I love a great party, but being a guest and being a host are two totally different things. It can be stressful throwing and hosting, but don’t worry, here’s several ways to help you plan out a successful event.
Decide on the purpose of the party
First things first, you need to determine what the purpose of the party is. This helps in the planning stages so you know the next steps. Is it a surprise for someone? If not a surprise, why are you having the party? Is it just an intimate soiree? Or maybe a birthday, bridal shower, baby shower, welcome home, retirement, sports event?
Choose the theme
Every great party has a theme. This is the fun part where you decide what the theme will be… maybe nautical, luau, sports, Hollywood, Paris, etc. This is important when it comes to things like decorations and even food. Having a theme is part of the fun for the guests and really ties the elements of the whole thing together.
Pick a date, a time, and a place
Try to pick a day of the week and time of day when most guests will be able to attend. Weekends and evenings are generally safest. Decide on a place that is also convenient for most people that requires minimal travel time and distance.
Set up a budget
Parties can be pricey and you definitely don’t want to go broke throwing one. Decide on a set amount and stick to it. This is important when considering who to invite. If your budget is minimal, you may only be able to invite a limited number of people and still be able to provide enough food, etc. Don’t forget to include things like decorations and supplies in your budget as well as these things can take up a portion of your budget and are often overlooked.
Make a to do list
Write down everything that needs to be done. This gives you an overview of everything you have to accomplish and way to keep track of things as they are completed.
Create the guest list
Determine how many people you can afford to have attend or the venue can accommodate space-wise. Who should be attending ? If throwing the party for someone else, who would they most like to see? You can always make a “wish list” of guests and narrow down if need be.
Whether you plan to do your invitations digitally, via word of mouth, or with traditional printed format, be sure to allow people enough notice. three to four weeks is generally good for parties – this allows enough time to rearrange schedules if needed.
Plan the activities/games/entertainment
This varies greatly on the type of party as to what activities there will be. If this is a small in-house soiree, you may just opt for conversation and background music. If this is a full-fledged “par-tay” you may be looking for things to keep guests engaged. Make sure you plan enough games/activities/entertainment so there’s no “lull”, and try to plan activities that everyone can join or enjoy.
Follow up with invitees
Life is busy – for everyone. People can get so caught up in their daily lives that things can easily slip their minds. Be sure to follow up with everyone to jog their memory about the party. This is also a great opportunity to find out if there are dietary restrictions or allergies.
Plan the menu
There’s no party if there’s no food. Once you’ve confirmed the numbers of people you can decide on the amount of food and how to approach it – will you be hiring a caterer? Doing all food yourself? Or having a potluck instead? Factor all of this into your budget to determine what works best.
Look over your to-do list
Reevaluate the tasks you’ve written down on your to-do list and determine what is left to do.
Decorate in advance
if at all possible, do all decorating in advance. This sounds so silly, but I’ve actually shown up to parties and the host is putting up the final decorations while keeping an eye on the door as well. If renting a venue, see about getting in early or even the day before. If having it at home or at a friend’s house, definitely do as much the day before so you can socialize with guests when they arrive.
A well organized and planned out party is sure to make the party a success. So remember to have some fun yourself.
Got a party to plan? Well, you can party like it’s 1999 with my Ultimate Party Planner. Whether it’s a birthday, an anniversary, a theme party, a “just because” party, or a special event, this is the planner for you!
When planning a recent party for a friend, I designed this planner for us to use. I made sure it covered all the details that any party planner would require. It covers everything from the planning and budgeting to the favors and guests, right down to the music and expenses.
If you have a party to plan and are bogged down with the details and aren’t sure where to start, then this party planner has everything you need to fully plan out the best party your friends have ever seen from start to finish.
Ciao for now…