Everyone loves a party! But the feeling may be slightly different if you are the one in charge of planning the said party. There are so many things to think about when putting on a party you may not know where to start and it could seem overwhelming. Below is a list which is best when followed in this chronological order for ease when planning your big day…

  1.  Decide the guest list FIRST – who do you want at this part will help decide the budget and therefore the theme. If you want a very large party, your theme might  be very different than a small intimate dinner party.
  2. Pick a Theme – Now that you know who you really want there, choose your theme carefully. A party needs a theme; it could be as simple as a colour scheme, a decade or a more specific theme. The theme will set the whole tone to your party from decorations to dress code so take your time when choosing one so the people attending will enjoy it.
  3. Budget – A party can cost a lot of money if you don’t keep a close eye on your funds. Plan a budget and stick to it. Don’t get carried away with buying everything you see thinking it might come in handy or you just like the look of it.
  4.  Organize your time – When planning a party is organize your time. With a lot of things to do make sure you have enough time before your day to get everything ready in time. Give yourself plenty of time to plan and extra time just in case a few mishaps happen along the way.
  5. Choose the Venue- Now you have time and your budget set in place you can start looking for a venue. There are so many places to hold a great party. It could be in a large garden, a local hall or a club. The venue will be determined by the number of guests you want to have coming and your budget.
  6. Send Invites- Now you know the date, where it will be held and have your theme you need to make sure people can come. It’s best to send out your invites well in advance so people can keep the date clear – for most events this means 6-8 weeks before hand. Make sure your invites match your theme as this will be the first glimpse your attendees will have of what you are planning. Make sure all of the information is clearly stated such as time, date and place but also if there are restrictions with parking and if you have a dress code these extras will need to be included. Invites for a casual party can be done online using a program such as evite or punchbowl but for a more elaborate event, consider custom MUSICAL invitations as a way to really WOW your guests.
  7.  Music – Now you can get down to all the details of your party. Music is a big factor. Depending on your theme you may have specific music you want to have played. If you just want people to get up and dance you can create mixed CD’s that a DJ or the venue you are in can play for you over a sound system. If you really want your party to stand out, try to hire a live band to play your music if it is within your budget.
  8.  Decorations – Decorations will be determined by the theme you have chosen for your party and the space you have to fill at your venue. If you are having a party inside the room, you may not need too much decorating however if you are having a garden party you may need to bring in decorations such as bunting, lighting, balloons, tables cloths etc to brighten up the space you are using. Always remember to keep in line with your theme.
  9.  Food – At a party your guests will probably expect to be fed but it’s up to you whether you want to provide a sit down meal or have finger foods available. Food menus will depend on the time and season of your party but it’s always good to have sweet treats and finger foods so people can pick at them through the night such as edible fruit arrangements which also add colour to your food display.
  10.  Entertainment – At a party you may want to have entertainment available for your guests. This could be in the form of a live band, magician, palm reader, balloon artist, caricaturist or comedian. If you want to have a party that people remember for a while it will be worth hiring some entertainment so you know they have enjoyed themselves.

One more tip, if you really like the way things turned out for this party, keep a party notebook and add pictures of your set up, decor, recipes. Also note how much of each item you started with and what was left over. That really helps with planning the next event!

About the author: Joey Bushnell from Fruit Republic, a London Fruit Bouquet Company, providing fruit arrangements that are perfect for weddings, parties and other occasions