July 28, 2009

It's not rocket science...

While I was at my parent's house decorating & setting up my sister's baby shower my mom made a comment to me about how she had picked up some tips from me about party planning and how easy it actually is. Her exact quote was that 'it's not rocket science' and the truth is that it really is very simple if you keep a few things in mind. As I was pondering this conversation on my way back home I found myself writing down the following tips on the back of a KFC drive through bag (yes, I'm guilty of using the drive through...and writing while driving...). Hopefully you'll be able to use some of these to help plan your next event.
  • Plan ahead and be specific: Once you know that you are going to be hosting an event start planning. Obviously start with your pillar info, who, what, when, and where. In each catagory be as specific as possible. Example: Where: My parent's house: living room & dining room. Start to envision the overall event. Set a realistic timeline.
  • Don't be afraid of using a theme: I have never really understood this, and still don't, but so many people are afraid of using a 'theme'. Using a theme DOES NOT mean that you have to perfect match every detail to a color swatch or have huge puffy bows everywhere, theme simply means the overall mood/tone of the event. Sometimes this is very specific (The Wizard of Oz), sometimes it is more general (pink & green), or sometimes it is elusive (Natural Elegance, Backyard BBQ). No matter what you're going for you need a theme so that you have a place to start.
  • Set a realistic budget: Good events aren't about how much money you spend, but about how you spend the money you have. Find out how much you realistically can spend on your event and then prioritize your budget to reflect the things that are most important to you (food, decor, invites, etc).
  • Research & Gather Information: Once you've got your basic details & theme start digging around. Google image your theme idea and see what comes up. Look at event websites & blogs and see what other people have done for similar events. Collect images/ideas of things that you like. Start finding resources for products you'd like to buy or rent. Start gathering addresses for invites/thank you's.
  • Stay Organized: People make fun of me because I keep a file for each event that I am planning. In it I keep lists of ideas, photographs, vendor information, pricing information, and other things that I'll need on hand. This is a great resource that I highly recommend.
  • Don't use 'matchy-matchy' decor: I'm not sure if this should be it's own bullet point or if it should be in with the theme catagory but don't try and perfectly match all of the things. You want your event decor to coordinate but you don't want it to look like you bought all together. The best events feature decor that has a collected, homey look to them. As a general rule it is always better to use cloth over paper whenever possible.
  • Enlist help & utlize friends/relatives: Don't be afraid to ask for help! If you've got a friend who is a good photographer then ask them to take the photos, if you've got a relative that is a great baker ask them to help with cakes, etc. If you need shear man power to decorate or staff your event - ask for help. You'd be surprised at how often people want to help but are afraid to ask because they don't think they've got something to contribute.
  • HAVE FUN!: Don't loose focus of why your hosting your event. No matter what type of party you're planning you're probably there to celebrate & have a good time. Most of the time if something goes wrong you'll be the only one to notice, so brush it off and have a good time.

1 comment:

  1. I did learn a lot of cute little shortcuts from you - and you did an AWESOME job!