Wednesday, August 1, 2012
party planning tips
So, I feel like I've got enough parties under my belt that I can offer a few tips to the blogosphere. Just my "two cents" if you will. (I'm no pro!) Besides my party mantra "the more sugar the better", I just adore the planning, DIY-ing, and little details that make a party really wow my guests! (and of course, the guest of honor!) So here we go...my tips for party planning!
1. Start your planning in advance.
I'm not saying everyone has to start planning 6 months in advance (haha obsessive much Jess?), which is what I like to do, but it certainly helps to at least have the theme picked out ahead of time. That way if you run across sales or items at thrift stores that could work with your theme and/or color scheme, you can pick them up then, and not have a last minute frantic search for favors and decor. Also it helps spread out the cost over time, therefore not angering your significant other too much. ;)
(I have repeatedly been told to tone things down after each party by Rory.....at least maybe I have...I always seem to forget about that before the next party....weird....)
Once I have my theme picked out, I search, search, search my little heart out! Google, Pinterest, and party blogs are great resources that I love to use. I also love using Pinterest to create a board for each party-this helps me visually stay organized and on task with things I need to buy/make/do.
3. Get Organized!
Ok, don't judge me too much for being an organized nerd...I make spreadsheets for my parties. Yes, it's true. I can't tell you how much it helps, though! I have sections for food, desserts, decor, favors, games, and to do/buy lists. With little check boxes next to each thing, cause who doesn't love checking things off their list? When it comes time, I also plan out what needs to be done each day prep-wise, for the last week leading up to the party. (ie, baked goods that can be baked ahead of time and then frozen, etc)
4. Sketch it out.
I draw some pretty dorky sketches of what I want things to look like at the party and how things should be set up, but it helps me visualize the party and see where I might need a little extra something. For example, I sketched out the dinner and dessert table for Charlotte's cowgirl party, and when it came time to put things out, I simply followed my own instructions. No last minute styling attempts! Which don't usually end well for me haha!
Making your own decorations and party supplies is fun, often inexpensive, and can add that special touch to your party. Obviously I love DIY, so I try and make things myself. Going back to #1, planning ahead and making decor ahead of time can save you a lot of last minute scrambling and headaches. (and from buying generic party decor, which I have nothing against but just don't like to use) Tissue puffs, paper banners, and using fabric to make decor that matches your color scheme are great ways to customize your party and not spend much. I've even tried my hand at making my own printables using tutorials found online, and if I can do it, you can! DIY also goes for cooking/baking. I know not everyone likes to cook or bake, but neither did I for a long time, in fact I was pretty bad at it. Practicing your recipes ahead of time lets you feel more comfortable with them and work out the kinks before party time! Not to mention the yummies you get to enjoy pre-party. ;)
6. Scour Etsy.
It's where I buy a lot of my party supplies-there are a tons of shops that have some adorable stuff! Paper straws, cupcake liners, packaging for favors, favor items, not to mention printables that can tie your party together...so many options there, and to match almost any theme/color scheme! Also try Ebay-I got a horse balloon there for cheaper than I found it on other sites, with free shipping, too.
7. Have fun!
If planning parties isn't your thing, then by all means keep it simple. Make sure you are enjoying the process, and not just doing it to impress folks. I truly love doing parties, and so (almost) every moment is pure fun and excitement for me. (kinda pathetic, I realize, but hey at least I can admit it, lol)
So what are your best party planning tips? Leave them in the comments! I'd love to hear!
P.S. I've got a new parties page with all the parties I've done organized ever so nicely-check it out by clicking on the link at the top of the blog page!