Most of us have been to numerous and various celebrations. In today’s society it seems that traditional etiquette has taken a backseat to ease and I have a bone to pick…ALL parties are supposed to be enjoyable for the guests and that means the host is required to make an effort to make the event fun! The secret to throwing a great bash lies in finding the balance between the hottest trends and traditional party planning ideals. Regardless where you are holding your event or what kind of event it is these tips can be applied to ensure that your guests aren’t waiting for the first available moment to leave:
- Start by getting organized (and stay that way). Depending on your personality this may be the toughest part of party planning but it is definitely important. Organization goes a long way toward reducing your stress during the planning process, making the party feel well put together for your guests, and allowing you to actually enjoy yourself a little bit the day of. Begin planning your party by brainstorming the theme or feel you’d like your party to have, the guest list, where and how to best apply your budget, and the activities or entertainment for the day. Sorting ideas into multiple lists is a great way to organize your thoughts and keep everything on track. At a minimum a guest list, supply list (to include food), activity/entertainment list, and to do list are helpful.
- Cover the basics:
-Respect your guests’ time- Parties should include a start time and an end time. All of the games and major activities should be held within that specified time.
-Provide ample seating- If you are inviting 30 people then you should have 30 seats even if they are spread out in different locations. It’s as simple as that.
-Guests expect food appropriate for the time of day- If you are hosting a party at lunch time…they expect lunch. If you are hosting an evening party…they expect dinner. Opt for easy food that can be prepared in advance or keep it simple with hamburgers and hotdogs…just make sure you feed them!
-Offer a little variety and consider special dietary needs- Not everyone likes or can eat the same things as you, so offering variety shows your attempt to be hospitable.
-Spread out where key events, serving food, and seating are going to be so that guests do not get congested in one place.
- Don’t leave guest twiddling their thumbs. You’ve invited people to your home (or venue) and the last thing you want is for them to spend the entire time planning an “appropriate” escape from your party because they’re bored. Put yourself in their shoes and consider what would constitute an enjoyable party to you…then make it happen! There should be time for chatting but activities or entertainment of some kind will help to make people feel included and engaged. Note to parents: A little effort and minimal expense can go a long way with kids! Click here for some ideas for kids parties activities.
- Decorate to accentuate! Whether your budget for décor is big or small “purposeful decorating” can help make the most out of your money and create a “wow” factor for guests. Start with decorating and accentuating key areas, including your favorite parts of your home/venue and areas where the important activities will be held, to get the most bang for your buck. Focus on decorating the majority of your party with basic colors and incorporate your theme in special places so you don’t overdue it. You can also rearrange and use personal items around your house to add some character or elegance to the décor (i.e. photos, candles, etc.) and save money. For example, in our home we have a fireplace and a large open window (that I love). For my daughters first birthday party gifts were opened in front of the fireplace and the dessert table was displayed in front of the window. These spots were heavily decorated with store bought decorations as well as candles and family photos.
- Make the rounds and thank your guests. The party is in full swing and you are busy, busy, busy….but it’s important to take a minute with each guest to acknowledge that they are taking the time to participate in your event. They know that you are busy and they will understand that you cannot sit an chat for long but they will appreciate you checking on them.
Special thanks to our sponsor for bringing SHN fans this article: