It’s been a bit of a whirlwind at my house recently. My daughter graduated from high school on a Saturday. The following Wednesday we were on our way to Boston for college orientation. We returned Friday night and less than 24 hours later I hosted her graduation party for 40 plus people. A challenge to be sure. But I’ve learned a few organized party planning tips over the years that made this feat easy. I’m sharing these tips with you so you can host a crowd with confidence! Plus, I’ve included my FREE printable-a cute form to make your party planning even easier!
Organized Party Planning
Plan the Menu
My daughter’s party was in the evening so I offered appetizers and dessert. First, I chose some appetizers that I could make ahead and freeze. One of my favorites is Pepperoni Pizza Muffins. Just warm them in the oven before the party and they’ll be devoured.
Next I chose appetizers which would be easy to make the day of the party. Since I was hosting high schoolers one appetizer was a bunch of prepared meatballs in a crockpot with BBQ sauce.They love these! For the adults, one of the appetizers I prepared was Ham and Cheese Sliders. Since they need to sit for a few hours, I can make them early in the day and then focus on other tasks. Awesome!
I also planned to purchase some food. Cheese tray. The cake. Cake decorating is just not in my skill set. The bakery also made cookies so the guests would have sweets to enjoy before cake cutting time. My daughter’s very first theatrical role was that of Alice in a middle school production of Alice in Wonderland. So she has a bit of an Alice obsession. Theme of the party? Easy peasy! Here’s the red velvet cake (it’s a Southern thing) prepared by Buttercream’s Bakeshop in Apex, North Carolina.
After I’ve set the menu, I decide which serving pieces I will use for each appetizer and dessert. I write “ham and cheese sliders” on a sticky note, slap it on my large white platter, and set it on the dining room table several days before the party. This way if I do not have enough-or the right kind-of serving pieces I can borrow or purchase them ahead of time instead of freaking out the evening of the party.
Plan the Decorations
This is the fun part for me. I’m just naturally more of a decorator/cleaner/light the candles type of girl rather than being all about the food. Luckily hubby picks up where I leave off and is really good about helping with the food.
On the form I just detail what decorations I’d like to make for the party. For example, I really wanted to do one of those photo areas you see all over Pinterest these days. So this is what my list looked like:
- Photo area
- Find large frame to hang from a tree branch
- Find rope for hanging frame
- Gather Alice in Wonderland photo props, print, cut out and hot glue on small wooden dowels
- Find small chalkboard sign and chalk for kids to use in photos
- Find a basket to hold props
You’ll see I’ve been very detailed. This is so my family can help out just by looking at the list. If I’m busy with something else all I have to say is “we’ve got to work on the photo area.”
I also wanted to have plenty of Alice stuff sprinkled around the house so I purchased a few printables from Etsy. Arrows that said “Down the Rabbit Hole,” “Tea Party,” “Over Here” and more. Alice in Wonderland banners. I put Alice quotes in frames all over the house. These are from Likeable Type on Etsy.
These “Eat Me,” “Drink Me,” “Take Me” tags from Creations by Mindy on Etsy were such an unexpected, fun addition to the food and beverages. So much flair for just a little bit of money.
Plan Day of Party To Do List
This is where I detail anything that still needs to be done before the party. Such as pick up the cake. Clean the bathrooms. (Okay, so here’s something my family thinks is weird. Let me know if you do. I always make sure that not only the powder room but that the upstairs bathrooms are sparkling. What if the powder room is occupied and a guest goes upstairs?)
The day of the party is all hands on deck and my family can easily see what still needs to be done. Do not go it alone, folks. You’ll always want help when throwing a big party. Ask a particularly good friend to come an hour early in case you are busy right up until the guests arrive. If not, then you and your pal can start the party early 😉Do not go it alone, folks. You'll always want help when throwing a big party. Click To Tweet
And now for my free printable. Click on the icon to print your copy of “My Organized Party Planning List.”
I hope you now have the confidence to have a party-have a big one! With my planning tips and printable you can easily host a party and not stress about it. That’s the important thing! Less stress. More fun!
Another Fun Party To Consider
Happy Party Planning,
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