Most people enjoy a good celebration. We celebrate promotions, marriages, championships, and of course, birthdays. Guests get to just show up and enjoy the festivities. On the other hand, hosts are usually running around, making sure everyone is enjoying themselves, eating, drinking, and occupied.
Do you enjoy hosting parties? Better still, do you enjoy planning parties? Before anyone ever walks through the door, there are hours of work that go into preparing a party that people will enjoy. Whether or not you love hosting, one thing is true: party planning is hard work. What if party planning could be easy? What if there was a tool that could do most of the thinking for you so you could actually enjoy a party that you host? You can reduce or even eliminate the stress of party planning! I’m here to show you how and to give you a gift that will help you love and serve your party guests so you can actually celebrate with them!
Problems with party planning
Families know that parties are just a way of life. There is at least one birthday party to go to each month (not to mention team and class parties) and you begin to see just how much parties consume our social lives. For many moms, parties are their social lives.
What is it about party planning that makes it so difficult? Let’s take a closer look. Party planning can be stressful. The stress of pleasing the celebrant, the guests, and the communication involved could make you want to curl up into a corner. Then there’s the fear of forgetting something. Even the most organized people can forget one crucial thing like the camera or the candles for the cake (the cake!).
Keeping party related papers and tasks organized and in one place can also be difficult. Where is that deposit receipt for the venue again? What did I do with the shopping list? I don’t want to mix it up with our regular grocery list. Information is scattered everywhere and often mixed with the everyday things we have to take care of. Then there’s the cost. There is bound to be an expense that we loose track of and parties always end up costing more than expected.
When it comes to party time, the host rarely gets to enjoy the party.
After the party is over, we’re often so tired from hosting that we forget to send thank you notes or share photos. Sometimes, it’s so hard that you’re just glad it’s finally over. I hope I haven’t lost you because it’s about to all get better.
The stress of party planning can be drastically reduced and even eliminated! You can plan a party and enjoy it too, and I am here to show you how. There are typically four phases to every party. Let’s break down the party planning process to wrap our heads around it.
Phases of Party Planning
Phase 1: Plan
Everything begins with setting a date, time, booking the venue, and establishing a theme. This is the easiest phase of planning and usually requires little thought. Deciding on a party theme can even make the process fun. Look at that, we’re reducing stress already.
Once the vital information has been set (the when and where), next the guest list needs to be decided (the who). The guest list is largely determined by the budget, so this is a good time to decide on that. Then, invitations, menu, and activities follow.
The number of guests and the available space will vary from one party to the next, that’s why I have included a large space to sketch out the party area and make sure that there is a good flow.
Have you been to a party that was poorly laid out and there was constantly a bottleneck everywhere you went? Then there are parties that feel like you can have your own space when you’re feeling anti-social, but also didn’t feel overcrowded when it’s time to gather everyone in a single space. That has a lot to do with how the party is laid out.
Don’t worry if you are not an artist, you could easily create different lists for each space of the room as well. The point is to make sure that whatever is going on for the celebration, the space required is accounted for.
Phase 2: Prep
Building off of the first phase, we have to make sure that there is enough food to eat and things to do during the party.
When it comes to parties, one of my favorite things is the food. And food seems easy…until it isn’t. The key is to think about the different kinds of food and break it down into manageable bites (pun intended). Typically, there are items you have to order, like a cake or special desserts, then there is the kind you make yourself or enlist the help of family/friends to bring potluck style.
Activities are the next item to consider, and it’s best to have some activities set for kids, some for adults, and some for both to make sure everyone has a good time. Once the menu and activities have been set, that feeds your shopping list. Finally, it’s almost party time!
As you can see, most of the work is in the first two phases–the planning and preparation. The next two phases go by quickly and often things get overlooked because hosts can be so done with party planning that they just want to get it over with. Hang tight because the hard work is done and you’re almost ready to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Phase 3: Party time
Getting the party ready is probably the favorite task of the host because that’s when everything comes to life. Whether you’re a Pinterest party host or a book-a-venue-and-just-show-up kind of host, there’s a great sense of accomplishment to see a party ready and waiting for a good time.
Right before guests arrive is where the layout comes to life and lists get checked off one final time. When it’s party time, you can greet the guests you’ve been eager to see for weeks. When I am coordinating an event, one of my priorities is to make sure the host and the celebrant each eat a proper meal and stay hydrated. Even extroverts like me can get drained by a party, so it’s important to keep the energy level up.
Phase 4: Post Party
Once the party is over, the gift wrap recycled, the food put away, and the last chair folded, it’s easy to flop down on the couch and scroll through the photos and videos taken and share highlights on social media. As good as that feels, that is not the end.
A good host remembers to follow up with guests by sending a note of thanks. This is especially important for a birthday party, shower, or wedding. Sending a thank you note in any format (digital or handwritten) is a good practice. As my son has gotten older, I have made him write thank you cards himself so that he can appreciate what he has. Because of this practice, he is really good at remembering who has given him the gifts he’s received over the years.
A Gift for You
Are you ready to get started? Party planning will be a breeze now with this free printable just for you! This Party Planner features space for the most important phases of party planning–the vital information, space to lay out the party venue, and party planning tasks pre-filled for you.
With this free Party Planner printable, you can reduce or eliminate party planning stress, keep party related tasks and information in one place, and enjoy the party because everything else has been taken care of. This Party Planner is useful for any kind of party in any venue, big or small.
One More Thing
I hope you find this free printable useful. If you need more support with party planning, I’ve got you covered. We all know that there are way too many details involved when planning a party and sometimes one page isn’t enough. That’s why I want to give you extra support by offering an in-depth planning tool that will take you step-by-step through each phase of the party planning process.
This fully featured Premium Party Planner is 6 pages full of detailed planning that does the thinking for you. I have tested it myself for the last couple of years when planning my own son’s birthdays, and I couldn’t think of a better way to organize my thoughts and tasks when it comes to party planning. It’s my go-to Party Planner and now I’m making it available to you.
The Premium Party Planner comes with the blank free printable cover page shared above to get you started. It also helps you get down and detailed in your planning with:
- Guest List worksheet to remember to invite your VIPs
- Menu planner to satisfy each course with ease
- Acitivity planner to dream up the party fun
- Shopping list to keep you organized
- Budget planner to spend within your means
- Gift List worksheet to be thankful for the blessings of gifts received
- Thank You Note Tracker to follow up with guests after the party is over
Once this planner is in your toolbox, use it over and over again for any party or gathering in your home or in a venue of your choosing. You can have fun at your own party and stress doesn’t have to weigh you down when you’ve planned for each phase using the Premium Party Planner.
Ready to make party planning seriously more organized and less stressed? Get your Premium Party Planner here!