Party Planning with Family or Friends
Use these tips the next time you’re co-planning a party to make it a success.
By: Ruth Soukup
Planning a party with others can be a lot of fun and a great way to split the workload — if you can find a way to work together without butting heads.
If you’re running into the problem of not even knowing how to start, however, here are eight dos and don’ts for successfully co-planning a party with friends, family members or even coworkers:
Do: Pick a Theme
The best party themes reflect the interests or personality of the person(s) for whom the party is being thrown.
Do: Share Ideas Via Social Media
Between recipes, crafts and decorations, social media is a fun and easy way to share your common vision. Simply start a group that all the co-hosts can see and add ideas to. Then, when everyone’s thrown their ideas in, you can narrow down your ideas as a group.
Don’t: Go Overboard on Inspiration
At some point, especially with more than one party planner, there can be too much of a good thing. If you’ve found a few ideas that you all like, stop looking. Likewise, don’t overdo a theme. Try to keep it subtle and whimsical.
Do: Set a Budget
A party budget is always important, but when there are two or more hosts or hostesses, it becomes even more critical. Before making any purchases, agree not only who will buy what, but how much will be spent on each category (such as food, drinks, decorations, cake, etc.) Nothing will put two people at odds faster than disagreements about money!
Don’t: Be Afraid to Divide and Conquer Your Tasks
Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, and divide tasks accordingly. Pick one person to manage the schedule and make sure all the other tasks are being completed on time.
Do: Hold Each Other Accountable
Start your planning process by setting deadlines for all the major tasks: picking the theme, setting the budget, finalizing the guest list, planning the menu, ordering and sending invitations, completing the decorations, and so on. Set a regular meeting time to check in, compare notes and discuss progress.
Don’t: Be Nitpicky About Details
Or, in other words, don’t be a control freak! Once you’ve divided your tasks, don’t quibble over minor issues that aren’t your responsibility. Just because you wouldn’t necessarily do things the way your co-planner does doesn’t make it wrong. Respect the opinions and decisions of your co-hosts, and remember that the point of a party is to celebrate — not indulge perfectionism.
Do: Make it Fun
Avoid stressful confrontations and hard feelings on party day by being clear about who will take care of what. Work together to stay on track so that you can both avoid last-minute scrambles and, instead, enjoy the fruits of your labor: an absolutely fabulous party!
A mother of two, Ruth is the writer behind the popular Living Well Spending Less — a blog about the adventure of finding the good life on a budget. She covers cooking, entertaining, crafting, DIY projects, couponing and creative homemaking.