The PartyFriendz Party Planning Cheat Sheet
Updated: Sep 10, 2019
It's your kid's birthday coming up and you know what that means - time to put your party planning hat on!
But what if you've no idea where to start? Party's aren't your thing, and you struggle with this year after year. Or maybe you're a party planning virgin - you've avoided it thus far but your little one won't let you get away with it for another year. Or perhaps you're actually a party planning expert - but you've no idea how you're going to out-do the Birthday Extravaganza thrown by Lilly's mum last month.
Luckily for you, here at PartyFriendz we've put together a 10 Step Party Planning Cheat Sheet to tell you all you need to know to plan your upcoming party!
1. Plan a Budget
First things first, give yourself a budget. And stick to it.
A lot of people like the 'no expense spared' approach when it comes to planning a party, especially when the party is for your kids. But there's nothing worse to rain on your party spirit than realising that you've over-spent... a lot! So plan a budget for yourself. This budget shouldn't be based on what other people expect you to spend - be realistic with what you can afford and be strict about any over-spends.
2. Decide on a Theme:
A theme is a great way of building excitement for your party and works well to tie all of the different elements of your party together.
Ask your child for their ideas but resist the urge to go with their very latest obsession. Instead, go with something that has stood the test of time in their affections. This way you won't have a last minute panic when they move onto the newest trend and you're stuck with out-of-date decorations.
This is a good time to consider what party entertainment you want and how this will fit in with your theme.
Keep your theme big and generalised to reduce stress on your behalf. And remember to have fun with it - you can theme anything and everything - there's no right or wrong answer and the possibilities are endless!
For more tips on choosing a theme, check out our blog Choosing A Theme.
3. Don't Limit Your Dates:
At this point it can be tempting to pick a date and stick to it - especially if you're determined to have the party on the precise day of your child's birthday. But this can create stress further down the line. Perhaps you find out the entertainment you want isn't available that particular day. Perhaps your child's best friend already has plans. Or it becomes a nightmare trying to fit timings around Grandma's Knitting Club! Whatever the reason, it's a good idea to earmark a few days to run the party. This way you can approach your entertainers, venues and important guests with a degree of flexibility.
4. Book your Entertainment First:
A great party is defined by the quality of the entertainment you book. And for a reputable entertainment company with top quality performers, the dates can book up fast.
Book your entertainment first - even before you book your party venue.
I know it's terrifying to think of having an entertainer and having no venue to put them in - but trust me! Your entertainment company will try their best to help you out, but if the entertainer you require is booked elsewhere on the date and time you have your venue for, the options are limited.
If you want to make sure you can book the best entertainment for your party, keep your dates flexible and approach the company as early as you can.
5. Shop Around for Venues:
Once you've discussed availability with your entertainer, you can start approaching venues. There are many things to mull over when booking a venue.
Consider how you will get your party supplies to the venue - is it local and is there parking?
Is there enough room for the children to play activities and for the parents to sit and watch? Nobody wants the adults trodden on by a stampede of children during an enthusiastic game of 'Grandma's Footsteps'! Consider the requirements of your entertainer - if you have a DJ with lights and a full PA system, perhaps an outdoor venue with no power source is a bad idea. Make a list of what's important for your party and prioritise.
6. Send out Your Invites:
Finally, you've booked your entertainment, you've booked your venue and your date is set. But there's no party without people to party with! Time to send out those invitations. This can be as simple as sending out a Facebook invite. Or perhaps go more traditional with hand-written letters in the post. Or get messy by creating hand-made invites as a fun activity with your little ones for that personal touch.
7. Plan the Cake:
So you're no Mary Berry but you still want to give your cake a personal touch. Don't panic! Buy a cake from Asda (other Supermarket brands are available) and grab some cake decorations. Get the family together for a pre-party cake decorating sesh to create a beautifully personalised cake with a special significance to you and your family.
Alternatively, you can go all out and order a cake specially made for your party. If you choose this option, make sure to order it in plenty of time to be made and decorated for your party date.
8. Add the Sparkle:
This is the point where you can really start to bring your party ideas to life. Shop around for party decorations that match your theme. There are so many places to buy decorations and so many things to choose from - but luckily parties aren't a 'less is more' situation.
Choose a few key colours or designs to help tie everything together.
Making your own decorations can also be a cheaper alternative and a fun activity to do with the kids on the run up to the party.
9. Food = Plan Plan Plan:
Party food is every host's worst nightmare. Never has there been a cool, calm and collected kitchen scene behind the doors of a children's party.
So when it comes to party food, its better to be prepared.
Plan your food in advance to make sure everyone will get fed and make sure to over-estimate your numbers. Try to organise as much pre-prepared food as you can to reduce stress at the party. If you are going to cook on the day, plan a schedule and stick to foods that take similar cooking/preparation times.
Take a deep breath and remember - the world never ended because somebody burnt the Pizza Bites!
10. Don't Forget the Presents:
I hear you loud and clear - there's no way you could forget the birthday present (although you'd be surprised how often it happens)! In this case, don't forget to allocate a place for your child to put their newly received gifts.
And remember, those brightly coloured parcels just waiting to be ripped open can look awfully tempting. Often the 'out of sight out of mind' approach to presents is best at parties. And always open presents after all of the guests have gone.
And Finally... Have Fun:
It's the day of the party. You have picked up the cake, set up the decorations, prepared all of the food and the entertainment has arrived. There's only one more thing to do - have fun! All of the planning and preparation is over, it's time to celebrate with your loved ones.
If you're looking for quality party entertainment, PartyFriendz have got you covered!
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