Something I absolutely love is throwing parties. I will use any excuse to send an evite, plan a menu, get some decorations and open up our doors to family and friends.
When it comes to party planning I have a method to my planning madness. I’m a paper person. I need to physically write things down and check them off. Last year before AG’s first birthday, I created a bunch of party printables to help with the planning process. They were a big help and kept me organized up until the day of the party. I actually have them on my dining room table right now as I am getting ready for her 2nd birthday in just a few weeks. I am in full on party planning mode and today I am sharing with you how I do it.
Here are my tips for planning a fun & festive party:
1. PARTY INFORMATION
The earlier you start to plan the better. I like to give myself a few months for big bashes and at least a month for holiday get togethers. Once you’ve decided on your party, whether it’s a BBQ or birthday party, it’s time to think about the details. I always start with this party information printable. The basics of a party are setting the theme, deciding on a date, time, location for the party and of course a budget. I also make a guest list using this printable while in the planning process. Getting an idea of how many people to plan for will help tremendously After this is set, I create an inspiration board for the event. You can see AG’s first party inspiration here and her second party inspiration here. I also utilize Pinterest, creating a board for the event and getting lots of ideas through searches.
Recently I have been big on designing my own invites for big parties. It saves time and money. I am also a big Evite user. Hubs and I always hosted small get-togethers when we lived in FL. If there wasn’t anything planned for a holiday or on a weekend during football season, we would plan something. I always used Evite for these events. What I love about Evite is there are so many selections to choose from for a variety of events. When it comes to smaller parties at our house, I love how guests can reply with what they’re bringing so that guests don’t end up bringing the same thing. Evite also sends reminders to your guests as the event approaches. Easy peasy!
My favorite part of party planning! I always try to stick to the theme of the event when planning the food, menu printable here. My secret to keeping the food easy but festive enough to have your guests talking is making it semi homemade. Sandra Lee is the queen of semi homemade and has a fabulous variety of recipes on her website. I am not opposed to making a dessert from a box, as long as I can fancy it up so it doesn’t look like it! Take a look at these deviled egg footballs, perfect for any tailgate. Or how about a s’mores sundae? Perfect for a summertime playdate or movie night.
I’m a big DIY girl. I usually see something and instead of paying the $ for it, I’ll go home and make it myself. This ends up saving me lots of money when it comes to planning parties but also takes up a lot of time. I always plan out my party projects using this printable months beforehand. My goal is to tackle one project a week before big events. I do a lot with the decor when it comes to birthday parties. But for holiday get togethers, I keep it simple. Usually just flowers in an arrangement that matches the theme and matching tableware. Here is a printable to organize and plan decorations.
When it comes to the tableware, I look for festive pieces that won’t break the bank. Celebrate Express has a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to party planning. I especially love how they sell party packs. The solid color packs have everything you need for less than $20, this includes dinner and dessert plates, beverage and dinner napkins, utensils, a table cloth and cups. Talk about time and money saving.
5. “DAY OF” PLANNING
Planning the day of the event is just as important as all the planning leading up to it. The more you’re able to do before the day of the better. The key for me when it comes to the day of the event is making a list of the last minute things that need to be done. From there, think about who can help you get it done. Delegate as much as possible and LET PEOPLE HELP YOU. Even if it’s just helping with the kids while you do what needs to be done. I always try to have friends and family pick up anything that I need from the store the day of. That way I’m not out running errands all day. I like to make a schedule with times of what needs to be done, always giving myself at least an hour before the party to get ready and do last minute touches. The most important thing on the day of is to enjoy the party. Everything won’t go as planned but your hard work will not go unnoticed. Have fun and celebrate a job well done!
Also, make sure to download my big party planning checklist. Everything you need to help you plan and implement a successful party on one page.
Do you want to win an ultimate party? All you have to do it enter this amazing giveaway. You can win a $2,500 ultimate party compliments of Sandra Lee and Evite. Don’t delay…the giveaway runs until June 30th.
To see some of my party planning ideas, food and decorations check out my party planning pinterest board.
With the 4th of July just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to create an inspiration board for a festive 4th of July BBQ.
Evite Invitation, Table Decor from Celebrate Express, Cheeseburger Bites, Watermelon Skewers, Super S’mores & Blueberry Sangria
This post is sponsored by Savings.com
Sarita G says
What a great post. You totally covered all the basics and I love all the different checklists. I think the only thing I would add is to delegate if people ask what they can help with or do before hand. And relax for the actual party. I've had too many parties where I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have because I was busy fussing around. I have to start planning my second's 2nd in July as well and this has motivated me to begin… I'm late I know!
Christina @ This Woman Cooks! says
I love this post. I'm in full party planning mode too. My mini's birthday is in a few weeks and I'm doing lots of DIY and trying to keep costs low. Great tips!
Jenn @ Bliss to Bean says
I should have known Sandra Lee had a website! I just love how on her show everything matches haha! I agree, sometimes ya just need to have a little help in the semi-homemade area. I love throwing parties!