But luckily, that doesn’t mean parties can’t be fun, or easy, or affordable. Parties may look a bit more polished nowadays, but with a few easy tips, you will find that anyone can entertain with style.
STEP 1: CHOOSE A THEME
Having a theme for a party actually makes everything else painless. Your theme doesn’t have to be elaborate like “A Parisian Slumber Party”. It can be as simple as a color- “Pink” or a movie- “Up”. Birthday parties, showers, and even weddings are easy to put together once the big picture is chosen. So take a moment to choose a theme you like and that fits the occasion. Need help deciding? Browse through sites like Hostess with theMostess, Pizzazzeri, or Kara’s Party Ideas
STEP 2: THE INVITE SETS THE TONE
I know and love Evite; it is my ‘go-to’ site for pool parties in the summer. But when planning a real party, you need a real invitation. Paper in an envelope with a stamp. It is old fashioned and a bit more time consuming, but it is the first glimpse your guests will have of your party. Now the price range for invitations can vary greatly. (Anyone remember the Bridal Shower invite from “Bridesmaids” with the live butterflies?!) But there are so many cute, affordable options. Try making them yourself; you could craft a post card, a movie ticket, or even a puzzle to mail to your guests. Or shop Etsy and type in your party theme. You will be amazed at the number of adorable invites you can purchase and print from home. An invite doesn’t need to be elaborate to be appreciated!
STEP 3: THE DÉCOR
This is my favorite part of the planning. With your party theme in mind, it is time to bring your event to life. Party décor has moved from crepe paper and balloons to tissue paper poms and bunting. The best ideas for party décor are homemade. And if you aren’t a crafty-type, have no fear, Martha Stewarts’s party products or sites like Etsy can actually provide you with a ‘hand-crafted’ look right out of the box. Other must haves for party décor: fresh flowers, a wreath or sign on the front door that coordinates with the theme, and paper goods that tie in with the theme. And not everything you decorate with has to be bought. Try shopping your home – you might be surprised that those old glass vases become chic when filled with colorful candy or flowers. Candles, platters, baskets, and unique containers can easily be incorporated into most themes.
STEP 4: FABULOUS FOOD
I will admit, I am not crazy about cooking. I like to bake, but real food isn’t as interesting to me. But no matter what time of day you are hosting your event; you need to feed your guests! If you like to cook, try to recipes that tie in with the party theme. If you are like me, swing by Central Market and grab some gourmet to go! The dessert really does need to ‘take the cake”. Whatever you choose- cupcakes, cake pops, donuts, petit fours, whoopee pies, or even brownies, make them special and unique to your theme. As an added bonus- your dessert can be part of the décor. Use the dessert as the centerpiece on your party table!
STEP 5: REMEMBER ‘WHO” THE PARTY IS FOR
I really enjoy putting a party together, but at the end of the day, if the party is for my Kindergartener, then it needs to be about her. The food, the décor, the games… if she doesn’t enjoy them, then none of the effort is worth it. So find a way to keep the balance. ‘Real’ parties can be styled beautifully. ‘Real’ parties can be full of thoughtful themed details. And the best thing about ‘real’ parties is that both the hostess and the guests can have fun.
Want to see more things that I love about ‘real’ parties?
Check out some of my favorite party ideas by clicking here.