Whether you’re planning a baby or wedding shower or simply a big catered dinner for the whole family, there’s a lot of work involved. Don’t let it overwhelm you. There are plenty of helpful tips for planning your event.
Follow these seven tips and see how easy it is to plan a stress-free social event.
1. Start Early
It’s never too early to start planning your social event—especially when you have to confirm a venue, caterer, band, et cetera. Start thinking about the day, a possible theme, a guest list, food, and a menu style. Once you’ve settled on the date, you can get started with planning party details.
2. Stay Organized
Without some kind of organizational system—a checklist, a binder, an Excel spreadsheet—you’ll feel flustered pretty quickly. Keep a master to-do list that allows you to check things off as you complete them and pinpoint the remaining areas that need work. Track notes for third-party vendors, deposits, and upcoming payments, and any other relevant information.
You’ll stay on track without missing a beat, in addition to receiving the personal satisfaction of seeing that task list shrink down.
3. Follow the 80/20 Rule
An important part of party planning involves knowing your priorities. Here, the 80/20 principle is incredibly effective. Determining the key aspects first makes it easy to plan the rest of the party. The most important 20% of the social event will likely include your venue, caterer, and overall ambiance. Once this is covered, the remaining 80% will be easier to handle.
4. Keep It Simple
There are many simple catering ideas that will leave every guest raving. Keep appetizers simple with ready-made ingredients that are flavourful and good to nibble on as guests mingle. Serve a refined selection of drinks and a signature cocktail, instead of serving a full bar.
Consider who really needs to be at the event. You want to connect with everyone, but this becomes difficult to do as the guest list gets bigger. When you have a smaller guest list and less to worry about, you’ll be infinitely more relaxed.
5. Follow Your Budget
Knowing how much you have to spend, from the location to the caterer to the décor and even the invitations, is crucial to planning the perfect social event. You’ll quickly go over budget on unimportant items without understanding the true cost of the event.
Set a limit on party essentials so you know how much you have to spend without breaking the bank. Ensure the budget covers everything necessary, so you aren’t shocked by surprising costs the night of.
6. Delegate When Possible
Delegation is tough for the overwhelming majority, but relinquishing control only serves you in the end. From setting up decorations and sending out invitations to managing RSVPs, you’ll be relieved to know you have help.
If a few volunteers have offered to help, dole out minor tasks to them. You’ll have a better time staying organized and ensuring everything is complete.
7. Prepare What You Can in Advance
Do as much as you can ahead of time. If you’re hosting the social event, set the tables a day early. If you’re preparing any menu items, such as salads or appetizer platters, prepare what you can the night before. All you’ll have to do the next day is pull them out of the fridge the next day.
Anything you can do ahead of time will relieve you of tasks you need to accomplish on the actual day. The less you have to do right before the party, the less you have to worry about, and this will leave you feeling wholly prepared before your guests even arrive.