Monday, January 12, 2009

Getting started - party planning

Its hard for me to believe that my baby is turning 1!! It seems like I was just pregnant, praying for her safe arrival. Then wishing for the love of all that is good that she would just sleep for more than two hours. Now I am starting to yearn for those "squishy" baby days. Sometimes I just watch my little angel sleeping, her full little lips happily sucking away. I am starting to tear up as she claps her fat little hands in glee when her daddy walks in the door. Oh how fast these days go by!

This leads me to the all important first birthday party... woohoo! The first birthday seems so special to me. A kickoff to life if you will. I used to be an event planner in a previous life so I get all geeked up to start the planning.

I thought I would give some tips that I used when I was a planner. When I quit planning, I thought I would never use my skills again. Boy was I wrong! I am still planning events... I am just not getting paid. Well in money at least... I get lots of hugs and kisses which makes me a very rich woman indeed.

There are 3 basic things that you should do when planning any event.

Determine: budget, guest list, theme

Budget- These days money is tight. You can plan a very nice party and still not break the bank by planning and cutting some corners.

1.) Prioritize- Figure out what is important to you. If you feel like your party has to have great food then you will spend the most money on a caterer or food items. Others feel , especially for a children's party, that entertainment should be the primary concern. Whatever you decide, you should then budget accordingly. You know how much you roughly want to spend on your party.

2.) Start a spreadsheet- Put all the items that you need in a left hand column. Then start to divide your money amongst the category's. Put your priority at the top and then work your way down. Remember that your budget will change along the way as you find out what things cost. That's OK as along as your bottom line doesn't change. ( If the food is going to cost more than you realized and its your priority, then cut back on your decorations budget.. etc. )

3.) Ask around- You would be surprised what deals you can find by asking family and friends of resources that they know about. Often friends and family know of someone else or know of an Internet site that has great deals.

Guest list

Start your guest list with people that must be invited. Then optionals towards the bottom of the list. If cuts need to be made you can start at the bottom of the list.

Depending on the situation you may be planning multiple parties. ( Divorced parents that can't play nice or a kid versus adult parties are some examples) You will needs multiple guest lists and budgets of this is the case.


This can be a very specific theme (Pirates) or a more general theme. ( Pink and purple) Whatever your theme is, it gives you a great guideline in which to do the rest of the planning. The theme tends to tie everything together so its pretty important that you establish one in the very beginning.

Now I have to go and take my own advise and figure out what in the world I am going to do for my baby's first birthday. Since she is the only girl out of 10 boys I am thinking tiaras, castles and pink pink pink. Wish me luck girls!