With my son's 3rd birthday coming up soon, I thought I would share the steps I take to preparing for a party. I love party planning, so this has been a fun post for me to write!
Date, Time, Location - When is the party going to be? We like to make sure that our friends and family will be able to make it on the date we choose. What time is the party going to start? If you're serving snacks, then I would recommend an afternoon start time that would give people enough time to each lunch ahead of time, but also get people home for dinner afterwards. Where is the party going to be located? This will be based on budget, how many people you would like to invite, and what kinds of games and activities you would like to have.
Theme - Last year we had an Elmo theme, this year it's a Curious George theme. Picking a theme - whether it be a character, a color, a hobby, etc - can be a lot of fun for both you and your guests. I loving having a theme to center my decorations, games, and food around. I always pick my theme ahead of time because it helps me plan my party budget and my menu.
Invitations And Guest List - I like to use evite.com for my invitations. I can go through their pre-designed cards to find something that fits my theme. If I can't find one that fits my theme, I can always upload a photo of my son onto the evite. Once I've chosen which invitation I want to use, I input all of the party details and choose who I want to invite.
Menu And Decorations - After I get a good idea of how many people will be coming, I plan my menu based on both the time and the theme of the party. For decorations, I buy a few character-themed items, but in order to be frugal I like to purchase decorations that align with a specific color or colors (that go with the theme). For example, last year I got an Elmo tablecloth, Elmo balloons, Elmo napkins, Elmo kids plates, and an Elmo shirt for my son. Everything else was solid Sesame Street colors (red, blue, yellow, green). I do this because solid red plates, forks, etc. are a lot less expensive then getting all Elmo tableware.
How do you prepare for a party?