By Sivi Mennen, Fire & Vine Sales Strategy Director

Creating a WOW factor will elevate your guests’ experience, evoke emotion, and leave a lasting impression. From small, personalized touches to extravagant gestures, we have some tips to make your event extra special, whether you are hosting a business dinner, holiday celebration or a family gathering.

Set the mood with lighting, décor, and music.

  • Uplighting is a nice touch, as candles are placed not only on dining tables, but throughout the space (don’t forget the bathrooms!). Fairy lights provide a bit of extra sparkle to indoor or outdoor plants or fixtures. *Hint, choose lighting colors that coincide with the theme of the party, company color scheme, etc.
  • Special linens are a detail that help add to any table setting, as are centerpieces and custom place cards. Choose items that accent your vison, and that guests are invited to keep. 
*Hint, a simple ornament with guests’ names written with a metallic pen is a special memento for any holiday party.
  • Music adds so much to any event. Consider creating a playlist, hiring a band or DJ if you’d like to dance the night away, or perhaps a harpist for classic background sound.


  • Create a specialty cocktail and mocktail that highlights your event theme. Use your imagination – you can name it after the guest of honor, or the milestone being celebrated. Place framed drink menus at bar. *Hint use straws that match your color scheme, and/or picks for the garnish that go with the occasion, Amazon has great selections!
  • Design a menu with a special title and/or company logo, and perhaps even creatively name one of the dishes after your guest of honor.
  • Offer dessert topped with your company logo or special colors to go with your theme. 
*Hint, edible “luster dust” adds color to any dessert and is easily purchased online.
  • Consider a small thank you gift for each guest to be handed out at departure or placed in each car by a valet, if hired for the event.

Go Over the Top:

  • A red-carpet entrance is the ultimate welcome, making all your guests feel like celebrities from the moment they arrive!
  • Hiring a photographer ensures that you capture all the big moments. Make it easy and fun for guests to post on social media by adding a custom “step and repeat” backdrop for photo opportunities.
  • Surprise your guests with a magician, performer, or interactive experience to keep up the energy and spark interactions.
  • Offer a custom wine tasting or wine or liquor pairing experience. Other ideas include live oyster shucking or cooking/grilling elements.
  • Send personal invitations by mail or courier, and personal thank you notes to all attendees.
  • Arrange transportation for your guests. A motorcoach or Sprinter van is the ultimate pickup!
  • Consider a progressive event where guests begin the evening at one destination for appetizers and welcome cocktails and move to another for dinner.

No matter the occasion, creating a WOW experience will be sure to leave an impact on your guests, and create memories for years to come. Our team of professionals would love to assist, and we invite you to reach out to us for suggestions, resources, or to book your next celebration or gathering.

Fire & Vine Hospitality Event Directors

Aerlume – Caitlynd Davison,
AQUA by El Gaucho – Kristina Thorne,
El Gaucho Bellevue – Whitney Twede,
El Gaucho Portland – Greg Dills,
El Gaucho Seattle – Kristina Thorne,
El Gaucho Tacoma – Merica Oscan,
El Gaucho Vancouver – Kate Carr,
Witness Tree – Kate Carr,