Are you celebrating a landmark birthday, or have your planning skills been called upon to organise a hen party, a baby shower or an anniversary bash? No matter what kind of event is looming on the horizon, it is possible to do an amazing job without losing your sanity. Party planning can be notoriously stressful, but we’ve got a few secrets up our sleeves to make it as simple and hassle-free as possible.
Creating a guest list
Before you can set budgets or choose venues, you need to know how many people you’re catering for, so it’s essential to get a guest list together as early as possible. If you’re planning a celebration on behalf of a friend, a sibling or a partner, ask them for a list of names and send out save the dates. If you’re on a budget, set up a social media event or email invites rather than paying out for printed cards and stamps. Remember to include an RSVP date, so you have an accurate idea of numbers before you make any final bookings or payments.
Establishing a budget
If you’re throwing a hen party or a baby shower, which guests are going to contribute to, it’s hugely beneficial to get an idea of how much people are willing to spend. If you go in all guns blazing with a packed itinerary or a fancy menu, you may find that some people object to the cost or they’re unable to afford to come. If you’ve got a rough idea of how much friends and family are able to spend, this will enable you to make plans and keep the peace at the same time.
Choosing a venue
Unless you’re throwing a party at home, you’ll need to consider a venue for your event. Think about the number of guests, the type of occasion and the style of venue you’re looking for. If you’re planning a birthday party, for example, you could consider everything from a private dining room in a restaurant or a barge on the canal to a country house like Clevedon Hall, a city centre hotel or a local pub. If the bash is slightly smaller-scale, for example, a baby shower, why not look at cafes and tearooms or a village hall you could decorate yourself? Bear the size of the party in mind, but factor in the cost too. Some venues are free to hire, but many will charge, and prices can vary hugely.
Getting everyone involved
Party planning is often easier when one person makes all the major decisions, but getting everyone involved is a great way to create a buzz around the celebration and introduce people to each other before the gathering. If you’re in charge of a hen weekend, for example, ask guests to send in songs and create a playlist that will bring back memories for the bride, and encourage people to share photos. You could even set up a website or a group page so that you can share funny stories and then look at photographs and reminisce after the event.
Planning events can be stressful, but it can also be really fun. If you’ve got a party in the pipeline, hopefully, these tips will come in handy and you’ll be able to throw a bash everyone will talk about for years to come.