Everyone loves parties. Whether you’re planning or attending one, a party is always a good idea because it brings people together in celebration of something or someone amazing.
Planning a party requires attention to so many details. Whether it’s pre-event like booking a cake smash session in preparation for your child’s first birthday, or the actual event itself, you are in for a lot of planning-related chores.
Worry not because there are a lot of one-stop-shop resources available for all your party-related questions. Whether you’re planning a party for yourself or for someone special in your life, having all the help you can get can make the preparation a breeze. Here are some of the ideas you should consider in throwing an amazing party:
Planning a party is like building a house on a sturdy foundation. For a party, the foundation is the theme. If your party and its components are built within a unifying theme, hopefully, your guests will rave about it for days on end. The theme starts everything – once you establish it’s all other aspects will become so much easier.
To think of a theme, you can start by exploring the interests of the person you’re celebrating. If the party is for yourself and you like Star Wars, a Star Wars-themed party sounds like something you might enjoy! The theme can be colours too – if the person celebrating likes the colour pink, a “Pink Paradise Party” where everything is pink is a fantastic idea!
After you have chosen your theme, you should set a budget for all your expenses. You have to remember that you work around your budget, not the other way around. Unless you have an unlimited budget at your disposal, it’s always best to stick within your budget.
While establishing your budget, set an approximate amount that you’re willing to spend for each party category (to be discussed throughout the article). This way, you’ll know exactly how much you’re allocating for each party expense and you can always check yourself when you’re overspending. A spreadsheet with a column for the budget and the actual cost is a good idea to keep track of your event budget.
- Guest List
It’s always fun to celebrate with the people who are closest to you. Sometimes “closest” means just 10 of your girlfriends for an intimate bridal shower or it can mean 100 of your best buds for a 30th birthday party. The reason why budget is #2 in this list is because it usually dictates the number of people in your guest list. If your budget can only accommodate 50, then a guest list of the same number, with a 10% buffer for no-shows, is a good place to start.
If you’re having a hard time narrowing it down, try doing a “primary list” which contains all people who you really and absolutely want to be invited. A “secondary list” contains all the names who you want to invite but may be able to let go, if need be. At a certain point in the planning stage, set a strict RSVP date and invite everyone on the primary list. The number of people who will not respond is the same number of people you can invite from the secondary list.
Your venue size and price is determined by your theme, your budget and your guest list. Don’t book a venue without locking down the first 3 aspects as you might end up booking the wrong one. If you book a big outdoor venue because it looked so good online but you ended up deciding that you absolutely want a cosy, indoor theme, you may end up forfeiting your reservation fee and wasting a chunk of your budget.
If you’re one of those people who has childhood dreams about a venue for their wedding and will stop at absolutely nothing just to have their wedding reception be held there, then by all means book it! This is especially true for venues which get fully booked way in advance. If that’s the case, the venue has to go at the top of your priority list.
If there’s one important thing that guests look forward to (and remember) in any event, it’s the food. You want to return the effort of your guests to dress up and show up by making sure they’re well-fed and watered.
The quantity of food is determined by the guest list. You don’t want to serve too much as you’ll end up wasting money on catering and having too much spoilage. You also don’t want to serve too little lest you end up with hungry, unsatisfied guests.
The food can also contribute to the overall effect of your party. Serving up dino-themed cupcakes will liven up your dino-themed party. Food named after your favorite Star Wars character (e.g. Darth Taters, Luke Skywater, Wookie Cookies) will definitely make your Star Wars themed party fun and interesting.
- Program and Entertainment
Any amazing party has a program and entertainment of sorts. Whether your program is laid back, or scheduled-to-the minute, if it’s entertaining and appropriate to your audience both young and old, then it’s doing the trick. Go back to your theme and budget and see what will fit best. If you have the budget to hire people to do the entertainment and games, by all means do it! You can also DIY it and put the budget in prices for the games! Whatever you decide for your program and entertainment, what matters most is that you and your guests enjoy the night.
Planning an amazing party will be enjoyable if you know the steps and you have the right tools. Don’t be afraid to ask help from friends as more heads is always better than one!