Whatever the occasion, planning a party can be ridiculously stressful and costly. What people seldom realise, is that it doesn't have to be! With a little know how, you can arrange a fabulous soirée with minimal hassle. Follow these four simple tips to achieving party planning perfection without breaking the bank.
1. Remember the guests!
A party wouldn't be a party without people. It may seem obvious, but do not forget to invite the guests. It's all too easy to become distracted with the arrangements and assume that your desired attendees know they're invited to your gathering. This is fine for close friends and family, but those whom you have simply mentioned it to in passing (the work colleagues, the neighbours) may not realise they are invited to attend; and let's face it, nobody wants to attend a party they feel they're not welcome at.
Air on the side of caution and send out official invitations, the earlier the better. Your guests have lives too and some may simply not be able to rearrange commitments at short notice. Give people plenty of time, but send out a quick reminder text/email a week before to remind the scatter brains in your social circle.
2. Choosing a venue.
The venue is important as it provides the backdrop for the proceedings, but choosing the perfect venue can prove tricky. Consider the desired atmosphere of your party (casual, formal, etc.) and ensure the chosen venue fits the bill.
More importantly, look at venue capacity and whether or not it can comfortably accommodate your guest list and any extras that may make an appearance (there's always a friend of a friend of a friend that wants to tag along). Remember, standing room only and tight confines, do not a good party make! So either your chosen venue is large enough or your guest list needs refining.
Equally, choosing a venue that is too large will make your gathering look small and unassuming: The key is finding that equilibrium. Aim for the perfect balance of all the necessary specifications.
Always shop around for venues within your budget and never settle for your first viewing. Stick to your budget and don't be afraid to haggle with the premise owners. Prices often plummet at the possibility of losing business, so let the owner know if you're interested but the venue is out of your price range.
3. Cater up a storm.
Regardless if it's a big birthday bash or a work related function, your guests will require feeding. Having a good selection of high quality nibbles and/or dishes is imperative to a party's success and is often the aspect of a party that is most memorable.
For larger parties, the best course of action is to hire a catering service. This may be slightly more expensive than the DIY option, but do you really want to be worrying about heating hors d'oeuvres and cooking up haute cuisine when you should be enjoying your big night? Professional caterers will pay for themselves time and time again with the elimination of stress and hassle they provide. In addition, most catering services offer a wide variety of packages to suit all budgets.
4. Entertainment value.
Entertainment is a key part of making your night run smoothly. Be it a musician, a band, a comedy act or some derivative thereof, a party's entertainment will either make it or break it. If you know your guests well, you can tailor the entertainment to their tastes, no matter how weird and wonderful. However, if it's a slightly more formal gathering of acquaintances, avoid the obscure and opt for an act that is an all round people-pleaser. Consider the tone of your party, your budget, and factor these points into your selection. Most of all, make it something you too will enjoy, the last thing you want is to be bored at your own party. Shop around, and as always, don't be afraid to barter.