Planning Your Party Or Event
Planning a party or event doesn't need to be as stressful as it often is. By doing some of the preparation work in advance, planning the occasion or theme and knowing the budget a lot of the worries and last minute decisions can be done well in advance. If you have not been involved in a lot of organization or planning following some simple tips and advice can help you throw a party that will appear effortless to your guest while allowing you to be in control of all aspects of the event. Planning your party or event is simple if you keep some basics in mind.
Occasion Or Theme
One of the first considerations for planning is to determine what the occasion or theme is to be. Having a good idea for an occasion or theme will help you with purchases, budgeting as well as booking any special extras that you may want to include. If you are planning a holiday-based party be sure to start planning well in advance and book any of the props or theme items before the last minute to avoid disappointment. Many parties in popular resorts or hotels will need to be book several months in advance, and some may need to be booked up to a year in advance. Christmas, New Years and Thanksgiving parties often require a years booking if you wish to have them in a popular hotel or venue. Weddings in hotels, reception halls and resorts may also require booking well in advance, especially in the spring and summer months. Parties at home don't need as much advance planning as you do not need to worry about finding a location to have the party. If, however, you are planning an outdoor party it is always a good idea to have an inside backup location in case of poor weather conditions.
When you are planning the occasion or theme be sure to consider how easy it will be for you to find items to match the theme. Popular themes or occasions may be easy to shop for but really creative or unique themes may make finding the accessories more challenging. The internet can be a wonderful tool for locating hard to find items but remember that it will take time to order the items and have them shipped, especially if they are coming in from another country.
No matter what type of party you are planning there is always a lot of preparation that can be done in advance. This can include:
- Setting a menu with the caterer
- Planning the menu if you are making the food yourself
- Making desserts and other non-perishable foods and decorations in advance
- Decorating the room
- Planning the music
- Purchasing table settings, glasses, decorations and cloths
- Ordering flowers
- Ordering and purchasing beverages
Confirming all advanced preparation prior to the event helps to make sure that everything goes according to schedule on the day of the party. The earlier the basics are set when planning your party or event the more choices and opportunities to change details you have as the party starts to take shape.
One of the biggest problems with planning your party or event is to stay within the budget. If there is not a pre-determined budget often the first few items purchased take up most of the money, and some of the other important things have to be skimped on. By setting the budget before making any purchases you can prioritize your spending and not fall into the trap of spending to much on one thing and not having enough for another category. The general items on the budget for most parties will include:
- Food and beverages
- Caterers, serving staff or bartenders
- Table settings, glasses and cutlery (rental or purchase)
- Room rental
- Floral arrangements
- Prizes or thank you gifts
Planning your party or event well in advance may allow you to take advantage of seasonal sales for holiday parties or may give you additional time to shop online or through special orders. Be reasonable with the budget and remember that while all aspects of the party are important most people enjoy the social aspects of special occasions just as much as they do all the details. Think about the guests that you will be inviting and plan your budget to reflect what you consider to be the most important elements of your get together.
Bringing It All together
With the party planned, the budget set and the advanced preparation completed it is possible to relax before the party rather than having to worry about multitudes of details and decisions. Keeping a journal or list of all important phone numbers and contact information, as well as dates and times of calls and confirmations will help you make sure that everything has been completed prior to the date of the party.
Remember that others may be willing to help as well. Don't be afraid to ask a friend to help out or to consider using a professional event planner if this is your first big party or event.