Birthday parties are about fun, celebrating and having a great time – and that includes the host! But for many of us, hosting the perfect party can lead to stress, stress and more stress. Follow these hacks for a fantastic and stress-free party.
1) Manage expectations
The biggest source of party planning and hosting stress? Over-inflated expectations.
Whether you are organising a surprise 50th or hosting a child’s birthday party, expectations can be difficult to manage. Sometimes, these expectations for the ‘perfect party’ come from birthday boy or girl and so it is important to manage these, as well as your own.
Consider what makes a party ‘perfect’. Is it the setting, the style, the theme and all the other accessories that make it perfect or is it the gathering together friends and family, and seeing that they are all having a great time?
2) Getting everything done
It doesn’t matter whether it is a gathering of 10 or 100 people (or more!), there is always a lot of planning involved. There are all kinds of small and big details to take care of, from the invites to the cake.
What can be a real problem is in indecision and so the answer may lie in something simple: theme your party.
From colours to movies, there are all kinds of themes to choose from and although you may have thought this kind of party wasn’t your bag, when it comes to planning the details, it can make life a whole lot easier.
3) Doing everything
As much as we may like to think we are, we are not Wonder Woman or Superman! With so much to do, the stress of remembering everything and doing everything can place us under a level of stress never seen before.
There are two options;
- Ask family and friends for help – from someone watching the kids for an afternoon while you get things done to people coming around to make a zillion egg sandwiches, asking for help is critical in keeping your stress levels low. But, there is a downside to asking family and friends: if they want to do things a certain way, you may find that this stress-free party planning hack turns into a stress-inducing one! Choose wisely…
- Buy in professional help – there are party planners out there who love the hubbub of organising a party and take away all your stress leaving you free to enjoy yourself. They worry about the cleaning up, making sure everyone has a clean glass and that the party machine runs without a hitch.
4) Getting your home ready
From a summer garden party to a Hallowe’en get together, you may decide that the best place to host the party is your home. Even when it is an informal gathering, getting your house ready can turn you into a party-planning-zilla. From vacuuming the stairs several times over to making sure there is at least one toilet roll in the house, getting your home party-ready is stressful, more so when the rest of your family seem hell-bent on destroying it.
The answer to the bigger parties may be to hire a venue away from your home and let someone else stress over keeping the toilets clean and the loo rolls well stocked. It may add an expense but frankly, in our opinion, it is worth every penny.
5) A guest list
Never in the history of man has there been a more diplomatic tightrope quandary than The Party Guest List.
Who to invite? Who not to invite? And who needs to be kept away from who? Can you invite person A if person B is coming?
For children’s parties, there needs to be a limit on the number of party-goers in the guest list. You just can’t invite everyone. The penchant for whole class parties at cheap and cheerful all-in-one-price party venues is fine for not rocking the boat but if you want to host something different, it can start the dreaded over-analysing who should be invited to your party and who shouldn’t.
For adult or family parties, there is no right or wrong answer about The Party Guest List invitees – sometimes, you just have to trust that people will behave like adults.
6) Competitive partying
Party hosting is NOT a competitive sport. Your party is not about outdoing the previous one or the next one. Take your foot off that pedal and you will feel your party planning stress ebb away.
7) ‘Party app organised’
It may seem a little OTT but we think anything that stops you from forgetting to order party bag fillers is a move worth making. So why not get uber-organised and stress-free with the best party planning apps of 2018?