5 Simple Ideas: Planning a Party

Want to fashion a fete and not sure where to start?

I’m not a professional, but I adore a good party.

1. Make it easier with a theme.  I’m a huge blogworm (loving this new term for someone who finds themselves reading blogs constantly) and I try and take inspiration from the photos I see or an idea that sparks because of a holiday or event coming up. Having a theme makes everything easier – not just decor even! If you’re the type who gets inspiration from food, start there – does your meal beckon to be a fancy dinner party or a casual outdoor affair? Take your queues from places that drive you to add details – from Cinco de Mayo to a great looking watermelon at the Farmer’s Market – the theme doesn’t have to be overwhelming throughout, but it should be your inspiration to tie everything together.

2. Keep it simple. A good party doesn’t take the circus coming to town. Good times do! Simple foods, a nice setting and good friends make for a great soiree. I’ve considered a few times calling friends together for a simple potluck picnic at the park. I could provide the main dish and their own accompaniments and laughter would make for a wonderful time.  Getting people together doesn’t have to break the bank or your back.

3. Add a few details. For me, this is what takes a party from a dinner to an event. Little touches of decor, special lighting, candles, fun plates, you name it. Pick a few areas of the event and elevate them. Fresh flowers on the table. Changing the layout of your kitchen so that everyone can sit together. Dining al fresco with candles in mason jars. These little ways of changing up the every day ho-hum of your house make things a bit more special for guests.

4. Become an activities director. Create a new music playlist, set out a few activities or even some sort of questions game for dinner.  This helps the party flow better and make the evening more memorable. “Remember that one time that we played kick ball….” – yes, I do. Sometimes it’s these activities that make the giggles erupt – I’ve been to a party where a Slip n Slide, Yes, really!, was present for even adults to play on! I have to admit, feeling 8 years old again may have made me sore the next day, but I still remember it fondly!

5.  Enjoy it too. Your guests want to see you. If you’re running a three ring circus, it’s going to be hard to do that! Employ some help – I have friends who are always so willing to take the photos, or ice the cake. This not only gets them involved, it helps me finish up a few odds and ends and get things on the table and the party rolling! If you do choose to do everything yourself, attempt to plan a menu that allows things to be made ahead of time – larger parties are not a time for bananas foster if you’re also trying to pull of 10 other items. Usually I pick one “labor intensive” item (this last time was my homemade macaroni and cheese) and then leave the rest to being something I can complete well before the party.

Regardless of how you go about getting your idea from your brain to the calendar – Best wishes at doing it and have a great time!

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