Whether you’re planning a grown-up gathering with your closest friends or organising your baby’s first birthday party, we break it down step by step so you can put together a celebration that’s worth remembering.
Putting together a celebration can be so much fun, from selecting the perfect party theme and picking a cake, to baking your favourite cookies and spending time making favours for your guests – while listening to your favourite music! After all, it’s often the little things you do before the day that make it so memorable.
Pick a theme. A great way to decide how your party will look and feel is to pick a theme. One of the simplest themes you can choose is a colour scheme. You can also look at what’s trending and base your theme around what is popular right now. Remember to make your theme personal. It’s your celebration, so create the party theme around something you or your child loves. Once you have chosen a theme you can add your style and vision by selecting the food, drinks, invitations, venue, music and entertainment which fits in with your theme.
Set the time, date and place. Depending on the celebration, invite your guests at least 2- 3 weeks prior – this gives them enough notice and gives you time to prepare the party. When choosing the venue consider your home, backyard or somewhere public like a restaurant, bar or park. You could also look into venues for rent like community centres.
Plan the guest list. How many guests are you going to invite? Consider your party location and how many people you want to cater for. Remember, some people always come late or sometimes never show.
Make a budget. Throwing a party can get expensive. Decide on your budget and then allocate money for food, drinks, entertainment, venue, partyware and decorations.
Invite your guests. There are so many ways to invite your guests these days. You can send an email, text message or create a social media event. A more formal party should include a printed invitation that is posted to each guest. Send a reminder a few days before the party.
“Remember to make your theme personal. It’s your celebration, so create the party theme around something you or your child loves.”
Plan the food. Decide on the food you plan to serve. Will you be offering a sit-down meal or will you be offering finger food? If it’s a party where people can come and go between a set time, it might be best to keep it simple and have lots of snacks that can be served at room temperature. Don’t forget to plan any sweets, desserts and, of course, the cake!
Decide on the partyware and decorations. What items will you need to serve the food and drinks? Pick items that keep to your theme. Here is a checklist of things you might need: • Plates, cake plates, cups, cutlery and napkins • Balloons, buntings and garlands • Party favours • Tablecloth or placemats. If you are short on time you may choose to shop online so you can have everything delivered to your door.
Delegate. Ask some of your family and friends to help you on the day. This gets them involved and makes them feel they are a part of the party. You can have someone passing around food and another serving drinks. The less things you have to do the more time you will have to enjoy yourself.
Decorate. Now is the time to get creative and really communicate your party theme. Consider how you will decorate the cake table. This is most often the centrepiece of the party. Decorate the main area with items like balloons, buntings, garlands, lights and fresh flowers. Take your theme outside with decorations as this will get everyone excited before they even step inside. Decorating a party can be so much fun, so get out there and be creative!
Plan the music. Create a playlist of your favourite music. Make sure it is long enough so repeating will go unnoticed. That way, you won’t be distracted by having to tend to the music.
Start early. Do as much as you can in the days leading up to the party. If you are making the cake, make sure this is made and decorated the day before. Prepare any party favours and finish off any decorations you are assembling. If you are making food, prepare as much food as you can the day before. If you have the option, set up and decorate a day before, that way on the day you will have a lot more free time to mingle and have fun with your guests.
Keep the guests entertained and mingling. Keep an eye on the feel of the room. Does the music need to be changed? Has anything run out? Are people mingling? If you have different groups of friends present, introduce them to each other and find ways to get them talking to each other. Parties are so much more fun for everyone when they feel welcome and comfortable.
“Ask some of your family and friends to help you on the day. This gets them involved and makes them feel they are a part of the party. “