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1. Pick a date: Try to stay away from holidays because folks are with their family, traveling, etc, etc. You don’t want a ghost town party so try to avoid holidays unless you have ran it by your intended guests beforehand and they assure you that they can make it.
2. Pick a Time: The time you choose will determine your menu. Brunch, lunch, cocktail or dinner. So for example if your event starts at 8pm, you want to make sure you have “dinner” type foods because your guests will be hungry and if you plan to have light refreshments make sure to state this on the invitation. Otherwise, you will have some not so happy guests! Your theme will also help you nail down the time.
3. Set a Budget: This is crucial. I have to admit that when I am throwing a party for my friends, I tend to throw my budget out the window but I don’t recommend you doing this! It can cause stress and truly throw a monkey wrench in the planning so make one and stick to it!
4. Choose a Theme: Now you know that I don’t throw a party without a theme. I simply won’t do it. Not everyone thinks like this but these are tips according to me so a theme is a must! A theme will help guide you on the direction of your decor, the time of the event, the date/season, attire, etc. It truly can help you streamline the direction of your event and themes are FUN!
5. The Details: Find the best method for you to organize the logistics. If planning isn’t your cup of tea, you may want to hire someone or else you will have a mess on your hands and nothing is worse than attending a mess of a party. One that is disorganized, starts late, food isn’t ready, boring…you get the point.
6. Invitations: Decide who you are inviting. Is this going to be a big shindig or a small intimate party? You also want to decide your method of delivery for invitations, Are you using Evite, FB invite, or mailed/hand delivered invitations? The limitation with evites and FB invites, is you don’t have many graphic options which makes it hard to match your invitations to your theme.
7. Decor & Party Favors: Now it’s time to focus on the decor to bring your theme into fruition. If you don’t have a theme, then I don’t really have a tip for you because I refuse to accept a non-themed party. LOL! Create a moodboard for your theme. A moodboard is simply a collage of photos that you found online using Google or Pinterest and compiled into a collage. The moodboard sets the tone for your party and serves as a guide for the decorator. You can use your moodboard to help with decor ideas, color schemes, party favors, food and drink ideas. I swear by a moodboard and I NEVER, EVER create a themed party without one. Last but not least, party favors. This may just be me, but you don’t throw a party without party favors. No! No! No! And that is all I will say on that! But this is the point where you want to decide on your favors and how they tie into the theme.
8. Purchasing Decor and Favors: This can be the stressful part. The issue with a theme and creating a moodboard is that it can cause you to get your mind set on something which is all fine and dandy until it’s time to go buy the items and you can’t find them. Or there aren’t enough in stock. Or it’s not in the right color. Etc. Etc. A GREAT spot for party decor is Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby tends to have more party decor than Joann’s Fabric and Michaels. Etsy is another great source if you would prefer to shop online.Just google party supplies for more online choices. DIY tutorials are also another resource but keep in mind, DIY projects can be costly and time consuming. And what I have learned is that in efforts to save money, people spend more in time and money on DIY projects, than if they had just purchased already made items on sites like Etsy and called it a day.
9. Food & Drinks: Decide if you are having your event catered, which I highly recommend, or if you are preparing and styling the food yourself. If you are handling the food, then you really need to make sure that everything else is already done before the day of and ready to go. One CRUCIAL tip that I have to give regarding food, is that the food ALWAYS sounds like it will be the easiest part but in fact it often times turns out to be the lengthiest and most harrowing part. It’s what causes the hostess to run behind, become frazzled, etc. So do yourself a favor, if you insist on handling the food, purchase it but at least hire someone to come in and prep it and style it. You will thank me later! Do NOT ask anyone who will be a guest at your party to come in and help with food prep! That isn’t good hostess with the mostest etiquette. As for beverages, it’s always fun to serve a signature cocktail. Make sure that if you have alcohol, you also have non-alcoholic options for those that don’t drink. Make a fun non-alcoholic beverage for non drinkers. Don’t just have water, juice and soda for them. Make a signature non-alcoholic drink as well.
10. Day of Party: If you do everything as I described above, your party will go without a hitch! It will be a huge hit and you won’t be stressed out and not able to enjoy your party! Remember the more vendors you hire, the less you will have to do; hence allowing for more time to enjoy your festivities AND your guests!