Most are baffled if not completely overwhelmed by all the social rules and regulations regarding how to throw a politically correct party. But ultimately a party should accomplish these three things:
1. Focus on the reason for coming together
2. Provide relaxation, refreshment and light entertainment
3. Leave the guests and host/hostess feeling a better acquainted
General Party Planning Tips
Your first task will be to determine and record your spending budget. Determine the type of gathering (cocktail party, potluck, open house, and formal, informal, dressy casual, etc. ) Define the theme and appropriate ambience you want to create. Consider the number of guests you wish to accommodate and where you will have the gathering. Establish the date of your party and the age groups that will be permitted to attend. It's now time to create a guest list.
Decorating The Party Room(s)
Determine the appropriate decorations (traditional or otherwise). Do some window-shopping at the local party store to get decorating ideas that will best compliment your gatherings theme. Decorations should be used only to accent your homes decor.
Use decorative accents to set the mood and focus on the theme of your gathering. Try to avoid over decorating. Although decorations do much to create a festive atmosphere avoid have too many items cluttering vital sitting and standing space. Décor should not distract and become a trip hazard.
Putting Together A Good Party Shopping List
When putting together your shopping list it is helpful to do some window-shopping. While window-shopping, take time to add necessities to your shopping list. Frequent at least three stores and compare prices. Buy bulk items where possible. To save some time shop stores on the web. After comparing prices start working on your master-shopping list. Unless you have the time and funds to sample foods and drink for quality comparison go with the quality brands you know are up to standard.
Staying Within Your Parties Budget
Staying within budget has much may require limiting the number of invitees, dinner courses, drinks and type or degree of decorating you do. This will challenge your ability to say “NO". It’s best commence party planning at the most simplistic stage. Write a list of all necessities and “must haves. ” Now write a separate list of “extras", food, items and decor you would like to add while keeping with-in the limits of the party planning budget. Add up all your “simplistic" expenses. If you see that you still have funds to spare, add a few of the “extra" items you would most like to use to entertain your guests. Leave funds of $50 or more for unforeseen last minute purchases. Once your shopping list is complete and with-in the budget you are ready to create two or three lists as follows:
Party Shopping List #1 Non-Perishables (Shop three weeks in advance)
This list includes decorations, non-perishable foods such as nuts, crackers, chips, canned goods flatware and napkins.
Party Shopping List #2 - Slow Perishables (Shop two/three days in advance)
This list is for foods that have a slow perishable rate such as fruit and vegetables. Check ripeness. Some of these foods can be cooked the night before the event and placed in your freezer.
Party Shopping List #3 Perishables (Shop day before event) This list would be for items that perish quickly such as fresh seasoning, fruit, salads, meats and vegetables.
Now that you have your initial preparations underway, it's time to take your party planning to the next level. The next article, “Party Planning Tips II" will discuss creating the guest list, sending out invitations, and getting invitees to RSVP in the timeliest manner.
Marcus Angelo Askew is the founder of Fimark's Event and Party Planners, an event planning media network at http://party-planner.fimark.net Mark designed and developed the award winning Fimark Family Reunion Planner resource with supportive software, The Party Planner resource with complete party planning tools and The Wedding Planner resource with related software.
The Event Planning resource offers complete planning and organizing solutions from small family events to large corporate events. The event planning network offers planning tips, budgeting tools, menus, decoration recommendations, invitations, flyers, online correspondance media and vital party planning timeline checklists.