I've been planning birthday parties, helping my Dad with his business logo & other marketing materials, as well as creating custom "Thank You" gifts for my Husbands clients since 2010. Being a Veteran & Mom, you learn to become extremely organized(or forced too) in your day to day planning to help maximize the various "to do's". I was juggling my Mom duties, my business, & party planning all at once! It was fun and over the years, I've developed a few techniques I'd like to share to help maximize your time and fun too! Lets face it, we spend a lot of time as Moms creating the Pinterest Perfect party for our loved ones, that we rarely have time to enjoy the "Moments" ourselves.
Here are my 7 Party Planning Tips :
My Sons 1st birthday was shortly before my Husband returned home from his deployment overseas. We were terribly excited to see him and talked about planning a party for our Son when he got home to "double dip" on the festivities.
I got to plan a "1st Birthday Celebration" and "Welcome Home" at the same time! I had my hands full, to say the least. Luckily, with my husband and I both having military backgrounds, we knew that picking a venue and more importantly, ensuring that we adopted the "1st come, 1st serve" mentality that most business and venues cater, was paramount. When a bowling alley or indoor trampoline park runs out of room, that's never fun! My husband called to let us know when he was a few days away from landing back in the States and said "Lockdown A Venue ASAP - Keep Plan "B" Ready"! He certainly had a similar level of preparation that I did, but I was 2-Steps ahead of him.(like always :)
Plan "B" was ready and we were on to Party Planning Tip #2
This tip is not just for the children but the Moms/Dads too! Nothing is worse than getting an invite to a birthday party in the middle of your childs nap time. Although you won’t be able to accommodate everyone, talk to a few parents that you really want to attend the party and make sure you can find the sweet spot among them.
We had our party between 10:00 a.m. – 12:30. p.m. and it really worked well for our group(and brunch theme). However, keep in mind that your childs nap schedule is the most important. They're the star of the event and you want to try to maintain the best environment possible for all involved.
Let's face it, life gets busy for all of us, including our guests. When I look down at my Calendar most days, I'm typically planning some weekends ahead and it's probably safe to assume most people are too. Procrastination generally never helped anyone that I can think of, so get your creative wheels spinning or refer to your Pinterest Board for event themes(desingLEE Studio has plenty of ideas).
In addition, keep in mind the time of the year you will have the party and what is typically going on. For example, my sons birthday coincides with the end of summer (according to the school year calendar) & right during the crazy beginning of school season and most people are back from holidays (vacation). With that in mind, we chose a Sunday morning because it is a day where most people are free and able to find time to relax.
Again, you can ask your closest friends/family that you want to be there, if a particular day is better for them. But don’t go crazy trying to accommodate everyone. Go with what works for your family first and foremost.
You can also use Facebook event manager, custom birthday invitations with an RSVP, or a combination of the two to help keep you even more organized and bring your event to life!
In order to plan for last minute drop outs, be flexible with the amount of food and drinks you are serving. And just go with the flow.
Consider your wording on the invitation when it comes to RSVP. While there isn’t a ton of flexibility in the messaging you include involving returns of an RSVP, it is a good idea to explicitly spell out a response date and include a polite, but firm reminder, of why this deadline is fixed. For example, the space we are renting has limited capacity, so your RSVP is mandatory by [date].
Finally, who you invite also impacts the RSVP results. Be strategic about who you invite. Of course it is fun to send out an invite to tons of people, but there is a reason for the saying "quality over quantity!"
Most people look to Pinterest Boards, well established websites, or large social influences but you can literally draw inspiration from ANYWHERE!
"Less Is More" - Just remember to not go over board. Narrow it down to a theme, a few ideas for food, decor and overall aesthetics. From a simple idea like "Pirate Princess" you can start pinning ideas, saving them, or finding great recipes to match your them(pirate punch anyone?). A lot of our custom party packages can assist in creating all of this for you!
This can be very tough to do if you're constantly busy, genuinely creative, or dare I say...stubborn? Hey, I've been stubborn but, I love a challenge in life. Challenges keep me on my toes and keep my creative wheels a spinnin'! Just like staying organized, you can make asking for help organized too. Here's how to maximize your efficiency in most projects.
Do what your capable of and let those professionals, do what their best at! This ensures that you get to enjoy the party/event with your loved ones and generally helps keep clutter off your mind. Forgetting a tiny detail can weigh down on our overall excitement level before, during, and/or after the party, so let the professionals worry about the attention to detail!
This is the biggest party foul I see. Most people have ideas and start putting them in motion. However it is also the reason most people over spend when it comes to parties. I always create a budget and am very disciplined in hitting or even coming in below this target!
For me, I didn’t want to spend more than a couple hundred dollars so I got creative with where I sourced stuff, what I did myself and what I just left out all together! designLEE Studio can ensure you stay WELL UNDER budget and bring your magical event to life!
So there you have it, 7 Party Planning Tips to keep you organized during the planning process and ultimately ensuring you get to enjoy life's precious moments!
I'll be honest, this is one tip I have to constantly remind myself. I am always so busy trying to plan and prepare that sometimes I can forget to just relax and have fun.
I have learned over the years that it is important not to over complicate things. And even with the best planning, things might now work out the way you want. So being in the moment and just going with the flow is a really important way to enjoy the party.
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