Even for the most seasoned party-thrower, celebrations can still bring about stress and worry. Below I've compiled 10 of the most challenging things I find about planning events, and how I overcome them.
1. Feeling like a mess
This is a big one. No matter how many parties or events I've planned, I never feel like I have enough time to get myself ready. The key here is to prioritise, do the most important things first and not be too upset when the things at the bottom of the list don't actually happen. The things at the bottom of my list are painting my nails and doing my hair - which is why I sometimes look a wreck when it comes to the event.
2. Calculating quantities for food and drink
This is always challenging, but my general advice is to OVER-cater. You never know who might turn up or if you'll randomly get the midnight post-party munchies. I like to refer to Dan Murphy's handy drink calculator and Chickabug's portion estimator:
3. Forgetting a gift
This is often a result of not having enough time. My saviour = Want it Now; they offer same day delivery on a bunch of online stores. And if you're stumped for what to write on a card, I love Yellow Octopus' handy guide here.
4. Your helium tank runs out
This happened only a week ago - true story. Right before a photo shoot, our hired helium tank ran out. If you have a bunch of balloons and some helpers on hand, put together a simple balloon arch.
A balloon arch - no helium required!
5. People who didn't RSVP have magically appeared
Yep, this happened recently, too. My advice, try not to think about it. If you've over-catered (like point #2) it should all be OK. Chat to them about it after the party and have yourself a good time in the meantime.
6. You forgot something MAJOR and it's <24 hours out
Stay calm and have a real think about how important it is. Is it food? Is it a cake? That's OK, head to the local supermarkt, get some doughnuts, or even make a cake out of cookies. Act like what you got is what you always intended, no one will know the difference. If you forgot party bags, head to the supermarket and grab some packs of art supplies/stationery, pop them in paper lunch bags, seal them with a sticker and you're good to go. Don't stress about what everyone will think, every mum will know what it's like to plan a party for a whole class!
Can you believe this is a Woolworths cake? See Buzzfeed for how!
7. Your to-do list is too long
Simple, scrap the non-essentials and outsource what you can. For me, I outsource the cleaning (Airtasker is your friend), and decidedly stop stressing as soon as the first doorbell rings.
8. You forgot to make a playlist
This is always the last thing on my mind. I love music, but ain't no DJ. Get yourself Spotify or play Pandora through your TV if you have to. Put it on a channel that has upbeat, chart music and it usually can please the masses. As long as it isn't dreary, having background music will suffice.
9. You run out of something mid-party
Take a deep breath, it will be OK. If it's food, order pizza or get someone to run to a fast-food joint (we did this for my 30th, though it was planned). If it's drinks, there'll surely be someone available to pop to the nearest supermarket or bottle shop. If it's party supplies, unfortunately we don't offer same day delivery, but supermarket options will do if it's absolutely necessary. We always suggest getting a few extra supplies. So if you've got 16-20 people coming, get a regular sized party kit. Thirty or more people? Go for a large. Someone is bound to use two plates or drop a fork!
Don't underestimate the happiness simple fast-food treats can bring (even to an older crowd).
10. People seem bored
I always stress about this for social events, but not so much for corporate events as there's usually an educational component. Take a leaf out of the 'corporate event' book, and go for a planned activity. No matter the age, a good game can get the crowd going. Kids party? Check out our list of simple party games for kids. Grown ups party? Invest in a good board game. Board and card games have made a major resurgence, especially with cheeky games like Cards Against Humanity stirring up laughter and awkwardness for the over 18's crowd.
If you've got any party-related challenges you'd like us to solve, make sure to leave a comment below!!
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