Whatever you are celebrating, a birthday party for a child or adult (or both!); an engagement; wedding or anniversary; new job; farewell or welcome back the following list from Balloon Elegance will help ensure that you will have all the essential ingredients to make your party a wonderful time to remember time.
1. Date and Planning calendar
You have decided to celebrate; so whatever your occasion, you must select a date. Once the date has been decided upon, then it’s time to create a Planning Calendar to help you prepare for the occasion with the minimum of stress. It is a good idea to create the calendar as soon as possible, preferably a few months in advance – depending upon the occasion (Weddings can be planned up to 12 months or longer, whereas birthdays or family gatherings require less time in advance.
Include dates for booking items (venue, balloons and decorations, the cake); times for stocking up on provisions; a shopping list of what is needed and when; a food preparation timeline so that you aren’t caught out at the last minute. Put the calendar somewhere prominent so that items can be crossed off and things can be added as needed.
2. Theme and Colour
The Theme of your party sets the tone for the day, for instance a wedding may have an abundance of gold or silver and/or white along with confetti etc. however, the theme for a child’s birthday party would probably be full of vibrant colour.
The occasion and the age group of the guests will have a bearing on your theme. However the theme of the party plays a large part in creating the right atmosphere.
3. The Guests and Invitations
Make a guest list appropriate to you party. Once this is finalized you will have an idea of the space required, and what other elements of the party that need to be considered, for example, quantity of food; tables and chairs; cutlery and crockery etc.
Now you can send out invitations. Do this well ahead of time allowing plenty of time for receiving the RSVPs before the event, so that any adjustments can be attended to early.
4. The Venue
Whether your party is at home, in a park or at a hired venue, the environment for the party should reflect the atmosphere that you want for the occasion and be the right size for your guests so that people aren’t lost in the space or packed in like sardines. Consider the time of year, seating arrangements if necessary; do you require a space for a dance floor, entertainment, speeches etc.? No matter how formal or informal your occasion, these are basic things to take into account to make your party a success.
5. Party Layout
Most parties include the following: Food and beverages tables; present or presentation table; commemorative card or book for the guests to sign as a memento of the day. The Cake usually has pride of place and is often brought out during the party.
These should all have a prominent place so that the guests can find them easily, but not get in the way of other party activities.
6. Catering for your party
Parties can range from full sit down catered events to finger food only and anywhere in between. Whatever the occasion, the food should reflect the overall theme and even the time of day. The same goes for the beverages. Good food and drink contribute towards a great party. A mix of home-made and catered food can add a homely or more natural touch to a semi-formal affair. Finger food and light snacks can be ideal for a sophisticated evening affair or for active children who don’t really want to stop to eat!
7. Cutlery, Crockery and Napery
As with the food and beverages, the platters, plates, cups, cutlery and napkins should reflect the type of occasion that you are planning – from formal china to disposable casual – the cutlery and crockery should be appropriate.
Balloons are the very essence of celebration, whether they are elegant, sophisticated pearl or confetti balloons for a wedding or engagement or festive coloured or glitter balloons for a 21st or graduation party. No party is really a party without balloons. Balloons provide a foundation to which additional decorations can be added. Flowers, candles, bunting, streamers, place-cards or party favours all complement the theme of the occasion.
The lighting is also very important if your party is going to go into the evening. Fairy lights, table lights and other ‘mood’ lighting all add to the atmosphere.
You have set the party up to look wonderful, so now you can enhance the party mood with the right music. Technology today makes it is easy to set up a great ‘party mix’ that will play for hours on whatever device you are using.
Make the music a good mix of background and focus music (such as dance music after dinner). If you are having speeches or playing children’s games have easy access to control the music is advisable.
Whatever music you require, put the play list preparation on the planning calendar, so that you are not rushing to create a playlist at the last minute.
10. The Little Extras
Last but not least, consideration should be made for the ‘little extras’ that go towards a well-co-ordinated and stress free party. Make sure the bathrooms are clean and fragrant with clean towels and flowers if possible.
Clear a cupboard for coats and accessories, or if that’s not practical, consider over the door hooks, and hangers, for coats rather than the usual messy pile loaded onto a bed. The same with bags; have a secure place, such as a large decorative box or trunk where these can be placed to provide some security for the guests and are easily retrievable at the end of the day.
If it is raining on the day, have a number of umbrellas handy to help the guests to and from their cars etc.
It is often the little extras that people remember after a great party.