Have you ever thought…I have so many parties coming up…little one is turning 7, nephew’s Baptism, mum and dad’s 40th and to top if off I have my second wedding anniversary. Where do I start??! Well I thought I would write a blog on how I start to party plan. I love a party. Anything with a theme and I get my diary, lists and stationary stickers ready to plan.
I have already started with my kids’ birthdays (this is where my love of party planning started) and they are August and September babies. My husband turns a year older in March and I already know what I want to do and where. So here are a few ideas and tips to help you on your party planning journey.
Rule #1 – The Theme
I love a good theme and it can be anything from a colour – pink to a decade, a print, a film. As long as the person whose party it is is happy then that it all that matters. For Khillian’s Baptism I organised a English Tea Party in my mum’s garden. It was such a simple idea but I loved it. I brought flowers from the supermarket that day and placed them in jam jars filled with water. I still have all the jam jars. I then used kids classic and new books as center pieces (which I brought from charity shops) and he still has all the books in his room. It was a warm day. we had a marque outside and guests were treated to fortune cookies for favours.
When thinking about themes just think about what you or the person whose party it is likes. What are their hobbies? What are they always talking about? Watching on YouTube? Scrolling on Social Media? For kids it doesn’t have to be all all Spiderman and Unicorns. You can do a world domination party or a Space party, a pamper party, Mystical Adventure party. So many options.
For Lorenzo’s Baptism we had an aviation themed party with the tag line – Heaven sent…We had it at home and the details made everything very sweet and sentimental. I brought a large map of the world and got everyone to sign it on different locations where they thought we should take him or he should visit. I have kept it in storage and will give it to him when he is older. The cake was also unique center point as I wanted something vintage yet fun and suitable for a Baptism.
Rule #2 – Guest List
This is a very important factor as depending on the number of people you will know where to have the party. Will it be just close family? (10 people) Will it be family and close friends? (20+) Maybe some work colleagues and partners? (35+) Or are we going full on everyone we know and send Christmas cards too plus your neighbours? (65+). Write a list down, share it with your partner. Sleep on it and check it again a week later and then another week after that. All done? Move onto Rule #3.
Rule #3 – Location
As soon as you have nailed down the guest list – close family, just family, friends, everyone etc..You need to think about where you are having the party. I have hosted parties in my house, family houses and in venues and it really all depends on the guest list and your budget.
One of the best parties I had was my husband’s 30th when I booked a house on the coast for him and surprised him with all my close family members and a hot tub. We all chipped in and we still about it. It was different, a new experience and just so much fun.
If you prefer a hall – to save you the trouble of cleaning, or maybe you don’t have the space for 10+ people in your house (who does) this is fine too. You can book so many halls and venues now. Just make sure you remember to check:
- Does it have heating / air conditioning?
- What is parking like? Does it cater for all the guests you have coming?
- Are you using their catering? Can you bring your own food and drink?
- How long do you have the location for?
- If it is softplay, for kids parties, is it exclusive to just your party?
- Can you enter the property the night before to set up? What about breakdown?
Make sure you visit your venue as much as you can and ask all the questions you have at the back of your mind. I never hold back – this is a room you are paying for – no matter how big or small the party is so ask away and dont be shy. You don’t ask, you don’t get.
If you are planning something at home. Remember it is not about how much money you spend, it is all in the details. This Dinosaur and Glitter party was for Lorenzo’s 1st Birthday (above) and I used all of Khillians’s toy dinosaurs, and brought all the table decorations and bunting from the supermarket and Poundshop.
Or, if like me you have summer babies – you might want to celebrate their birthday away abroad. We had no choice but to do this last year but it was fun, sentimental and very memorable to us all and such a lovely way to celebrate the big man’s birthday. Just remember to be organised and pre-plan everything you are going to bring like presents, cards and bunting etc… Read my blog post —-> for Packing for Birthdays Abroad.
Rule #4 – Decoration
When you have a theme – the decoration part is the fun part. Well for me.
I always say that you need something in the air and on the table. Especially for kids parties. So I would recommend something hanging from the ceiling – bunting, floral arrangement like a floral chandelier or even something small like handmade stars, banners or maybe a pinata.
The table decorating is my favourite as there are so many ideas and things you can do. You can go all plastic to help with washing later, colour, monochromed, themed for Christmas, Easter, kids parties, all florals, maybe artificial. Dark, all white. The possibilities are endless.
To help you with some inspiration I have listed out below the Instagram accounts I follow that help me when I am planning on buying or making decorations for a upcoming party. They are all different, unique, fun and I love them.
- Laura Fantacci
- Meri Meri Party
- Dazzle & Fizzh
- Mutha Hood
- Deborah Brett
- Packed Party
- Bubblegum Balloons
- Florence and Bunny
there are so many more but when I am planning a party I flick through these accounts for help and inspiration. All the pictures below are taken from a few of the accounts. Have a look and see for yourself…
Rule #5 – Cake
I believe the saying – ‘Go hard or go home’.
With my kids birthdays and also my husbands I tend to buy a cake. I have been curious and very keen to bake a cake and might do so for my husband’s birthday this year but every year I buy a cake for my boys. I like to have that memory for them. I want them to remember the cakes they had and what it meant to them. Every year the cake is linked with the theme and I always make sure I have a picture of them blowing out the candles and making a wish. Tips when buying a cake.
- Yes, you can simple by from the supermarket. I have brought cakes before, places them on top of one another and decorated it for Khillian’s 4th Monster Truck birthday (below).
- I loved Lorenzo’s 1st birthday cake. It was simple white buttercream and I made sure there was an age candle and a big topper, which we keep every year in their memory boxes. So the cake is simple, and the topper does all the talking.
- Get a cake lady. If you want a cake to be made every year and if you have more than 1 child get yourself a local cake lady. Always on hand, she knows where you live and can deliever and she knows you style. Simple and make sure you book her in advance – or like my lovely lady, she knows when you kids birthdays are already!
- Experiment with flavours. There are so many now you can order. I always get something the boys like – fruit, chocolate and cookies and then the next year do something really different – candy flavour or red velvet.
- You can do a cupcake tower instead of a cake so if you have a lot of people coming they can simply grab a cake and then continue with the fun. No need for mess or cutting.
Rule #6 – The Outfits
Firstly, you must remember I have always worked and loved fashion. Its where I started and it is where my passion lies. So when I plan a party the outfit has to be key! Whether it is for myself, family member or a friend I always highlight that the outfit the person is wearing has to be thought about well. It could match the theme, in a suit to stand out and be funny, or have something monogrammed. Pinterest and Etsy are great for inspiration and a lot of the outfits can be made yourself. When Lorenzo was 1 I had these Tshirts made for the kids for his Dinosaur and Glitter party and it was one of the best things I ever did. Have fun, enjoy and try not to embarrass your kids.
I hope this blog post was helpful and you do have a read and even comment as I love getting new tips myself. Enjoy planning your next party!