Whether you’re planning a graduation or a Sunday get together, party planning can be hectic. It’s rewarding to be the party host and see all of your friends and family together. With some proactive planning, your party will be sure to go off without a hitch. Here are five things you should focus on first when planning your next event.
Create a Budget
Since you are hosting the party, you’ll likely be responsible for most or all of the cost. Your budget determines how many guests you’ll invite, the location of the party, and decorations. You can deflect some of the expenses by hosting a potluck. Food is probably going to be your most significant expense. Asking everyone to chip in will provide some variety and keep some cash in your pocket.
You need to think carefully about who will be on your guest list. Think about the space that fits your party size, and try to get a healthy mix of both family and friends. Keep the word of the party only to those that you invite to prevent anyone from being offended.
Choose a Theme
A party theme should be simple and easy to execute. Avoid clothing-related ideas because it could discourage guests from attending. Stick to more general themes, like a beach theme, that give the majority of guests a chance to participate.
Pick the Location
You have a lot of options for the party’s location, from your own home to a social event venue. Whatever location you select needs to be suitable for the activities that you have planned. Create a backup plan for outdoor parties that are sidetracked by inclement weather. Call for reservations at venues at least a week in advance to make sure your party can be accommodated.
Good entertainment can make or break a party. Informal and straightforward parties can have music from speakers and an iPod. For more sophisticated parties, you will need to hire a DJ or live band. Try asking family and friends if they have any referrals that can give you a discounted price.
Once you have the basics of the party, it’s time to start putting it all together. The organization is the key to any party’s success. Try using a checklist to make sure you didn’t miss anything. During the party, be a social butterfly and bring people together.
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.