Behind every successful party is a stressed-out planner holding things together. Whether you plan events for a living or you’re just throwing an intimate affair for friends and family, party planning can get stressful fast. Diving headfirst into party planning without some system is a disaster waiting to happen.
Parties are fun-filled events, but they also require lots of preparation. You have to consider many things. Do you have a theme in mind? Are you going to set up a buffet spread, or is it a sit-down dinner? How do you accommodate guests with food restrictions? Should you hire entertainment? If you plan ahead of time, you can throw a party that your guests will remember for all the right reasons.
Party planning doesn’t have to be a pain. At the end of the day, you still want to have fun. It’s not the end of the world if you miss a few things. That said, here are a few tricks that will help you plan a party to remember.
- Keep everyone in the loop
When planning a party, you’re going to have to act as the go-between for the host. Your job is to relay the host’s wishes, and it’s important to stay in constant contact with the venue and the vendors. Ultimately, the buck stops with you, so you need to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
It’s not uncommon for hosts to change their minds about something or to have last-minute requests. Maintaining open lines of communication will ensure that everything is relayed to the relevant parties. You don’t want key details to slip through the cracks, so make yourself available from the get-go and inform your vendors that you expect the same from them.
- Know the guests
There will be times when you have to deal with clients who don’t know what they want. All they know is they’re going to throw a party. You might think that having carte blanche in planning is a good thing, but it requires more work on your end. If you end up making the wrong choices, your reputation could be at stake.
The venue should reflect the composition of the guest list. Make sure to ask the client about what they want to achieve with their party. If most of the guests are seniors, choose a handicap-accessible venue. For VIP parties, look for an exclusive venue that can be easily secured.
- Be smart about expenses
While it might be true that volume purchases can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, you shouldn’t apply that mindset when budgeting for the party. As a general rule, the longer the guest list, the more you’ll have to spend. Venues and caterers often charge by the head, so it’s important to keep that in mind.
That said, there are ways to trim the fat without affecting the quality of the party. You can always partner with a vendor and negotiate more favorable terms. Having a good network of suppliers allows you more options when shopping for flowers, decorations, gift bags, and more.
- Don’t forget the goodie bag
The goodie bag can make or break the party. If you assemble a great goodie bag, people will remember the party for a long time. But if the goodie bag is a bust, you might as well have spent the money on something more worthwhile.
You don’t need to spend a lot on party favors. Even a simple item can be very effective if it is chosen with care. For instance, if you’re throwing a literary-themed party, you can give journaling pens to your guests. Baked treats are always a popular option if you don’t know what to give out. You can even ask the baker to make a custom design for the party.
- Send out the invites early
While you can’t control whether guests will come to the party or not, you can boost attendance by sending out the invitations on time. You can even send a calendar invite along with the traditional paper invitation so your guests will have a digital reminder.
A final word
These things will help you plan a better party. Whether you’re planning an intimate event or a party for a hundred guests, you need to always stay on top of things to ensure that everything goes smoothly.