Where do I start?

Written by    Last updated: June 6, 2006

Thinking of having a party but put off by the prospect of arranging it all? Don’t panic ‐‐ we’ll help you on your way

What are the key factors?

There are four essentials to consider when planning your party:

  • the purpose of the occasion
  • the person whose party it is
  • your likely guests
  • your budget

Your guests will largely influence the sort of party you have, so consider them when planning. A family occasion such as a christening, for example, is likely to differ in character from an 18th birthday party.

Now ask yourself what kind of party you want.

  • Do you want a formal sit down affair or an informal do?
  • Would you like organised entertainment or simply to provide an opportunity for people to meet and socialise?
  • What music and/or activities would make the party go with a swing?
  • What would make the occasion special for the person/people that the party is for?

Venue, food and entertainment should again be tailored to your guests and their preferences. Caterers and organised entertainment will bump up the cost, but leave you with a lot less to do. Cost out the various options and choose the best solution that is within your budget and appropriate for the occasion.

The date

If the date has to be fixed, make sure your guests know about it well in advance, so they can keep it free. If it’s not, choose a date and start time for your party that will suit your guests’ circumstances.

Lists, lists and more lists

Write a list of every party job you can think of. Get as much done as you can in the week before the event ‐‐ food preparation, organising drinks, glass hire, decoration, your outfit ‐‐ basically anything that doesn’t need to be done on the day. In particular, try to get as much help on the night as you can ‐‐ you’ve invited all these people, so make sure you have time to talk to them!

On the day

Be dressed and ready well ahead. Don’t allow domestic issues to distract you from enjoying your party, and make the most of seeing your guests. You’ve worked hard to provide all the ingredients of a good party ‐‐ now stop worrying and enjoy the fruits of your labour! 

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