Bringing together friends, family, or co-workers for a great party can be immensely rewarding. But it can also be daunting! Party planning is a stressful thing, especially when it’s not done correctly. It’s easy to get tripped up on details and run short on time when you’re juggling guest lists, venues, and entertainment options. But don’t worry: we’re here to make sure that you plan the perfect party. Consider this article a crash course in party planning basics.

Planning and stress

First things first: if you’re going to plan a party while keeping stress levels down to a minimum, then you’re going to have to start the planning process early. The most stressful thing about planning a party — or many other things, for that matter — is running out of time. So don’t let that happen to you! Start planning as soon as you can, and aim to have the details wrapped up well ahead of time. Then, when the big day arrives, you can be as relaxed as possible as you handle the few tasks that can’t be taken care of beforehand. Experts agree that planning ahead reduces stress!

Planning basics: what kind of party are you throwing?

There are certain things that hold true of all sorts of party planning projects, but there are also specifics that you’ll need to be aware of if you’re throwing certain types of parties. Take a child’s birthday party, for instance. You won’t need to know what kind of booze to buy, but you will need to know how to keep a bunch of energized kids entertained! Party planning challenges change depending on what sort of party you’re dealing with, so sit down and think over the basics: who is this party for? What sort of people will be attending? What sort of general expectations will party attendees have? Write down things like “gift bags” and other specifics that you’ll want to keep track of. You don’t want any of your responsibilities to be lost in the shuffle.

To those specifics, add the obvious things: your guest list, your venue, and other factors that you’ll have to arrange for, purchase, or decide on. Compare your list to party-planning checklists you can find online in order to make sure that you didn’t miss anything, and then start running through it.

Tips for polishing off that checklist

“Running down that checklist” is easier said than done, of course! Here are some tips to help you out.

Guest list: Nobody wants to go to a party where they won’t know anyone there, so be careful about mixing friend groups at your parties. It can be fun to watch your friends interact, but make sure that everyone knows at least one other person on the guest list reasonably well. As experts say, “consider the mix!”

Food and drink: To save on alcohol, buy liquor, recommend the experts at Joe Canal’s liquor store Woodbridge, NJ — but make sure that you have plenty of mixers on hand, so that folks can pace themselves! Offer other alcoholic options, too, if appropriate. Remember that part of your party-planning responsibilities include mitigating the risk of drunk drivers, so plan to host your guests for the night or emphasize cabs and public transit options if you’re going to let your friends drink.

Venue: You don’t have to host your party in your space! It can be fun to “host” a night out at the bar, and a child’s birthday party can be a lot easier if you “host” it at a kid-friendly establishment.

Entertainment: If you’re hosting an outdoor event or a kid’s party, consider renting fun installations like dunk tanks, ball pits, and bounce castles. It may be surprising to know, but things like ball pit rentals can be quite affordable!

Yes, there’s a lot to do when it comes to party planning. But there are lots of ways to make life a little easier when you’re hosting. And if you plan things out ahead of time, you should find that you’re ready to have fun with your friends and your loved ones at your well-planned special gathering.

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