How to Plan the Perfect Party for any Occasion
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Party planning can be pretty tricky... There are so many moving parts...not to mention the insane amount of pressure one can feel to create an amazing party to remember...
The invites, the decorations, the cake, the food, the entertainment...so many pieces of the puzzle to plan....so many decisions to make...So much to coordinate...
Why do I love throwing parties? Because I'm a crazy mom who loves to torture myself...Seriously though, while that is definitely a true statement, I also love throwing parties because it is such a great way to be creative and make memories with family and friends. It's also super satisfying to see something you spend so much time and effort on come together perfectly.
Either way, planning a party for anyone, especially a child, can be stressful...and as I gain more and more party planning experience, I've realized that planning can actually be pretty simple!
With that being said, here is my fool proof process for throwing an epic party for anyone, at any age!
1. CHOOSE A THEME
This is the most important factor in your planning, and it's something that needs to be done before anything else! Every aspect of your party should be in coordination with your theme. If you're having trouble deciding on a theme, browse Pinterest and talk to friends and family. Sometimes getting opinions from others can really help you hammer down a direction for the party! Once you have your theme hashed out, you can start the next step of your planning.
2. CREATE A GUEST LIST & INVITATIONS
This step needs to be done as soon as you pick a theme. The planning process is SO much easier when you know how many people you'll be expecting. Food, drinks, cake, and activities are really hard to plan if you don't have a guest list. Planning a party without a guest list is like grocery shopping with your eyes closed. Once you have your guest list you'll want to get your invitations ready to go out. I personally love creating my party invites with Zazzle. I like that I can create beautiful and personalized invites that make the celebration even more personal. They also always have great sales that can save you BIG! I like to give my guests a few weeks to RSVP, so my general rule of thumb is to send out invitations about a month before the party date. Once the invitations are out and the RSVPs start coming in, you'll have a much better idea for planning all the other party components.
This is my FAVORITE part!!! I love decorating for parties! I like to brainstorm decoration ideas by checking out Pinterest and envisioning what the party looks like in my head. I usually jot down ideas on a sheet of paper to create a list of things I'll have to either buy or make. This helps me keep track, because Lord knows with my Mom brain I'd have a great idea and then forget it ten seconds later! I walk through the party location (usually our house), and as I walk through, I think of what I want to put where. Envisioning the party helps me to make sure I'm not over decorating. Too many decorations can make your party look tacky!
Food is SUPER important! I don't know about you, but if I go to a party and the food isn't good, it brings the whole party down! People love to eat, so make sure to wow your guests with well thought out food! I always end up making too much food, but honestly, I'd rather have too much than not enough! I like to try to tailor my food choices to my theme. For example, my kiddo's first birthday was Mickey Mouse Club House themed, so we had a hot diggity dog bar with all the fix ins! I like to have a good assortment of appetizer/finger foods, as well as a main entrée. I make a list broken down into categories to stay organized and make sure I'm not forgetting anything! I make a list of appetizers, desserts, and the main meal. This also helps to plan out the grocery list, so nothing is forgotten!
5. MISC ITEM LIST
If you can't tell by this point, I'm very "type A". I am obsessed with making lists and crossing things off of lists! I make a list of all the miscellaneous things that I'll need for a party. Things like serve ware, utensils, cups, plates, napkins...anything that I could potentially forget about. Nothing is worse than realizing you forgot something vital at the last minute before your party! Creating this extra list may seem obsessive, but it is totally worth avoiding unnecessary stress if something major is forgotten on the day of the party!
This is the fun part! I hate going to parties that don't have activities! I mean, socializing is fun, but spending hours sitting at a party with just conversation to entertain isn't fun! I like to think of fun little things that guests can do to keep them entertained! Activities like games or contests are always fun! For one of my daughter's parties, I decided to make a cute little photo booth in the corner of my living room with different Minnie Mouse props! These types of activities can really make your party more memorable! Other activity/entertainment ideas include craft tables, scavenger hunts, games, or piñatas!
7. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
If you've done all the prior steps, this should be the easy part! Take all of your plans and create a party to remember! It makes it so simple to throw a top notch party if all the different aspects have been well thought out! It also tells your guests that you've really put your heart into planning a wonderful celebration! Don't get me wrong, something will still come up at the last minute, but issues that do come up will be minor and easy to work out! As long as you have all your major bases covered, you will be in great shape for a wonderful party!
8. TAKE PHOTOS (LOTS!)
After putting all that time and effort in, take photos! You will want to be able to look back and remember what an awesome celebration you had! Plus, you'll want to show off your hard work in the future!
There you have it!
My secret to throwing parties to remember! These tips are a sure fire way to make party planning a breeze!
What are your party planning tricks of the trade?
**Shop invitations on Zazzle! One of my favorite sites!
Want more party planning help? Pick up my Ultimate Party Planning Guide Work Book on Etsy by clicking the picture below!