An Easy, Step-by-Step Guide to Planning a Party

Whether it is for a wedding, birthday, or the holiday bash at the office, planning a party is an exciting time. After the initial exuberance wears off and reality sets in, however, you are left with the responsibility of entertaining your guests and a mountain of tasks necessary to pull it off. To ensure that your party won’t be a flop, be sure to develop a plan ahead of time for your party. Taking a step-by-step approach to the festivities will reduce your inevitably high stress level and ensure that your party goes off without a hitch.

Step 1: Think of a Theme

You need to have a cohesive theme to your party. This creates the appearance of a well-organized event and helps to focus your energies. Factors to consider include:

  • type of party, such as a birthday or graduation celebration, for instance;
  • venue;
  • guest of honor (i.e. for a birthday or retirement);
  • age of guests; and
  • budget.

You will need to choose an appropriate theme based on all of these factors. Examples include a pirate-themed party for a young boy’s birthday or golden hues for a 50th anniversary.

Step 2: Make a Date

Choose an appropriate date and time for your party and be sure to give yourself ample time to prepare. While deciding on a date for your party, be considerate of the attendee’s schedules as well as whether or not your desired date coincides with a holiday or other special event. Also, be mindful of what Mother Nature will most likely have in store in for you in the days or weeks leading up to the party. Send your invitations as soon as you choose the date. Include the theme, date, time, location, special instructions, and RSVP details.

Step 3: Decorations

Plan your decorations according to the theme, budget, and venue. If you are having the party at your home, you will be more accustomed to the layout. If you are hosting the party at a rented venue, visit the location to see what you will have to work with. Get all of your decorations together at least two weeks before the party.

Step 4: Refreshments

Decide on the types of food and drinks you want for your party; and begin purchasing items, such as bar offerings or nonperishable foods, as soon as possible. For foods that will need to be made on the day of the event, ask for a friend or family member to assist you, or consider hiring a catering company.

Throughout the party planning process, keep a written account of plans. Write down all of the details, even if you think your memory is fool-proof. Keep a list of party planning goals, and check these off as they are achieved. Also, have a written list of RSVPs as well as contact information for any vendors, such as caterers, in case of an emergency.

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