Plan the perfect RWC party

Tickets for the semis and finals are already sold out, the official Fan Zones are way too crowded, and you want to celebrate somewhere other than your local pub. The answer? Hold your own Rugby World Cup celebration at home.

Like any function, a Rugby World Cup party needs planning and creativity if it’s to be a success. And being organised is the key to relaxing and enjoying the evening as the host.

Here’s our checklist for putting on a great party, with a few Rugby World Cup-themed ideas thrown in to make special.


Early decisions to make

•    Party date and time: Whether it’s a crucial match for your team, or the final, let people know as early as possible. Email ‘hold the date’ notices, before sending out themed invitations.

•    Venue and numbers: Decide how many guests you plan to invite, and whether you have the space to host that number of people. The focus of any Rugby World Cup party is going to be the game. People take it very seriously so make sure your TV screen is big enough and there is seating for everyone to watch the game comfortably. We can help you hire equipment if you need to.

•    Party theme: Is this going to be a party for supporters of your favourite team? Or will you have guests who support both teams playing in your chosen match? This will be one aspect to take into account when doing your theming, invitations, food, and games.

•    Decide how much you want to do yourself: Depending on the time and budget you have available, and the number of guests you are inviting, you may decide you need a caterer and/or bartender. You might also consider outsourcing the cleaning of your house before and after the party, and decorating and theming.

Of course, if you have limited spare time and would rather focus on enjoying the party with your guests, Concierge NZ can provide a complete function service. We are very experienced in this area and can guarantee we’ll look after all the details to create a memorable and fun experience for everyone.

Two weeks out – start thinking about the details

•    Invites: Make sure you have sent out all the invitations. You can easily create your own themed invitations, or use rugby themed invites from a party supply company. If you want people to get into the spirit of the event, ask guests to come dressed in their supporters’ colours. Make sure you request RSVPs.

•    Food & drink: Confirm your order with your caterer and bartender or, if you are self-catering, decide what you are going to make and get your recipes together. Be creative with the food. Introduce a rugby theme (eg rugby ball shaped lamingtons), or a black and white colour scheme if you are an All Blacks supporter, or national dishes and popular beers from the two competing countries.

•    Decorations: You’ll find most of what you need from party supply companies so it’s just a matter of deciding which team colours you need to represent. The more creative you are, the more fun the atmosphere will be at your party. Goal posts over your front door, rugby balls, team flags and jerseys on the walls, a life-size cut-out of your favourite player… guests will be lining up to have their photo taken with your cut-out rugby hero.

•    Equipment: Rent chairs, tables, glasses, and audio visual equipment if you need them. Concierge NZ has great contacts with party hire companies if you need help with this.

•    Entertainment: Of course the game gets top billing, but you will still need music and entertainment before and after the match. Decide which broadcaster’s warm-up coverage you want to watch, and put a classic game or highlights package on mute to help set the scene.

Raise the stakes with a sweepstake. Ask guests to predict the final and half-time scores, or which player will score the first try in each half. Have a prize-giving at the end of the match.

If there are going to be children at your party, make sure you cater for them as well. Face painting (in team colours, of course), rugby skills games, and a rugby ball pinata will keep the little ones happy and feeling part of the festivities.

Three days out – getting ready

•    Last check on RSVP numbers. Adjust your catering and follow up with any caterers, bartenders and entertainment suppliers you have hired.
•    Shop for food, beverages, and last minute party supplies.
•    Clean your house or venue.
•    Delegate tasks to your volunteer assistants.
•    Test all your equipment and prepare your music and entertainment.
•    Finalise the layout of your party space and start decorating.

On the day – final touches

•    Finalise set-up and decorations.
•    Set up games and entertainment.
•    Set up bathroom facilities with extra toilet paper and hand towels.
•    Finalise food preparation if you are not using a caterer.
•    Make sure your hired and volunteer helpers know what to do.
•    Make sure the batteries for your cameras are charged.
•    Get yourself ready.
•    Relax and enjoy yourself!