21 Jul Let’s have a Party!
Planning a party can be a stressful time, especially if you have other commitments such as a full time job or have a family.
To arrange a successful party or indeed any event, planning is key. You need to consider a range of factors to ensure your guests and most importantly yourself, enjoy the occasion.
In this blog, I will discuss what to consider when planning a party and provide alternatives for small or larger budgets.
What to consider
What, why and when? – Firstly, you will need to decide what kind of party you are planning and what is the budget. Is it a children’s party, an anniversary party, a wedding reception or is it something for a charity perhaps a quiz night or a fashion show? The budget decision is key as you don’t want to organise a memorable event if you do not have the funds to pay for it.
When the budget and party type has been decided, you will need to consider what the theme will be. For example, if you were planning a children’s birthday party what are the child’s interests and what would the guests also be interested in? You will next need to decide on a date and a suitable time for the party.
Guest list – Once you’ve decided the budget, theme and date, you will need to consider who to invite. How many and who to invite can be a difficult decision and you will need to refer to the budget here.
If you decide to have formal invitations, you will need to state all the information regarding the party on them such as time and venue and include an email address or a contact number for any questions and replies. I think it’s always best to include a RSVP date then you can more reliably gauge how many are coming.
It is good practice to have a section on the invitations for people to state if they have any food allergies or additional needs such as wheelchair access. This allows you to plan for the needs of all your guests and hopefully there will be less chance of surprises on the day!
Regarding invitations, for smaller budgets, make your own or buy the ones you can fill in yourself. There are many websites where you can get cheaply printed invitations. Sites such as vistaprint.co.uk and moonpig.com can help you achieve this. For a more individual look maybe etsy.com. For larger budgets, you could hire a graphic designer to make a bespoke invitation that can be a keepsake.
Venue – Now you know the theme and how many guests there will be, it’s time to find a suitable venue. The cheapest option is often using your own home however if you would prefer not to use your house due to its size or unsuitability, consider hiring a local venue.
A good place to start is your local village hall or maybe a Working Men’s Club. They are likely to have good parking facilities, a large sized hall and are often reasonably priced. Setting up and clearing away is often your responsibility but if you ask family and friends to help this could be done quickly.
For larger budgets, consider hiring a room in a local hotel. This would then benefit people attending the party that require accommodation. A hotel with a dedicated events team would have set party prices which may include food, decorations and they do the setting up and clearing away allowing you to enjoy yourself.
If the party is for adults you should consider whether the venue has a bar area. If it is in a village hall you should check that the premises have an alcohol license, insurance and what the maximum capacity is. Parking is important especially if the venue is out of town. If parking is an issue, hire a mini bus or coach to facilitate guests.
Decorations – For smaller budgets keep decorations simple. Perhaps stick to a colour scheme and use plain block colours for your tableware to keep costs down. Supermarkets and discount stores such as B&M and Home Bargains do some really affordable tableware.
If you have a larger budget, you may consider balloons, flowers, fairy lights, table decorations or even bunting. Party favours are always popular and notonthehighstreet.com is somewhere to search for unique gifts. Party bags are a must for children’s parties and EBay is often a good place to bulk buy them cheaply.
Entertainment – The entertainment required must suit the type of party you are planning and budget you have. A disco, entertainer, magician, live band, casino, keynote or topical speaker are some of my suggestions. Additional extras such as photo booths and life sized games can add an extra special touch.
Catering – What does the occasion call for? A buffet, sit down meal, carvery, hog roast, fish and chip van or an ice cream van? This could be your largest expense so consult your budget. Do you have time to prepare it yourself? This is obviously the cheaper option but maybe it’s worth hiring a professional caterer and spending that bit extra to save you time.
You may be able to save money on the cake. For smaller budgets, you could bake one yourself or ask a friend. Many supermarkets have wonderful and tasty cakes to buy off the shelf. You can also get plain iced cakes from supermarkets too. Feeling creative? Add some decorations to it.
You should consider whether your guests have any food allergies or intolerances. I know this only too well, as my daughter has a peanut allergy. Parties are a constant source of worry for the parent or guest. If you discover any allergies or intolerances ask the guest for ideas or to ask them to provide alternatives. Inform your caterer of any dietary requirements at the outset.
How can I help you?
KDVA can help you by venue sourcing or planning the whole thing! Whatever your requirements are, I can help. I can even provide on-site support, during my working hours, within a 15 mile radius of NN10.