The Unexpected Costs of Hosting an Event

Congratulations! You’ve got an event coming up, and most of the details are finalised.
The venue has been sorted, as has the catering and photographer – even your own outfit.
So, what’s left? Well, actually, quite a lot. There are things you’re going to have to spend money on that you might not have thought about.
But don’t worry, we’ve compiled a list of these things. So you can have everything arranged before the big day arrives.

The Paperwork

There’s some essential paperwork you’re going to want to keep on site of the event.
This includes things like a guestlist. If you’ve got more than 10 people attending, which you probably will, a guestlist will help you keep track of who has arrived.
Some places will even require you to have health and safety equipment, and a risk assessment handy at all times.


Not every venue will provide furniture – you’ll need to hire this yourself (with our help).


Depending on the kind of event you’re having, you’re going to need different kinds of tables. You may even want three or four!
Do you want to have your guests sitting down for an elegant three course meal, or are you opting for poseur tables that people can mingle around and put drinks and snacks on?
It could be that you want wooden tables creating a rustic vibe, or you might want to opt for metal tables that provide an industrial feel.
Whatever size, material or number you decide to go for, it’s likely that you want somewhere for your guests to sit.


Have you ever been to an event without a single chair, bench or stool in the room? Of course not.
So, now you’re planning your event, how many chairs do you need? Are they traditional or modern chairs, armchairs, or sofas, stools, or benches?
If you’re kitting out a short-term workspace, are you getting comfy desk chairs with lumbar support for your employees?
As with tables, materials and weight support capabilities are going to vary from product to product, make sure that yours are fit for purpose!

Table and Chair Dressings

Once you’ve sorted the tables and chairs it’s time to consider the aesthetics of the event.

If you have a specific colour scheme in mind then it’s much easier to find a purple chair wrap than a purple chair!
From tablecloths, to table runners, and then to chair wraps and decorations, there’s a multitude of options to pour over, and all of them will help contribute to your dream event.

So far, we’ve only covered the challenges you typically run into if you’re having an indoor event.
If you’re venturing outdoors, then there’s even more to think about!

The weather is going to wreak havoc on a British event (it’s one of the few things we count on!).
Having an outdoor event doesn’t have to be a fantasy, but you need to plan for the weather not to be on your side if you don’t want people to end up with soggy shoes and damp hair.

Outdoor Structures

Are you going for a tarpaulin, or a gazebo? If you’re after a gazebo, will it be able to withstand the rain or wind?
Fingers crossed you will have the best weather on the day, but better safe than sorry.

The Ground Covering

If you’re hosting an outdoor event that will be attended by people in high heels then there will always be the possibility of someone’s beloved shoes sinking into the dirt.
Ground coverings can range from rugs to outside dance floors and solid walkways.
Hard covering will make it easier for anyone using a wheelchair or crutches to get around, as well as making transporting fragile food or equipment less daunting.

The Heating

Even in the height of July, you could end up with a cold snap, and you can guarantee that not everyone will plan their outfit around this eventuality.
Outdoor heating can help your event go on into the night without your guests shivering and huddling for warmth.


Your venue might have an inbuilt dancefloor, but if you fall in love with a location that doesn’t have its own, it doesn’t mean you can’t boogie to your heart’s content.
You just need to bring in your own. Dancefloors can be hired and can be any size and pretty much any shape you want.
A devoted dance space helps organise your venue and encourage people to get in there! No party is complete without at least one photo of someone who’s just a little too into the funky chicken.


Your beautiful Victorian venue might have beautiful Victorian plates… and you might hate them; it’s okay to be a modern minimalist in a grand, old space.
In which case you need to sort crockery for all of your guests, and possibly for some of the staff you’re hiring too!
If you’ve got vendors such as photographers and waiters on site for more than 8 hours, they’re going to need food at some point!


What’s everyone drinking out of?
Is it going to be a crystal champagne flute or a highball glass?
Depending on what you’re serving, and to what age range, it’s likely that you’re going to want a few different types of glasses on hand.
A hotel may have enough champagne glasses for everyone to take a sip at once but it’s not guaranteed, and again, you need to factor in for breakages.

Cutlery and Serving Cutlery

Can everyone eat a steak, a bowl of soup and a plate of fish at the same time?
If you’re hosting an event with a formal meal then having enough knives and forks and spoons to go round are a must.
Whilst it’s unlikely that everyone will be eating the exact same dish at the exact same time, it’s good practise to plan for such an occurrence.
You should also allow for at least a few items of cutlery to be dropped, requiring spare cutlery on hand so that the guest can return to their meal as soon as possible.

Serving Dishes

If you’re going for a buffet set up then you can cut down on the number of waiting staff you’re hiring.
However, unless you want your guests to be scooping their meals out of saucepans then you’re going to need some kind of serving dishes.
Whether you’re serving 100 or 1000 people, there are options out there for you – usually, the biggest problem is having enough table space for all of the dishes to be served at once!


If your venue doesn’t have napkins in house, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to buy 250 cloth napkins that you’re only going to use for one day.
As with other event items it’s possible to hire napkins so you don’t have to worry about clean up on the day.

Pots and Pans

Whilst most catering teams will have their own pans and lightweight cooking equipment, it’s always worth checking that they have the specialist equipment needed for your entire menu.
This way, you don’t end up with a crepe being burned because it’s been in a cast iron skillet for too long.

Stoves and Ovens

This is especially important to consider if you’re hosting an outdoor event or are using an unconventional space to serve food.
It’s possible to rent everything from fridges to stoves which means you can serve piping hot food pretty much anywhere!
Party in an abandoned warehouse or get married in a forest whilst you tuck into hot meals – sounds ideal to us.

Now you’ve got your list…

Before you rush off to start to start planning, we’re going to give you some good news!
Almost everything above can be sorted with the help of the Thorns Group, specialists in event hire.
From the little things like napkins, to bigger things like the stoves, we’ve got you covered.
Just give us a call to get started.

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