When you think about an upcoming party, when you do select the theme, and do you choose with or without your child’s influence?
I used to think that discussing things too far away from the party would only lead to lots of future discussions about new ideas, but leaving things to last minute creates a lot of extra stress around organising and limits options.
I actually have found in more recent years, having discussions early can really ease a lot of the pressure for organising…
Our previous parties a ‘Sweet Shoppe Soiree’, was a very girlie affair for a 7th birthday at a venue and thought 8 weeks is a good amount of time to plan. To work out what I am prepared to make for the day and have time to source anything I decided to pay someone else to make. Then, take into account that Miss almost 7 wants to assist with the creating and making with mum (most of which can be purchased, we just like to have that special time together in the lead up to the party) and as the closer the date gets, I suddenly realise more time allowed would be great. Sound familiar?
For Master 3’s birthday it was a Construction Party all the way, and as I was able to not have a mini assistant with most of the preparation and sourcing arrangements, well the 8 weeks seemed ok, but then this time I also had the occasion at home, which allows plenty of time to decorate in advance but this time I decided to take on all the baking arrangements which isn’t my strong point! However, it turned into a full blown and awesome Construction Party at that!
How long do you allow for the planning and organising of your Mini Me’s party?
Remember how much time went into planning your wedding, though I’m sure you never want to go through all that lead time ever again, but is a week before or even 4 weeks before really going to allow you to source and receive the goods you seek. It may sound quite ridiculous to plan 3 months out or longer, but if you really want to have the choices for suiting your budget and style the longer the better!
Most cake makers, are booked 2+ months ahead, so if you are planning to outsource this task, best ensure you allow time.
So, where to start?
Pick the theme, you simply pick the theme or if including your children, check with the birthday child only a few times that this is the one and reassure them that you have it locked in and no changing minds. Even a 2 year old can be reminded how much they really want to be a fairy, ballerina, pirate or construction man whatever has been discussed. And, it will make life so much easier for you if you are doing all the arrangements to make the decision and stick to it. If they think they really want to change, my advice is drop the discussions and keep planning the theme because when party day comes around they really just want friends, fun, food and of course opening presents!
Next step is easy, theme in hand, now select the date and venue – are you a home person or away from home, outside or inside, away from home can be from a park, to a paid venue. If it is a venue then establish do you want them to do the catering, or just provide the venue, most have options for both. Personally I love at home, as then I have more time for decorating and that’s the part I love most. Sweet Shoppe Soiree was a private room at a local art house cinema and while it provided a great atmosphere (the room was like the inside of a castle) it brought a very tight timeframe which meant I was busy installing decorations, setting up table and getting the food ready, while hubby and a friend attended the cinema screening… then we had a pushy attendant wanting us out before our booked time was over, so she could set up for the next party which they were catering for.
Now you have a theme, date & place, simply match the food, tableware and decorations to suit. Make it yourself or outsource, either way you need plenty of time if you really want to enjoy your child’s party on the day! There are plenty of suppliers for cakes, cake making supplies, cookies, cake pops, party supplies and decorations (like ourselves at www.littleginger.com.au), but if you know what your theme is and plan ahead you really can save yourself a lot of time and sanity in the lead up to the day.
At the end of the day to Make It Really Memorable for your loved ones, they simply want you there on the day with a Big Smile on your face as they enjoy all their little friends.
This year Miss soon to be 8, has selected an Ice-Cream Party and wants it at home, with mostly family and a few friends, and the Real Little Ginger, well he picked a Dinosaur Party a week after we finished his 3rd Birthday Construction Party so plenty of time to plan for both… I think they both already know Mummy loves a great party, so get in early and you will be sure to deliver a great outcome. The party planning really helps achieve a better budget if this is a concern also!