I love hosting, absolutely love it. However, for the perfect planning there needs to be stages of meticulous, thoughtful planning so there is no need to panic on the big day. These are my tips for planning the perfect party! This post is in collaboration with Paperless Post, who focus on customised stationery including greetings, invitations, birth announcements and wedding suites.
When planning a party, first things first, decide a venue! With that vital info you can decide the maximum amount of guests you can invite. Make sure that it is in a location that is accessible to all your guests, as I am sure you will like them all to make it.
By finalising the venue you then have a date for the party! Put this in your calendar and make sure the ones you want there most at your party can make it, and if not, the date can be changed before anyone else knows.
Make a guest list. As one who has been to a fair few parties (and hosted a couple) a piece of advice is that none of the guests invited have any unwanted tension between them – it could lead to an uncomfortable event. I personally like (if I can) to make sure every guest has at least one other person they are close to, to help aid conversation.
Pick a theme! Now this is a fun one, and you can involve this as much or as little as you want. The theme can involve anything from food, dress code, music, decor or party entertainment. Pick something you are interested in, and secondly, one that your guests can be a part of.
When a theme, venue and guest list has been planned, consider the overall budget of the party. Although this is not the most fun part of the party, it is one that is vital. Consider contributions from other people via either helping out or gifts. Determine a budget that will not break the bank but will ensure a good time.
Invites. I mean without this, there are no guests. You can opt for a traditional letter through the post box, word of mouth (although miscommunication can cause issues), or use the internet to your advantage. Paperless Post is an awesome brand that allows you to create customised cards, flyers and invitations for every occasion with free and premium options available, partnering with fashion designers such as kate spade new york, Kelly Wearstler, and Oscar de la Renta. The cool part is that you can send the invitation straight to a guests email inbox, without the hassle of posting. Premium cards use coins as their currency which can be purchased in the store – as a welcome gesture you will receive 25 free coins when you register. For more information, check out the Paperless Post site.
Now the guests are invited, it’s time to plan food and drink – this involves the cake! Obviously dietary requirements need to be met (vegetarians / vegans / allergies). Plan this far in advance and think of items that can be prepared in advance or can be eaten cold. If you are preparing hot food, prepare it as close to the party as you can so everything is fresh (cover it up in foil to conserve heat). *Top Tip – if guests are drinking alcohol, make sure they are under the limit if driving home, if not, then ensure taxi contacts are on hand.*
There is nothing worse than rushing around on the day of the party so would suggest decorating the venue the day before if possible. This could be in accordance to the theme or the purpose of occasion. Also ensure that the venue area is clean, and when it comes to the party, tidy up when you can (hang up a communal bin bag), just to ease things when the party’s over – just remember to enjoy yourself too.
What would a party be without cracking entertainment? For me, a playlist that is fun and get everyone singing along is perfect for lifting the mood and getting everyone to mingle with one another. You could also organise theme related games and activities, or paid for entertainment (a DJ, magician, band – the list is endless).
When it comes to the end of the night, it might be worth offering party favours as a thank you for coming. These could be personalised gifts (although this could be quite costly), or little things from the pound shop. Just like the parties we once had as children, cake has to be an essential offering!
When it comes to planning a party, the most important thing is for it to be fun for all, including yourself. I hope this helps the planning process, if you have any other suggestions, comment them below!
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