Party-planning doesn’t have to be stressful.
There are lots of tricks that you can use to minimise the work required so that you can enjoy the party as much as your guests. Here are just several ways to make organising a party simple and stress-free.
Set a date and send out invites early
It’s always worth setting a date and inviting guests early. Your guests are less likely to have plans if you give them a few months warning and if certain key people can’t come it gives you enough time to change the date.
Consider setting up a Facebook party invite page
Inviting people individually can be a long and tedious process. Speed up the invitation process by setting up a Facebook group and inviting everyone this way.
Of course, this only works if everyone has Facebook. There may also be special events in which you want to send a more personalised invite.
Use disposable cups and plates
Washing up after a party can be a real chore. If it’s a big event, you may also struggle to find enough glasses and plates for everybody.
You can get around this by buying a load of disposable plates and cups. This allows you to easily supply enough cups and plates, plus you can simply throw them away to cut down on washing up. For certain classy events this may not be possible, but if it’s a casual party this could be the best way of handling the situation.
Prepare food in advance
Having to slave away in the kitchen whilst your guests are all enjoying themselves isn’t fun. As the host, you deserve to be there with your guests.
By preparing food in advance, you can join in the party. There may still be a few foods that you need to cook there and then, but you should try to do the majority of prep work before your guests arrive. Refrigerating dishes cooked that morning could allow you to simply heat them up whilst still ensuring that they’re fresh. You can even part-cook food for the barbecue in advance if you’re organising a summer party.
Opt for a buffet meal
A sit-down meal may be better suited for certain occasions, but it does mean having to wait on your guests. When it comes to parties with lots of guests, you could spend a lot of time dishing up food.
A buffet meal allows your guests to dish up their own food. This has many advantages – your guests get to choose the foods they like and they get to choose the portions. You simply have to lay out the food on a table, which you can do before your guests arrive, allowing you to spend more time joining in the celebrations and less time doing work.
Set up a self-service mini bar
Having to keep topping up guests drinks can also be an inconvenience – especially during a large party.
Allow your guests to get their own drinks by providing a mini-bar for them to use. This could simply be a table with lots of drinks on to choose from. If it’s a hot day and you’re hosting an outdoor party, you may want to fill a container with ice and put some drinks in here to keep them cool (for big parties consider filling a paddling pool with ice and putting drinks in). When it comes to cocktails, you could also preparing pre-made jugs.
Allow guests to bring their own food and drinks
It’s always worth encouraging guests to bring their own food and drinks. This means less cooking for you, plus it will make cheaper when buying drinks and ingredients. To prevent everyone bringing the same food or drink, consider asking everyone before what they plan to bring – this will allow you to get a good range of food and drinks, and you will then be able to provide anything that’s missing.
Let keen friends and family members help
Got a friend or family member that really wants to help organise the party? Don’t turn down their help (unless you think they’re going to be more of an inconvenience than an aid). Having somebody else to help could reduce the prep work so that you’re not running around the morning before trying to get everything ready. Certain friends and relatives may have skills that they can bring to the party such as making cocktails or manning the barbecue – let them contribute if they’re eager.
Get help from third-party caterers
You could even consider getting help from third-party caterers. This will cost you a little bit of extra money, but it could save you a lot of stress.
If you need to supply a birthday cake but don’t want to have to bake on yourself, it could be worth looking into cakes to order. If you’d like to provide food but don’t trust your cooking skills, you could even get caterers to cook all your food for you. You may also be able to pay professionals to provide entertainment or set up decorations.
Don’t forget about kids’ entertainment
Are there going to be any kids coming to your party? Keeping them entertained will be important, otherwise they’ll be nagging their parents for attention. There are all kinds of different kids’ entertainment options that you can look into such as a bouncy castle, face-painting or simply providing an array of toys to play with such as skipping ropes and bubble blowers. You could even hire a kids’ entertainer.