The word "party" doesn't exactly make me feel like sitting down and writing out lists and plans—I just want to get to the part where we have fun. Ha. But even the smallest parties require at least some sort of planning for basics like inviting people, drinks, and napkins.
I've put together this list of 6 tips to make your next party easy peasy.
1. Make a guest list
Pretty simple jumping off point, right? But seriously, it's important to know how many people to plan for, and with a list helps insure no one is left out.
2. Choose your date and time
Seems easy enough, and for some events, it's a no-brainer—A New Year's Eve party is obviously going to be on New Year's Eve, and will go until after that big ball drops. For other parties it's not as obvious, and you need to take your guest list into consideration.
For example, if you are throwing a toddler birthday party and planning to invite a small children, you need to keep naptime and bedtime in mind when you set your party time. If you plan on inviting some big sports fans to your party, but the party you're throwing isn't really a viewing party, you might want to plan around any big games.
Also, if you are booking a venue, you will have to check with them for availability before you officially set your date and time. It would be a great idea to come up with a couple of options in case your first choice date/time are already booked.
Once you have the date, time and location nailed down, get those invitations sent out! Try to have your invitations (physical or digital) sent out at least 2 weeks before your event so guests can plan accordingly and RSVP.
3. Pick a theme and/or color scheme
Party themes can be fun if you are up for it! Pinterest has all kinds of amazing ideas, but if a theme isn't your thing, you definitely don't have to have one! Pick 2-4 colors that you'd like to use. These colors will help you choose balloons, decorations, plates, cups, etc.
When my boys were younger, we did a lot of themed birthdays—Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man, Minecraft... Now that they're older they just pick a couple of colors, and that's what we go with for their birthday parties.
4. Decide on food
I like to keep it simple. Simple = Less stress. We like to stick with pizza and chips around here. If you do decide that you want to serve something you make yourself, choose things that can be prepared in advance or things that don't require you to stand over them constantly.
If your event includes having guests bring snacks/finger foods make sure to have a list of who is bringing what so you don't end up with 5 veggie trays and nothing else.
5. Make your supply list
And check it twice. It will save you from making multiple trips or from finding out right before the party starts that you forgot the cups because you never wrote them on your list.
Your needs will vary a little bit depending on your specific party, but here are some basics:
- Utensils (including serving spoons)
- Crepe Paper/Banner
- Drinks, Ice
- Food items
- Party Favors
- Candles/Cake toppers
- Table Cloths
6. Set up
I like to put up all the decorations the night before the party, but it's up to you when you want to do it. Just make sure that you give yourself plenty of time. I find it always takes a little longer than I think it will to get everything set up how I want it.
Hopefully, these tips will help make your next party stress-free and fun!