Planning a party? From a London souvenir shop specialising in Union Jack party supplies, here are some useful tips that should save you some time and money, and help you throw a great party without getting in a sweat.
Pick a Theme
Themed parties are cool and the creative possibilities are endless, from a simple tea party to a large street party, there are plenty of practical ideas for either an outdoor party in the summer or a cosy indoor dinner party in the winter.
When planning a party, there are many aspects that need to be taken into account, without becoming stressed and overwhelmed, as the whole point of having the party in the first place is to have fun! You will have more fun if things go swimmingly so it’s always best to prepare in advance.
Save time and money by using technology to your advantage and email party invites to family and friends. They can be personalised with pictures and it is a lot quicker than writing out paper invitations and cheaper to send.
It is essential to keep a to-do list and a shopping list so that you don’t forget supplies and any important tasks won’t be overlooked. Keep a guest list so you have a good idea of how many people you will be catering for and so you don’t leave anyone out. This will also save you time and work out cheaper as you can buy everything you need in one go.
Begin your day preparing for the party at your own leisure rather than putting it off and getting in a panic just before the party is about to start.
Keep it Simple
If it’s going to be a dinner party, cook meals that you are confident will turn out alright, it’s no fun spending the entire day testing new recipes that go wrong and leave you in a flap when your guests are at the door. A lot of people do expect some kind of dessert or sweet after the main meal so it is a good idea to balance two simple dishes, rather than one complex main course, only to hear complaints that there was nothing for afters. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, one-dish parties are a superb idea, where you make a dish and your guests also bring one dish of something each so you end up with an exciting spread of food on the table without knocking yourself out.
If your home is going to be the party venue, make sure that your guests will be comfortable. Nothing will spoil the atmosphere more than if your party is during the winter season and your house is freezing cold, or the opposite in the summer. During hot weather, open the doors and windows to keep the house ventilated and use fans in rooms full of people. If you have a garden, use the extra space to your advantage, weather permitting.
What’s to Drink?
Have a selection of things to drink including fizzy drinks and fresh juices and make sure there are plenty of straws and napkins on hand too. If the weather is hot, make sure there is a steady supply of bottled water and ice, and if it’s cold, get the kettle on.
The Little People
If the party is not entirely for children but there will be some attending, reserve an area for the kids to play with an activity table which can decorated with items to keep them occupied. The simplest ideas work well such as covering the table with white paper for them to decorate and adding packets of small pencils to party bags. Fun food items like mini muffins and snack packs will guarantee less mess and waste.
Again do not stress. Not everything has to be homemade, and whatever does, choose something that can be prepared in advance. Use disposable cups, plates and cutlery to save you time when it is all over. And most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!
The Author is a writer, photographer, graphic designer and mother of four. She also works for Click Souvenirs, a leading London souvenir shop.