A Guide to Planning Your Next Party

When it comes to planning any party, including a milestone birthday, christening or other celebration the first step is to define your event’s objectives. I know that might sound horribly corporate and boring when we’re talking about a celebration, but if you’re going to invest time and money into planning your party you want to be clear about why you’re having it in the first place.

Start by asking yourself: Why am I organising this event and what do I hope to achieve by hosting it?

You should also consider if the party needs a theme or focus. Or do you have a particular style in mind? Most social celebrations have a theme or strong design focus, which is the fun part, but narrowing down what yours should be can be daunting. Pinterest can help or you can contact a party planner like me. As an Melbourne based party planner one of the things I love doing most is helping people create a fabulous concept for their party, special event or wedding.

But what else do you need to do to ensure your party’s success? Let’s start with a budget.

Establish a Budget for your Party

Establishing your budget is one of the most important aspects of planning a party. Costs soon blow-out if left unchecked! Without a budget you may also find that you’ve spent the majority of your funds in the early stages of planning, leaving little left in the kitty for final payments and things like furniture and décor.

Some of the critical expenses you need to include in your budget are:

  • Venue 
  • Food and drink 
  • Entertainment 
  • Décor and florals
  • Food and beverage staff
  • Lighting and A/V
  • Additional amenities (especially if you’re having your event at home)

The date might already be pre-set for your special event, but if not, consider these things:

  • Are your VIPs available on the date you’re considering?
  • Are there any holidays around the date that could impact on people’s ability to attend or make it hard for you to book a venue or other suppliers?

I recommend setting your date 4-6 months out from your social event and once you have your date locked in, consider sending out save-the-date notifications so people know to set the date aside.

Know your Numbers

We’ve already considered the budget, now it’s time to think about how many people will be invited. This is important as your guest numbers will influence a range of things – how the budget is spent, what size venue is needed, even what style of food you serve.

In the early days of planning your party you don’t need exact numbers, but creating a draft guest list to give you a rough idea is helpful at this stage.

Decide on a Party Venue

Where you’re going to hold your party is one of the decisions you should make early on in the planning. Good venues book out quickly. But even if you’re hosting your party at home, knowing this well in advance will give you the time you need to ‘get event ready’.

Things to consider when choosing a venue include:

  • Accessibility
  • Amenities
  • Size
  • Parking
  • Insurance
  • Costs
  • Modifications (this relates specifically to an event held at home)

Party Master Plan

Once you have your objective/theme, budget, date, guest numbers and venue it’s time to start planning. Creating your party master plan will allow you to ensure every aspect remains on track, as well as making it easier to coordinate with anyone helping you with the planning and on the day of the event.

A party master plan should cover all aspects of the event including:

  • Venue, logistics and catering 
  • Activities and entertainment
  • Staffing
  • Décor
  • Styling, Setup and Pack down
  • Timeline for the event itself

While planning your event, you should also consider creating a detailed timeline so that everything flows smoothly. 

If the idea of needing a timeline or master party plan feels overwhelming, don’t worry. That’s where someone like me comes in

Organise your Team

Party Planners aren’t only useful for weddings and large corporate events. Any event requires a team effort to handle all the details. A Party Planner can help you tick off time-consuming jobs such as:

  • Sourcing a venue and suppliers
  • Venue and supplier management
  • Booking entertainment
  • Budget management
  • Design, styling, setup and pack down (because you don’t want to clean up the party of the century the morning after!)

A good Party Planner has a little black book of suppliers to help you find the right people for your event and the relationships they’ve forged with those vendors can save you both time, hassle and money.

Now that you know some of what it takes to plan the perfect party you might be thinking ‘that sounds like a lot of work’. Just like planning a wedding, planning a celebration can be time consuming and costly if you don’t have a good plan in place – which is why we offer a party and event planning service. 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you to plan your next party. 

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