Organizing a party should be anything but stressful, but that's not always the case for everyone. With so many details to consider as the date approaches, it's a good idea to get start planning early.
Whatever type of party you’re planning whether it’s a retirement party, bridal show, graduation, surprise party or baby shower all parties begin with a basic premise and that is getting organized for your event.
Lets get started...
The date of your party may depend on whether your child’s birthday falls during the school year or during the summer. School year parties give you the chance to invite classmates .
Most parties happen on weekends and not by accident. Lots of parents work during the week, juggle childcare, school commitments, sports and lessons among other responsibilities.
Saturdays are a good choice so you have Sunday to relax and recover. However, if Sundays work better than schedule your event on Sunday and plan to cleanup before your workweek begins.
You do have one, right?
The money part of organizing a party depends largely on how big you want to make your child's party.
If you’re looking to keep it more intimate either because you don't have a huge number of folks to invite or because you want to control cost, then invite immediate family and a few close friends. This way you'll spend less and still enjoy an awesome party.
Your home can be a cool place to entertain everyone if you've got the space. For some of us though, this isn’t an option. Instead you could...
What does your child like or want?
Princesses? Pirates? SpongeBob! Spiderman? Minnie Mouse?
It’s not a big deal if you don’t have a theme but it does help create continuity for your idea when you're hosting the event outside your home.
No entertainment means restless kids and not-so-happy parents.
Instead, pull together games you can play in the backyard or indoors if your space works. They don't have to be complicated and they do need to be age appropriate to get kids involved. And, having prizes is a neat way to get the kids really excited to participate as well.
Consider awarding points rather than having winners and losers. Points help to keep things fun and light without anyone being eliminated and sitting out.
Think about professional entertainment such as a balloon twister to make balloon animals or a face painter or a magician.
Cook up your favorite foods and get family to help bring a dish. Birthday party potlucks can be super fun and tasty because family and friends are invited to bring their special dish and share it.
When organizing a party, encourage others to bring a dish so you can focus on providing the entrees and birthday cake.
Alternatively, if you’re hosting this at a venue you may want it catered with a child friendly cuisine that adults can enjoy, too.
Find out from other parents if there are any allergies so you can determine if peanut butter or some other ingredient is appropriate to offer. This way, your guests can eat the food without getting sick.
Is your child in school? If not, they may not have many friends to invite so it'll mostly be family with lots of cousins and friends of the family who bring their children.
Send out invitations at least three weeks in advance and get RSVPs. You'll also have a chance to ping them with follow up text to be sure they can make it.
Hard copies of invitation are really nice, but if you're pressed for time and looking to save money, go digital. You can then track responses and follow up as needed to ensure you get a good turn out for your party.
Creating your child's birthday cake can be a lot of fun.
The question is: Do you have time to do this?
You can't do everything when organizing a party especially if you have a busy schedule this may be one thing you outsource to a professional cake decorator. You may also want a particular style of cake that you don't have the skills to do without a learning curve.
Go meet the cake decorator and try something she's made so you can assess if you like what she offers. You don't want to hire someone for this special task and find out too late the cake is terrible.
Décor goes back to your budget when you're organizing a party.
Décor can include:
Get family and friends on board to help blow up balloons from a local party store. You can do some of this yourself if you don’t have time or the budget to hire a local balloon decorator.
If you’re looking to save money while organizing a party you might forgo this option. With all the smart phones in use, you could more easily designate a family member, perhaps a niece or nephew, to be your birthday photographer. Pay them a small fee you can both agree on and have them go around clicking as many candid pictures as they can.
At least one week before your party...
Organizing a party can be fun and a little stressful, but if you start early and put the above tips into action, it'll come together more smoothly. Plus starting early, gives you time to change your mind and adjust accordingly when you encounter challenges. In the meantime, enjoy your child's party. You deserve it!