How to take the stress out of party planning

Every season seems to be party season, be it Christmas parties, Birthday parties or even Wedding and Anniversary parties – we all love to celebrate in some way or another.
 
However, while we all love a good old party the organising and planning can become a tad stressful at times for many of us.  I personally like the planning part far more than the organising and getting ready on the day and I hate the tidying up.
 
Here are a few tips to help remove part of that stress:

 

 
Make a list
 
Write down as much as you can in bullet points so it is easy to read.  You can then break down your list into sections of what need to be sorted out/booked straight away and what you can leave for another day.
 
Don’t forget to tick them off once you have completed them – it is SO satisfying to see a list get shorter before your eyes.
 
Things to include:
 
  • Date – To you want the party on a set date or are you a little flexible?
  • Venue – you either have your party at home or hire a hall generally.  Now for Birthday parties, Anniversaries etc. you’ll probably be keeping it local but for Weddings and Christmas parties you will be looking at venues further a field.  You may have an idea of where want or you could visit wedding fayres, local area websites/Facebook sites for your local area as you may find some scout huts which are often cheap to hire or you could search further a field using VenueFinder for example.
  • Numbers – You’ll want to have a rough idea of the numbers a venue can hold and then look at who is on your list, you probably won’t want the whole class of 30 children in your house for a party nor 200+ wedding guests unless you live in a mansion and have a huge garden, and then still would you really want that amount of people there? (I wouldn’t – 15 children in my house for a party is my absolute maximum)
  • Theme – Generally for Birthdays etc.  Is there a dressing up theme? a character theme etc?
  • Entertainment – This could be tied into the party theme: Frozen parties could have Elsa & Anna visiting the party, or it could be a disco, magician, bouncy castle or if you are anything like me and want to go for the completely different you could have live animals at your party – we had skunks, owls, ferrets and much more at Harry’s 1st Birthday/Christening
  • Food – once you know how many people are coming you can elaborate on this list

Set your budget
 
Once you have made a start on your list you will have a good idea on how much your party is likely to cost.
 
Obviously costs can be lowered by having the party at home and making the food yourself and doing your own entertainment.
 
When you have an idea of your budget you are able to start planning accordingly
 
Invitations
 
Get these out in plenty of time and make sure you have a clear RSVP date on them, they don’t have to be fancy ones.  If it’s a kids party why not get them to help make the cards?  A square of coloured card decorated in stickers or embellishments can be just as nice as store invitations.
 
Be prepared
 
Don’t leave everything until the last minute, if you are rushing around just before the party starts then you will start the event stress and a hot/sweaty mess and you certainly won’t enjoy it as much.  Pre-prep is the key, if you can do it in advance then DO!
 
This can be anything from dressing the room/venue the night before if possible to cooking the sausages rolls the night before.
 
Delegate
 
If you are offered help then take it!  In any shape or form.  Parties can be stressful but you don’t have to do everything all on your own – you could send a friend out to get some balloons, family can help with the food prep, making sandwiches etc. And then get as many hands on deck to help with the cleaning up.
 
Camera/video
 
As a party host you will be too busy today to make sure photo’s are being taken of all the fun.  Ask a friend to take some key shots – give them the camera before you go off to light the candles on the cake, that way you will have the action shots without having to juggle that job too.
 
Enjoy
 
Remember it is only one day and it is fun so enjoy it!
 
 

 

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