Party Planning Nuggets

This year I experienced a little more anxiety than I have in prior years when planning my daughter's birthday party.  As anyone planning an event (large or small) knows, there is an amount of pressure that comes into play (venue, food, cost per person, favors, etc.).  This is especially true when part of the plan is an attempt to accommodate guests.  While a 10 year old girl's birthday party is not comparable to a bride's wedding, planning is key for its success in both.  With that said, here are a few party planning nuggets you need to know:

Consider having the party outside of your home

Putting aside our normal routine [in having a small group of my daughter's friends inside our home], this year the kid selected a different option.  What's nice with the option chosen is that our home was not the venue.  To me, this alone relieved a lot of pressure because it meant not having the work load of cleaning our home for guests.  Not to mention, I had more of an opportunity to just be and enjoy the celebration.  If it's affordable for you, it can be convenient and often transfer the responsibility of set-up, break-down and clean-up. 

Oh, but the task of attempting to get those RSVPs, especially from parents you're not as familiar with...sigh!  This year's birthday guest list included all of the girls in my daughter's class, along with a few of her play buddies.  While 16 invitations went out, in total 10 girls were present to celebrate.  Mind you, only 8 RSVPd?!  Huh?!

Send a gentle reminder to those that have not RSVP'd by sending a note

I have strong thoughts on RSVPg…and make it a point to offer that courtesy in an effort to: 1) keep the planner in the know so they can plan, and most importantly 2) because it was asked on the invitation.  By the way, make it easy for the person to RSVP.  As an example, offer both a phone number and an email address.  Not everyone likes to chat with you, so offering an email to RSVP is preferred by many.

So what do you do in those cases where you don't have a handle on how many people will actually show up to the party?  Don't panic!  If you're not as familiar with the parents, engage your kid by having her gently remind her friends to have their Mom [Dad, or guardian] RSVP.  This could be via a follow up note with verbiage reminding them of the party, including a thank you to all of those that have already responded, etc. [but only give the reminder to those that have not responded ;-)]  A gentle reminder may take a little more time, but can only help you to finalize your plans.

Plan for 60-65% of your kid's invitees to attend

In my experience, when I've planned a party inviting a class (vs. a small group of friends), I plan for between 60-65% to attend, rounding up to the nearest whole number to be safe.  I've also learned that you may want to forgo personalizing the party favors, which is a favorite of mine.  This year, it didn't happen.  Keep in mind, this is an estimate for a child's birthday party typically categorized in the small category.  The dynamic shifts greatly when you're over 20+.  

Hopefully, these nuggets will help you in your planning.  Good luck and Happy Party Planning!

Bonus nugget: Try not to take it personally.  People disappoint all the time.  For me, I remind myself to focus on the celebration of my little one and enjoy the company that is there to wish her well.  

Thanks for reading!

Follow me: @DanielleASB

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