Tips For Stress Free Party Planning
Hosting or planning a party can be a stress filled mess, but follow these helpful tips and fingers crossed that you can keep a cool head and have stress free event!
Give yourself time
Planning a party or event shouldn't be stressful or intimidating. By staying organized and starting early, you can plan, create and host a memorable affair with ease. The more time you give yourself, the more likely you'll be to feel at ease in the run up!
We always keep several lists that we continually update throughout the planning process: a master to-do list where we highlight every task that must be accomplished, a shopping list that ensures we won't forget any supplies, and an all-important guest list where I track contact information, dietary restrictions and RSVPs. These lists will become a lifesaver!
Use a Theme
Milestones like birthdays and holidays can be even more festive when a creative theme is chosen to set the tone. Transform your space into a south-of-the-border fiesta by serving margaritas and hiring a mariachi band, or throw a Great Gatsby-inspired brunch with croquet on the lawn. The possibilities are endless! Adding a theme to your events will help narrow down the decisions you have to make about dress code and decorations.
Send Out Invitations
Although online invitations are perfectly acceptable for a last-minute get-together, there's nothing quite like a mailed invitation to set the tone for a party and build anticipation for the fun in store. There are plenty of online stationery companies offering chic well-designed invitation designs, or you can get creative and make your own. A brightly coloured square of card stock embellished with finds from local craft stores is every bit as special as custom invitations (and for a fraction of the cost, too). having something to hold on to makes your guests less likely to forget what they have to agreed to attend online!
Always double check your RSVPs when it's getting close to your event, some people may have dropped out or changed their plans!
Offer a Self-Service Bar
The key to a simple drink service? Set up a self-serve bar so guests can be their own mixologists. Set up a pretty tray with a decanter, two or three kinds of liquor and a few festive mixers. Let everyone have fun creating their own concoctions. Welcome guests with a drink upon arrival by placing a tray of champagne and sparkling water near the door so they can grab some bubbly and start mingling as soon as they arrive. This will take pressure off of you and money off your costing without having to pay a bartender!
Plan your drinks
It's fun to include at least one speciality cocktail that leaves a lasting impression with your guests. Serve it in a chic glass or incorporate creative garnishes to make it extra festive. Tip: As a general rule of thumb, plan on one alcoholic drink per hour per guest. Always buy a little more alcohol than you think you will need as it's better to be safe than sorry!
Keep food Simple
Consider serving dinner-by-the-bite with trays of mouthwatering canapes and finger foods instead of a sit-down meal. This less-formal approach allows guests to sample lots of different flavors and provides more opportunities to mingle with other guests. The key to whipping up appetizers in a snap is to assemble ready-made ingredients from the shop— instead of making everything from scratch.
Set Up a Kids' Table
For a family-friendly gathering, it's often smart to set up a separate area for little ones to have their own fun. Try covering a table in paper, and place bundles of coloured pencils in Mason jars at each seat so kids can channel their artistic side right on the table. Bamboo plates make cute (and disposable) place settings, and a cupcake centrepiece is sure to be met with delight. Just don't expect them to save dessert for last!
Keep Place Settings Simple
A perfectly set table doesn't have to be complicated; feel free to give place settings a modern twist. Tie flatware with pretty ribbon or fabric, hand write names on a piece of craft paper and tie them on too, or add a vibrant napkin for a pop of colour. Try incorporating natural elements that mesh with the concept, like bare branches with snowy white flowers for a wintry setting or glass vases full of seashells for a beach party.
Leave yourself an hour before guests arrive to freshen up, slip into something party-ready and light some candles for added ambiance. This creates a welcoming atmosphere from the moment you open the door with a big smile and cocktail in hand, of course. Don't forget that, as the host, you set the tone, so a relaxed attitude will bring out the same in your guests.
Good luck with your planning! Remember...just breathe!