest list. Big engagement parties are much less expensive and elaborate than big weddings, and may even provide an opportunity for you to let everyone know that they shouldn’t expect an invite in the mail, while still including them in the celebration.

Engagement Party Ideas

6. Engagement parties are an opportunity to reflect, remember & celebrate

This is a big moment in your life – it deserves a party! You can guarantee that your family and friends have been holding their breath to celebrate with you, and probably have hilarious and moving memories from way back when they’re just dying to retell and share with you and your loved ones. Probably including your parents. Best to get any embarrassing ones out of the way before the wedding, right?

While planning an engagement party on top of a wedding can be daunting, it’s one of the few chances you’ll have to stop, celebrate and share a special occasion (and a few embarrassing stories) with your favourite people – our top reasons why you should have an engagement party surely prove that!

 

Start planning your engagement party

It’s not time to settle down just yet, you’ve got a party to throw Darling, and we’ve got the best engagement party venue in Brisbane available for hire. Our engagement party venue allows for groups of 25 to 150 depending on your style of celebration. Start planning your engagement party at Brisbane’s best function venue.

You know the feeling. The one where you open the oven door to a whiff of burnt and a puff of black smoke. Your guests are in the other room, laughing, enjoying themselves and you? Well, your night just took a turn for the worst. Don’t be THAT person in three easy steps.

 

1. Put the apron away

The first step to redemption and avoiding kitchen chaos is realising you don’t need the stress of catering in your life and there are people to help you through it instead. Whether you’re cooking for family and friends or looking to cater for your colleagues, make sure the apron stays far away from you.

 

2. Get Brisbane’s new catering menu delivered to your door

Asides from having a beautiful venue of its own, Brisbane’s newest sweetheart Darling & Co, is now looking after you in your own home. What does this mean? It means you have access to a selection from our delicious, locally sourced menu to enjoy in the comfort of your own home. Our catering menu offering is sure to put a smile on your friends, family and colleagues dials – but your smile will be the biggest of all, now that you’re free from the kitchen’s shackles!

 

3. Step away form the house/office altogether

If all else fails, we recommend just distancing yourself from the situation entirely. A good distance to be is within the safe, reassuring confines of Darling & Co. Located in a central inner-city location, with free car parking on-site, take your next get-together outside and remove the stress completely. Big or small, we can tailor our catering to your next gathering.

 

Brisbane, it’s time to avoid kitchen chaos with our simple three-step guide. Put the apron away, join the function club, feast your eyes on our catering menu and see what our venue’s function spaces can do for your next gathering.

It’s official, we’re over Brisbane’s hum-drum functions scene. The drab rooms, sad decorations and bland food, it’s enough to make you want to give up on the whole hideous exercise. That’s why we think it’s time to take control of your social destiny and get intimate with opulence. Because when it comes to picking your next Brisbane function venue, there’s a habitat for every social creature in our Function Club.

The Foyer

Darling we all know that when it comes to throwing a roaring function in Brisbane, it’s all about making an entrance. Which is why we’ve designed an event space guaranteed to make a spectacular first impression. Greet your guests in style with a glittering cocktail soiree for 50 in The Foyer. It’s the intimate, yet glamorous Brisbane venue space that you’ve always dreamt of.

 

The Garden

Are you a lady who knows the real definition of a long lunch? Recline in style and treat yourself to the decadence you truly deserve with an opulent affair in The Garden. With enough room to accommodate 150 of your most stylish friends it’s the perfect choice for a high-end champagne breakfast or an evening of cocktails and canapés. We’ve taken care of all the details so you can kiss cheeks and drink champagne, confident in the knowledge that you’ve nailed down Brisbane’s most elegant function venue.

 

Swayze’s Backstage

Everyone deserves a little VIP treatment darling, and when it comes to really wowing clients at your next corporate function, you just can’t go past the exclusivity of Swayze’s Backstage. Your guests will be sure to toast to your success as they sip champagne in the elegant privacy of this enclosed area. Whether it’s a swanky cocktail reception for 120 or a stylish sit-down affair for 80, you’ll be blown away with a decadent selection from our signature menu.

 

Unforgiven

Gentlemen, are you looking to make a little mischief? Let’s turn the lights down low and close the curtains, it’s time to rediscover the art of “secret men’s business” with the city’s latest private dining destination, Unforgiven. We’re inviting you to suit-up and sit down while you sip your way through our 28 varieties of premium whiskey. With enough room to accommodate 30 of your closest friends, it’s the ultimate modern escape with a touch of old-world class.

Regardless of the occasion, there’s a space for every socialite at Darling & Co