Whether you’re planning your first party or your millionth, we all can use some extra guidance and tips along the way! Here are our party planning tips to help you plan your next party!
What, When, Where
The first task of planning a party is deciding what the party is for. Most of the time, the ‘what’ is pretty clear – your sister is having a baby, your best friend just got engaged, or it’s someone’s birthday. Other times, it’s not quite as clear, and that’s okay! Sometimes, we all just need a celebration, no matter what the occasion!
Once you’ve figured out the ‘what,’ you’ll want to decide the ‘when’ and ‘where’. If you’re planning on hosting a party at someone’s house, the ‘when’ can be more flexible. However, if you’re wanting to host a party at a venue, you’ll need to work the ‘when’ around the venue's availability.
The next task isn’t quite as glamorous as the rest, but it is important. It’s a good idea to know how much you (or a group of you and your friends) are willing to spend. Deciding on your budget will help you know how much you can spend on decorations, menu, favors, and more.
Theme & Inspiration
Now comes the fun part! We love looking through Pinterest and finding all the fun and creative party ideas. There are so many fun themes we’ve seen at Four Oaks, from bunny-themed baby showers to peach-inspired bridal showers. Start by making a board for your party. Then make sections for the board to help keep you organized! If you’re throwing a baby shower, for example, make a planning board and include sections like “Desserts” and “Shower Activities.”
Guest List & Invites
Next comes the guest list. When you first start planning, you’ll probably have a decent idea of who you want to invite, but now is the time to narrow the list down. Design invites (whether physical mailed invites or an Evite) and send them out to your final guest list! Include important details including time, location, RSVP date, and what to bring. Make sure to send the invites at least two or three weeks in advance to give your guests plenty of time to put your party on their calendars.
Are you planning on just serving lights snacks, is the party a potluck, or should guests anticipate a full meal? Whatever you decide, let your guests know what’s going to happen in terms of food so they’re prepared.
What you choose to serve will often depend on the time of the event. If your party is in the morning, consider a fun brunch! If the party is mid-afternoon or late into the night, maybe just offer some grazing snacks for your guests.
As an extra tip, if you’re concerned about serving food during the current pandemic, consider opting for pre-packaged goodies or individually wrapped snacks! Four Oaks had a fiesta-inspired party last year and each guest got their own chips and salsa plus prepackaged cookies.
When planning a party, it’s always a good idea to have at least one or two activities planned for the party. Games are a great way to engage your guests and give them something to do. Activities help keep the party going and keep the lulls to a minimum.
Music automatically creates a welcoming environment to any party, so it’s an important factor to consider when planning a party! Whether it’s as simple as finding a fun, upbeat playlist on Spotify or creating a playlist of your own, make sure you account for what people will be listening to.
Lastly, don’t try to do it all! See if some of your close friends are willing to lend a helping hand, whether it’s coming early to help with decorations or picking up extra snacks. And if someone offers their help, don’t be afraid to say yes!
We hope this gives you some direction when planning your next party. To help you stay organized, check out this party planning checklist!