Monday, 14 July 2014

Party Planning Made Easy

tissue paper puffsI wouldn't call myself a party planning expert, but I have planned, organized and executed a lot of parties and events over the years - monthly events at the recreation centres I manage, themed parties for each of my kids' birthdays every year, bridal showers, baby showers, and endless family gatherings. I've done events for as few as ten and as many as a hundred and twenty people.

Planning a party, no matter what the occasion or how many guests are expected, should not be complicated or stressful.

But I've recently discovered that for some, it is.

My bestie Melissa of Sweetie & Joy is having her first baby this summer. Long planned-for and anticipated little Baby Sweetie or Baby Joy will be here in only a couple of weeks. So I got together with her sister-in-law and a couple of her other girlfriends to plan a baby shower. We picked a location and got a rough guest list from Mommy-to-be to get an idea of numbers.

Perfect, I thought, we're all sorted; a couple of emails back and forth to decide on a menu and decorations, a list to divide it all up and we'll be done. How complicated is it to organize a little lunch party for less than twenty women?

Extremely complicated, apparently.

Dozens of unnecessary email debates later (but what shade of yellow for the background on the invitations? is it just sheep she likes or are lambs ok too? yes, I'm serious.) and a request that I Skype in from an out-of-town soccer tournament for a scheduled baby-shower-planning summit (no, I'm not kidding) I pulled out my master party planning list and sent it over with some menu ideas before anyone had a heart attack.

With the newfound discovery that planning a simple party might be a daunting, stress-inducing challenge for some I thought I'd share some suggestions.

Party Planning

Guest list - the number of guests will determine your venue and shopping list
Venue - pick a location and make sure it works with your numbers
Invitations - depending how themed your event will be, settle on the theme before sending out invitations
Master list - plug the appropriate numbers into your master list
Menu - pick specific menu items
Decor - pick theme and colours (if not done so already)
Shop & Cook - it's best to make or buy as much food in advance as you can
Party Day! - decorate, lay out food and drink, decorate and stage; enjoy!

Master List - Buffet Party, 20 people

1 x banner
1 x flower bouquet
1 x balloon bouquet
12 x tissue paper puffs
2 x streamer rolls
2 x ribbon rolls

2 x tablecloths
20 x glassware
40 x paper napkins
40 x paper plates
40 x sets plastic cutlery

1 x tray fruit with dip
1 x tray vegetables with dip
2 x hot dishes
2 x salads
20 x rolls
20 x deli meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato
1 x tray dessert bars
1 x themed cake or cupcakes
4 x bottles wine
punch bowl

Party planning does not need to be complicated. It does not require endless meetings or debates. Planning a party is as simple as a half-hour's worth of list-making and food and decor decisions, another half-hour of internet research and an hour's shopping trip. A few hours of cooking and baking (unless your event is catered) and careful decorating and you'll have a beautiful, coordinated, thoughtful party without any of the party planning stress so many assume unnecessarily.

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1 comment:

  1. The shower was absolutely perfect and so lovely!!! Thank you again! :)