AD | At my 9-5 job I’m part of an associate engagement team, and one of our main responsibilities is planning social events for our staff. But to be honest, that’s not where my love of party planning first began. Credit has to go to my dad here for all the Halloween party planning we did when I was little. Along with many themed movie nights (like Star Wars day).
With a decades worth of party planning, it’s pretty safe to say I’ve had some good experience, from company barbecues to christmas parties *.
Party Planning for any occassion
Before you start planning your party, you need to think about how much you can realistically spend. Whether that’s £10, £100 or even £1000, your budget will dictate all the other things you want to do.
I’ve planned parties where the budget was small (£30) and larger parties where the budget was (£500). It’s important to keep track of your spending and Excel or Google spreadsheet are lifesavers for me.
Your guest list may very much depend on your budget and can effect how much you’ll spend over different element of the party. Food and drink for example.
If your planning for just a few guests then you may be able to have the party in your home of garden. However, you may need to think of venue hire for larger numbers.
When hiring a venue be sure to find out their rules on catering (will they provide it? Or can you bring your own?), how many people they can accommodate and when you can set up your party. It helps to write down any questions you need to ask beforehand.
Another example; my local village hall (where we’ve hosted many birthday parties over the years), doesn’t have an alcohol licence – so we needed to bring our own or find a vendor with a licence – something else to keep in mind for smaller venues.
If your party is around a holiday such as Christmas or Halloween then your theme is a little easier. But for birthdays, weddings or christenings it can be more difficult. For a children’s party a theme around their favourite characters or toys is always a good shout. Of course if you don’t want a theme, that’s fine too.
Invitations can be as expensive or inexpensive as you like, but are one of the easiest areas to save money. You can get them professionally made, design and print them yourself or use online planning services or Facebook Events.
Food and Drink
After the venue, this is one area of party planning that can take up most of your budget. Like invitations you can do it yourself, or you could hire caterers, or buy buffet style food to dish up on platters.
Keep in mind the amount of people your catering for and whether you’ll be sitting or standing at the party. Another great option is ‘pot luck’ where each guest brings something to eat or drink.
If your planning a birthday party or christening also consider the cake, will this be homemade or bought in?
Entertainment will depend on the theme, the ages of the guests and the style of party you are going for. Some ideas to consider are discos, children’s entertainers, photo booths, magicians (you can find ones for both adults or children) and bouncy castles.
What are your party planning tips? Anything I’ve missed?
* This is a collaborative post.