6 Tips For Planning A Great Party, Whether It’s A Hen Do Or A Surprise Birthday Bash

Be the hostess with the mostest with these simple steps.

There are those who revel in planning a shindig and those who spiral into a deep panic thanks to the pressure of entertaining. What if the atmosphere is off? What if nobody has fun? What if – horror of all horrors – the mini cheesecakes don’t set? Whether it’s your mate’s hen party you’re planning, a fancy pants dinner party for your neighbours or a surprise birthday bash for one of the fam, getting your event just so can feel like a huge responsibility. But you needn’t fret. Follow these tips for party planning minus the freakout.

Organise your time

What do you need to do and when? There’s no point buying the food supplies three weeks in advance and sending your invites the day before, so don’t just make a to-do list, but a week by week plan. What will you need to do a month before your party? What needs done the day of the event? Give yourself a reasonable timescale for each task and party planning won’t feel half as stressful. While you’re at it, keep all your details in one place, whether it’s on your computer, in a binder or jotted down in a notebook.

Set a theme

There’s nothing like a theme to get those creative juices flowing and your guests will appreciate the effort you’ve put in. To ease the pressure, don’t go for something overly elaborate, stick with something simple and in keeping with the nature of your event. The great thing about a theme is that it creates tiny moments for your guests to connect through and bond over, and sure isn’t that what it’s all about? Remember to set yourself a budget too, so that you don’t lose the run of yourself. Getting carried away is all too easy. You’ve been warned.

Make five-minute tasks

If you’re planning a party, you’re no doubt juggling that job with loads of other responsibilities in your life and it can be hard to find a window of time solely dedicated to making your bash the best it can be. Trawl through your to-do list and find those small tasks that can be dealt with in five minutes or less. Next time you find yourself at a loose end, or notice you’ve a few minutes to spare, grab your list and tick one or two of them off. Suddenly that to-do list doesn’t seem so overwhelming.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Don’t have enough seating? It’ll encourage your guests to mingle. Made a hames of the mini quiches? It’ll be something to laugh about. As a rule of thumb, as long as you have enough food and plenty of booze, your guests will be happy, and chances are, if the small details don’t go to plan, you’ll be the only one who notices.

Make it memorable

In the Instagram age, you need pics or it didn’t happen. Create a cute backdrop for guests to pose in front of or to showcase the delicious spread you’ve put together. Leave some photo props lying around to encourage people to take selfies or if you really want to create a buzz, offer a small prize for the best pic. If there’s plenty of stuff for your guests to snap, it’ll keep them busy and engaged and ensure there’s always plenty of chat. After all, nobody wants a quiet party.

Have a back up plan

The decorations haven’t arrived, the weather is terrible, the bride-to-be is wasted… sometimes things go wrong, and not just the tiny, insignificant things but the big OMFG-EVERYTHING’S-RUINED stuff. If the worst happens, what’s your backup option? Sit down and figure out your plan B. You know what they say: fail to prepare, prepare to fail, and once you’ve prepared for the worst, the finer details will take care of themselves.