The key to a great party is great planning.
Below are 10 steps for planning a SIMPLY extraordinary party!
1. Pick your (ideal) date. I personally love throwing parties on a Saturday because then you have all of Sunday to rest. However, this is a personal option. I write ideal because the place that you want to have your party might not have your date so you might need to adjust.
2. Pick your (ideal) time. If this is your child’s party, take nap times into consideration. I remember when I threw my daughter’s 1st birthday party. I put the start time as 2pm not realizing that she usually naps till about 2:30pm. Needless to say, she was late to her own party!
3. Pick your place. Look for a post soon about creative, fun and inexpensive places to have your parties!
4. Pick your theme! Once you have your confirmed place, date and time, it’s time to pick the best part: THEME! I always make sure that the place is confirmed first as it will determine the theme. For me, I like things to match and make sense especially for a party. For example, if you’re having a party at a Mexican restaurant, it would make more sense to have a Mexican themed party than a Princess party.
5. Pick your invitations. Once you have your theme, it’s time for the invitations. First, determine if you want to send out paper or electronic invites. I have been leaning towards the electronic invites lately. It’s super easy, FREE and you can always add any extra guests without having to take an extra trip to the Post Office. However, there is something really special about getting a paper invite in the mail. Either way, make sure your invite gives your guests a preview of what to expect for the party. Is it a pool party? Do guests need to bring anything special to attend the party i.e. swimsuits? Do you want them to wear something special i.e. baseball jerseys for a Baseball theme? Make sure you have all the important information on the invite so it alleviates calls, texts and emails with questions about the party.
6. Pick your menu. Food is very important at any party so make time to think about your menu. I love menus that coordinate with the theme of the party even if it’s just the desserts. I would also take into consideration who your guests and the time of the party. If you have a lot of kids, make sure you have options for them. If you are having an outside party, make sure the food is “light” and can hold up in elements. Most important, make sure the food is YUMMY! Nothing says a great party than really good food! And don’t forget dessert!
7. Pick your entertainment. I’m old school when it comes to entertainment at parties. I feel, especially for young kids’ parties, that you don’t need much. Kids are entertained with a cardboard box so they don’t need a whole clown show at their party. Plus, I feel that it sometimes takes away from the socialization of the party which, to me, is the whole point of having a party anyway. Simple, fun games are super fun because they are interactive and don’t take up too much time. If you do decide you want entertainment, keep it short. A good time to have your entertainment come in would be after the food is served and before the cake is cut.
8. Plan your day. Take time to figure out your plan for the day of the party. You don’t want to have to figure out who is picking up Grandma the morning of so make sure you think about your plan for the day. One of my party planning mottos is to “do what you can today so you don’t have to do it tomorrow.” This motto has worked well for me both professionally and personally. Ideally, you want to be able to have as much as you can do so that the day of the party, you can just enjoy!
9. Take pictures! This might sound really simple but you will be surprised how challenging this could be once the party is underway (and you have an active toddler). I suggest that you take pictures as the beginning of the party before most of your guests arrive. This is especially important if you are planning on sending thank you cards with a photo from the party. The last thing you want is at the end of the party figure out that you never took a picture of your child with his/her grandparents from the party. Again, you be surprised how easy this can happen. A good tip is taking candid shots (especially when you have a toddler running around). I’m also a huge fan of candid pictures! Some of favorite pictures of my daughter are the ones when she is just running around and not being forced to pose so walk around the party and “capture the moments”.
10. Have fun and enjoy! I added this on here because you will be surprised how many times a party host (especially us mommies) forgets to have fun at their own parties! I get it! It’s so easy to do. You’re too busy making sure there is enough food and worrying about everyone else having fun that you forget to have fun yourself. So make sure you take time to enjoy your own party! Your child will only have their 1st birthday once so make sure you don’t miss it.
What are your best tips for throwing a great party? Please share!
I would love to hear from you!