Whether you are celebrating a birthday, wedding, or baptism, follow these tips and save yourself a lot of trouble. There is nothing worse than attending a party or celebration that has hiccups along the way. If the food runs out or there is no music or entertainment it ultimately reflects poorly on the host or hostess. Don’t let this happen to you.
1. Get your invitations out in plenty of time. People are BUSIER than ever. Not only are people forced to work more than one job to get by, they also have families to spend time with, while also finding time to have a life of their own. Attending your party may not be at the top of the list of their priorities so the sooner you get the invites out the better! For those you really want to attend, go ahead and email them a save the date and let them know the formal invite is on the way, however it their presence means a lot to you so you wanted toget them the date asap.
2. Work party prep into your week. If you are providing the food, make something each day the week of so that way you won’t be overwhelmed on the day. Recruit help! Have family and friends bring a dish. People always ask, “Can I bring something?” Take them up on their offers! That is why they ask.
3. If you are hosting at your home make a list of what needs to get done and then clean a little each day. One day clean all appliances, another dust, clean a bedroom a day, plan your music during your lunch break or commute if you have one. However you do it just give yourself time so you can get it all done with out feeling overwhelmed.
4. Set up a sanitation station. THIS is so great! Pick a space that is out of the way like the garage or laundry room. Set up a can for garbage, recycling, and have buckets or tubs set up with soapy water for dishes. There will be no mess lurking in the kitchen, and if you let the dishes soak overnight it will be a piece of cake to either load them in the rental dish containers if they are rented items, or load them into your dishwasher.
5. If you are hosting the event at your home have a signature drink pre-made! Be sure to make enough to last ALL NIGHT! When you’ve think you have made enough…make more! This eliminates the need to fully stock a bar or play bartender when you should be enjoying your celebration. If you are having an event with a large number of people 100 or more and hired bartenders, you can still have a signature drink to avoid the long lines that usually occur around the bar.
6. Plan your menu right when you decide to have a gathering! Come up with menus and practice them. Make whatever you can ahead of time and if items can be frozen, terrific you can make these weeks prior so they will be ready to go on your day. If you are a very busy person with minimal free time this is definitely the route for you to take. The more you have done prior to the event the more relaxed you will be at the party. Just be sure to make more than enough food to ensure you won’t run out. There really is nothing worse especially if people in attendance are from out of town.
7. Have appetizers ready and available when guests arrive especially when alcohol is involved.
8. If you are planning on having servers or bartenders that is great, just be sure you are hiring professionals – not a friend of a friend. A hired professional is just that professional, leaving minimal chance that they will not show up when the day comes. Maybe you will save a few dollars an hour by hiring someone you know but the risk of them not showing, and the disaster that will ensue is priceless and will leave a lasting effect on your guests.
9. DON’T BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW! Sure, all of those Pinterest ideas you see look awesome and you want to do them all. Be realistic! How much time do you have to mod-podge all of those candles in that pretty paper, or make lanterns? Find a few elements that you can’t live with out and start ahead of time so they are done in advance of you day, if you complete them and time allows, add on another and etc.
The biggest mistake we see is everyone wants to be over the top and out do the next party. That is great and we get it, but how great will your party be when you realize you don’t have the time or energy to finish all of these great ideas that you thought would be a snap to produce only to realize you are running yourself ragged and are so stressed from planning this whole thing and you would like nothing more than to call the whole thing off. Don’t be that person!
Follow the tips above and most of all be realistic. There is no need to be an over achiever when it comes to a party! As long as there is food, the booze is flowing, and the music is festive, everyone will have a good time. Focus on what is important and most of all have fun!