Taking the stress out of party planning

**Collaborative post**

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 – let’s just gloss over the whole pandemic hindering our best-made plans for what seems like forever and remember what normality looked like. Gosh, I do miss those days, and hope we can return to the normal world we all remember and miss so much!

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 so much – I try to enjoy the day but it can be very stressful for those organising the event.

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 needs 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:

  • Do you want the party on a set date or are you a little flexible?
  • Venue: you can either have your party at home or hire a hall.  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 afield.  You may have an idea of where you want or you could visit wedding fayres, local area websites/Facebook sites for your local area as you may find some scout huts/sports halls that are cheap to hire.
  • 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 or 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 – 10 children in my house for a party is my absolute maximum and even that amount is rather stressful!)
  • Theme/dress code – Generally for Birthdays etc.  Is there a dressing-up theme? a character theme etc? Some ideas could include Prince & Princesses, Super Heroes, 70’s 80’s etc. You may also want to grab yourself a new outfit for that special occasion, even if the party isn’t for yourself you’ll be in many of the photos and a new outfit always helps to make you feel elegant and special – be that your child’s party or a special party for yourself who really needs an excuse for a new dress?
    If it is a special new years party you may want to look at getting yourself a new party/cocktail dress.
    Your 30th/40th/50th birthday party etc – a dress to make sure you are the centre of attention and stand out from the crowd.
    I know personally that even when I’ve thrown parties for the kids, I always look at getting a new outfit for myself when I buy the kids new clothes as photos taken on that special day are usually framed or used as thank you cards to be sent out. Searching dresses for women always brings up some wonderful and affordable choices which can be worn over again for many different occasions.
  • 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 of 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 kid’s party why not get them to help make the cards?  A square of coloured card decorated with 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 stressed 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 sausage 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 on the day to make sure photos 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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