Monday, May 29, 2017

Hosting an Event {Tips & Tricks}



There is something so exciting about the thought of hosting a party or other event. I think that usually it's because when I am hosting, there is something to be celebrated. Whether it be a new baby on the way, an upcoming wedding, or someone's birthday, it's always exciting to gather with friends and family to celebrate.

But these events don't just happen on their own. There is quite a bit of planning and effort that go into them and if you're getting ready to host an event, I hope that you will find this post to be helpful in your efforts. 

I'm a checklist kind of girl so it's always good to start off with a checklist. Checklists are a great way to help you stay organized and to help make sure that you don't forget anything for the big event. Your checklist will probably vary depending on what kind of event you have, but there are some things they all have in common such as: a location, date & time, food, guest list, invitations, decorations, etc.

Deciding on a location is obviously a pretty big decision. You'll need to decide whether you want to host the party in a home or at another location. Wherever you decide to throw your party, you'll need to make sure that there is adequate space for the number of guests you are inviting.

I have to sit down and make a guest list and I am really not sure how you can throw a party without one. I would be the one who left somebody off if I didn't do this every time. If you're throwing a party such as a wedding shower or baby shower, you will of course have the honoree create a guest list of the people that they would like to be invited. Create a list that has the names and addresses of each person being invited that will allow you to check them off as you go when preparing invites.

Once you have a completed guest list and have an idea of how many people may be coming (oh, RSVP's are a lifesaver!), you can begin to plan the food. If there are multiple hostesses, this is a good thing for you all to sit down together to plan. The time of day that you are having the event can affect your menu. If it's during a meal time, you will want more filling food versus an event that occurs during brunch or mid-afternoon in which you would probably have more finger foods and snacks. Either way, try to work together to plan a menu that has foods that compliment each other but also provide enough variety that there is something for everyone. I always like to make sure that ice water or bottled water is available as a drink for anyone who may not enjoy the other options. It's a pretty safe option to have! Once you have a menu in place, you'll need to decide who will bring what items and make sure everyone is on the same page (have a designated person send out an email to all of the hostesses recapping what you decided on).

Now it's time to pick some invitations. For the most part I have always been a paper invitation girl, until I had two kids. Then it just seemed like I never had time to sit down and write out invitations and instead resorted to just creating an event on Facebook and inviting via that or through a text which I never really felt great about doing. This is why I am super excited to try out Paperless Post for my next event. Paperless Post has so many designs for you to choose from for every occasion. You can choose to send cards via email or send actually paper invitations. But here's the best part if you're like me and you spend all of your time chasing kiddos: you can upload an address book and have your invitation sent to each contact that you choose. So whether you want to send an electronic invite or stick to a traditional paper invite, you can do so in a few quick and easy steps without a huge time investment. Plus the designs are trendy and unique and available in a variety of styles to catch your guests' eyes. They also have photo card options which I love (I love photo invites that also create a keepsake!). 

They also have some "Just Because" cards that are super cute. I sent some of these out to try out Paperless Post for myself to see if it really is as easy as it seems. I was able to completely customize my cards with fonts and colors, right down to the pattern on the inside of the envelope. It was so easy to upload an address book and send them out and the site even offers a status in the "Post Box" that shows when recipients open their digital card. I LOVE sending cards so I will definitely be using this site for more than just invitations. 

When your event gets close, it's time to decorate. I love to browse Pinterest for different ideas for decorations and I'm usually not disappointed by the variety of ideas that are available there.

The most important part of any event is to enjoy the time with those that come to share in the gathering. Time is precious and these will be cherished memories. Enjoy some small talk over some good food, celebrate, take some photos, and don't stress if everything doesn't go exactly 100% like you planned (it rarely does but you will probably be the only one to notice). 

What advice would you add that has helped you throw a successful party?

*I received a promotional product in exchange for this post. All opinions are honest opinions of the writer. This post is in no way associated with any social media platform. 
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