How to Plan the Perfect Birthday Party. Planning a birthday party can be fun, but a bit stressful too when you’re aiming for perfection. You want your guest of honor to have the best time possible, and you’ve probably got to do everything within a budget too. It can be a lot of work but by following these steps you’re bound to pull it off.
Set a Budget
Unless money is no object, it’s important to set a budget before you begin planning as it will impact pretty much every detail of the party. That will also allow you to prioritize, perhaps saving on decorations by going the DIY route, or on food by making it a potluck, and spending more on entertainment.
Choose a Theme
Not all birthday parties have a theme, but it can be a lot of fun and make choosing the decor easier too. A casino theme is a popular option for adults with games like blackjack, roulette, and poker, perhaps based on Ian Flemings’ first Bond Novel, Casino Royale, complete with tuxedos and cocktail dresses for an evening of glamour. Other theme ideas include a Mexican fiesta, wine & cheese, and decade themes like the ’60s, ’70s, or ’80s.
Pick a Date
If the guest of honor’s birthday falls on a weekday, you’ll probably want to choose a date on the weekend before or after, but of course, you’ll want to consult with the birthday guy or girl. Avoiding a holiday weekend is usually best as many people may already have plans.
The Guest List
Determine how many guests to invite based on your budget first. The more people who come, the more you’ll obviously have to spend. And, when planning someone else’s party, unless it’s a surprise, you’ll want to check with them to find out who they want on their guest list, even if this person is your BFF and you think you know. If you are throwing a surprise party, you might want to get advice from at least a couple of other people close to the recipient to be sure you don’t leave anyone important out.
Determine the Activities and Entertainment
If you’re going with a casino theme, the games will provide plenty for guests to do, although you might want to go all out by hiring a band or DJ to play in the background. If music is the focus, for a dance party, for example, you’ll want to think about how much space you need for guests to move. Entertainment itself can be the highlight of the party and you might find it’s cheaper to hire than you think. You could book a comedian rather inexpensively using a booking app rather than going through a pricey agent, which can be ideal for a “roast and toast” type of party, perhaps celebrating a milestone birthday
Food and Drink
Is there money in the budget for a caterer, will you prepare the foods, or will it be a potluck? If you’ll be preparing the dishes, plan to include items that you’ll be able to prepare the week before the party. Even if you’ll be serving a meal, it’s a good idea to include snack items like vegetable plates with dip, cheese and crackers, or chips and salsa. Of course, you’ll need drinks too, which can be pricey if you’re thinking wine, beer, or cocktails. You might go the BYOB route, requesting that guests bring their own alcoholic drinks while you supply soda, punch, or other non-alcoholic beverages.
You’ll find lots of free invitation websites online, a much easier and greener way to invite your guests. Try to send them out at least a few weeks in advance if possible, including the date/time, occasion, location, and RSVP contact information.