First things first, budgets have to be set and determined before you set out planning. If you don’t lay this groundwork first, you could have an enormous financial problem down the line, so this will help dictate all the following things that you do. If the party is in the future, you can set yourself targets each month to save towards a larger sum. This will help keep your spending on track and prevent stress down the line!
Knowing how many guests that you have will help you pick an appropriately sized venue, how many to cater for and the numbers of many other variables.
If you have just a few people coming to your party, you may well be able to have it at home or in the garden; however, when you start getting more and more members, you might consider hiring a venue… (and if you are in South London, why not come to Selhurst Park?!). Most venues that are used for various events can be multi-purpose and can be dressed to your liking so definitely keep an open mind when looking at different places. It is important to make sure that the venue you are looking at can accommodate your number of guests as well as understand rules and regulations of the venue (can you hire your own caterer or have to use one in-house; when can you come in to decorate; is there a corkage fee etc.) Write down all the questions you can think of, so you have them ready to ask.
When contacting a venue, make sure to find out how many people it can accommodate, rules on catering (can you provide your own or do you have to hire an approved caterer?), when can you get into the venue (to decorate/set up), is there a bar or can you provide your own drink. If you can, is there a corkage fee? What time do you have to vacate the venue, and what do you do with the rubbish created. Write down all the questions you can think of, so you have these ready to ask.
If you can work with a theme, it often helps guide the rest of the planning. It can be something as simple as colour, an era, a character or seasonal. There are so many different options out there so do some research and figure out what is your taste.
Decorations don’t have to be extravagant but can be an important addition or representation of your theme. They can be as simple as balloons or flowers or even more elaborate. This is a great way to get creative!
We definitely can’t overlook this aspect! Once again, you can do it yourself, which can be stressful, or you could hire caterers, or buy food ready made and dish up onto pretty platters. Think about your theme (if you have one), what sort of food and drink suit the occasion? How many people are you catering for? Are you standing or sitting? Could it be little canapes and nibbles with cocktails? Is it bring your own booze? A buffet? So many things to consider! If you are getting catering done by your venue they will tell you about different offerings they have, and you can arrange a tasting to make sure you are getting what you want (hint, hint- we have some delicious tastings at Crystal Palace if you choose to have your party here!)
Everyone loves music, so you will have to consider what kind of entertainment you want. Whether it is a live band, a DJ or even just an auxiliary cord to someone’s phone, its something important to look into ahead of time!Entertainment will depend on the theme, the ages of the guests, the style of party you are going for. Is it a disco with a DJ you are after? Or will some tunes on an MP3 player do? Do you need a children’s entertainer? Will there be games?
Your invitation can help tell people what to expect at the party. Evites or virtual cards can help set a casual tone and invite someone to a birthday party at home whereas a mailed personalised card can be perfect for a more formal event like a wedding or baby shower. Many invitations can be hand made or ordered for alow cost. Importat things to remember in the invitation is the location of the party, date, time, how to RSVP along with any special instructiosn such as attire or BYOB.
When the party is over, you want to say thank you to your guests which can be as small as a party bag for kids or party favours for grown-ups. It’s always nice to have a keep sake or a thank you note to show your appreciation for them joining you to celebrate.