30Oct2014

How to Simplify Your Party Planning

Party Tent

We’re just about to enter one of the busiest party seasons of the year. It starts with Halloween. You’ve got spooky parties and movie marathons and work parties to attend, all in costume (don’t worry, we’ve got your costume rental needs covered!). Then, it moves on to Thanksgiving. While Thanksgiving isn’t exactly a party season, it is definitely a favorite time of year for sentimental gatherings. Or, maybe you made the mistake of inviting way too many people to your house for this holiday and it’s basically become a party.

Then there’s Christmas—one of the biggest party holidays of them all. Ranging from the office party, to the church party, to the family and friend parties, there is going to be a lot of fruitcake and a lot of eggnog. Throughout this season, you are likely going to be stuck with some party planning responsibilities. These don’t have to take over your life. With the right tools and the right knowledge, they can even be fun! We’ve got some tips to make planning even big, elaborate parties fun and easy.

1. Rent it.

One of the biggest worries about planning any party is where you are going to get enough tables, seating, linens, plates, etc. for all of your guests. The good news is that there are stores that have all of these things. The better news is that you don’t even have to buy them! Can you imagine trying to find somewhere to store all of that stuff if you bought it? All you have to do is rent it, and the company drops it off and then picks it up when the party is over. You can get almost anything, from a rental tent to a dance floor to a cotton candy machine.

2. DIY it.

If there are things that you cannot buy or cannot rent, then you might have to hunker down and make them yourself. If you’re crafty, this can be extremely fun. You can even throw on a holiday movie to get yourself in the spirit as you make little paper ghosts or turkeys or Santas. Making decorations yourself cuts costs and therefore some stress out of your life.

3. Enlist your family and friends.

Don’t go it alone. Just because you’ve been named the party planner doesn’t mean that you have to take on everything yourself. You can always rope your friends and family into making decorations, helping you cook, or setting up the venue. If they’re going to be enjoying the party, why shouldn’t they put a little elbow grease into it, too? Again, putting on a theme movie or music can make the work and set-up just feel like a pre-party.

4. Make it a communal party.

Instead of taking everything on yourself or even just enlisting a few of your family members to lighten the load, why not spread the work out to all of the guests? This is a great way to not only cut down on costs, but also to ensure that your holiday season doesn’t become completely consumed by party planning. Assign individuals to bring food, drinks, and decorations, to show up early to set up, or to come up with activities. It’s like a potluck, but instead of just sharing food, everyone is sharing their time and talents, too. This is an especially great tip if you don’t find yourself craft enough to make decorations.

5. Simplify the theme.

One of the reasons that the holiday season can be so stressful is that people try to do too much, in not enough time. This can drag down what is supposed to be fun time. Instead of worrying so much about whether or not your party is big or fancy enough, try simplifying the theme. Even Halloween can just be about getting together and watching a scary movie. Not everything has to be a major production. A simple party, where the focus is really on the people and not on the decorations, activities, or mountains of food, is more memorable.

6. Employ an app.

If you’re stuck for ideas, it’s time to hit Pinterest. If you’re not a member of Pinterest yet, party season is the time to become a member. You’ll get ideas ranging from costumes to decorations, to menu items, delivered right to your feed, by your friends. You’ll be amazed by the creativity and ingenuity of other people, who will (for free) provide you with step by step instruction for making costumes, table decorations, and the best pumpkin chocolate chip cookies ever. Also, look for phone apps that remind you of what you need to do and help you stay on top of a busy schedule.

7. Don’t procrastinate.

The last thing you want to do is put off planning your party and getting what you need, and having to scramble at the last minute. A party, like any great idea, needs some time to ruminate before it really takes form. Make lists of everything you need to do and assign them to specific days before the party, so you know that they will get done and you won’t be stuck planning an entire Christmas party the night before.

8. Find a trusted caterer.

Last, but not least, consider shunting the work of cooking and setting up the food areas to a trusted caterer. There is nothing better than not having to worry about the food. All you have to do is set up the table and they will cover it with goodies. Turning over this task to someone who is the business relieves stress, and if you save money by renting and DIY-ing the rest of your party, you will have plenty of funds for a great caterer.

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