Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Party Planning Tips!

Parties no longer consist of just purchasing a cake and a carton of ice cream. With new party planning websites, Pinterest, and Facebook...party planning has become extreme. I LOVE IT! I really do. I love invitations, decorations, menu planning, and mostly seeing my guests enjoy a GREAT party!

The rules I give myself when I am planning a party are:
1: Am I getting enough Bang for my Buck?
2: Is the effort worth the result?

Yes, a hand painted goody bag for each child is adorable, but if it takes 6 hours to do one...x-nay.

Here are 5 tips for planning a perfect party:

1: Personalize the invitation
The invitation sets the tone for the party! Let it be personal. Add a special photo of your little one that is refrigerator worthy. Find one that perfectly matches your theme. If money is tight, find a custom invitation at www.etsy.com and print it off at home or with a local printer. A great way to personalize the invitation is to tweak the standard who, what, where, when, and why. For example, if your theme is a Superhero Party, you could word your invitation like so...
Please fly on over and celebrate the birth of Bat-Rex-Man! Drive your bat-mobile over to the bat-cave located at 225 Hill Dr. Get ready to POW, BANG, and BOOM at 11:30 on February 21, 2013.
Here is an example of a custom invitation I purchased here for a train party.
2. Choose a few Signature Snacks
Along with your regular party snack favorites, add a few that really add to your theme. For the train party I did "trail mix", which was easy and yummy!

3. Avoid Store Bought Decor
You know the drill. You spend $50 on cute plastic centerpieces...and then throw them in a cabinet or the trash never to be seen again! I say, in order to get more bang for your buck...use decor that really is purposeful or reusable. For the train party, I used trains that we already had in the house and a few balloons purchased at a local party store. My rule for balloons is just make sure you have one for each guest...because children love balloons and it is a great addition to any treat bag. Instead of buying theme specific decor, use decor that lends itself to your color palette...like poms, serving-ware, and REAL CLOTH table cloths.
4. Hand-made and Home-made
Adding your own details makes people feel special. Don't waste time organizing the shoe closet before a party...do spend your time on things that will stand out and reflect all the effort you have made. These are cupcakes I made for a Scooby-Doo party...boxed mix and frosting from a can!

These treat bags were purchased at a dollar store and then customized with labels I had made at beau-coup for a Candy Buffet.
Don't forget that adults like to feel special too! I made these tags at home with images from the internet and a sharpie. I used regular tape to give it the laminated look.
5. Visualize the Purpose of your Party
The point of a party is to celebrate something or someone, enjoy the company of friends, and have a great time. Keep your expectations of perfection at bay...remember your signature touches will do all the talking! After the hustle and bustle of guests arriving and food preparation, remember to connect with the people you love. Those will be the moments you remember most. Oh, and designate someone to take lots and lots of photos!

Feel free to browse my personal pinterest boards here!

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