Anytime you’re planning a party, it can often seem that the to-do list just keeps growing and growing — which can start to feel overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to keep yourself (and the planning) in check with organization, preparedness, and a little bit of creativity!
If you’re planning a large party and feeling slightly stressed, no need to fear. We’ve got you covered with tips for everything from a dinner party to a bachelorette party. We’ve compiled a list of top tips and are here to help. From a fun brainstorming session to creating a day-of timeline, here are our top tips for planning a big, and successful, gathering.
One of the most important parts of planning a large party is to delegate tasks. When you’re the party planner of a wedding, for example, enlist one family member to help with the welcome sign, another to the floral arrangements, one or two more to the playlist. The best part about assigning tasks for a big party is that people get excited to come together and collaborate (which makes the end result even better).
Guest outreach for events includes making a guest list, sending the invites, and following up with RSVPs. The larger the gathering, the more time you’ll want to allow for this particular task. Start with gathering addresses and send the invites out far enough in advance so that you have time to follow-up a couple of times if need be. Remember that even if you’re on track with guest outreach, your guests might be slow to respond or unsure if they can attend at first — so the more time, the better.
One of the most important tips for planning a big event is to get organized before you begin. Start by making a planning checklist on your computer or write out the plan beforehand so you can get a feel for the overall scope of things and how much each different aspect will entail. Some people prefer jotting notes in different colors to help their creativity, while some like to go the route of simple black and white font typed on a computer. Make your master plan, then get organized from there!
If the idea of a large event seems overwhelming at first, gather some friends and host a fun brainstorming session with bites and beverages. It’s amazing to see what sort of ideas come from group brainstorms. Whether you’re discussing DIY crafts or menu concepts, brainstorming with key players of the event will get everyone on board, involved, and on the same page.
Make A TO-DO List
Depending on how big your event is, you’ll probably find you have multiple to-do lists throughout the planning process. Rather than letting the ideas float around freely in your head, which can lead to stress and anxiety, put down those party ideas on paper with a to-do list. No matter how big that list is, you’ll find it’s incredibly gratifying to cross the items off one by one. Small tasks done bit by bit are easier to accomplish than saving a handful of giant tasks for the few days before the event.
Prepare Food Ahead
Take a look at your menu and see what can be prepared ahead of time. One of the best tricks for menu creation when you’re doing the food yourself is to get ahead with chopping, mixing, baking, and creating. Depending on what types of dishes you’re serving, there are lots of things that can be prepped ahead of time. Say you’re making a charcuterie spread — cut the cheese the day before, unwrap and slice the salami, and map out where each of the items will go on the table or the platter.
Create A Backup
Although folks don’t always like to admit it, when you’re event planning in San Diego, a backup is often necessary. If you’re hosting a backyard event, make a plan as to what will happen if it rains. Will you move the tables inside, offer umbrellas or simply turn up the music and dance in the downpour? Backups are also important when it comes to serving food and beverages. Make sure you have ample backups in case your crowd is extra hungry or thirsty. You don’t want to run the risk of running out or underserving and sending your guests home feeling starved and parched.
Set A Timeline
Setting a timeline for the day of will keep you on track and ensure that all runs smoothly. When you’re prepping for an event, it’s easy to lose track of time and spend too much of the morning or afternoon on one particular task. Give yourself time for putting the linens on the table, a time for arranging the flowers, and a time for putting ice and drinks in their appropriate places. Of course, if you’re hosting, make sure to include the time it takes for you to get party-ready. If you’re relaxed when guests arrive, they will be, too.
Set A Budget
One of the largest parts of a party is setting the budget. Your budget will dictate the number of people you invite, what venue you choose, and who you hire — from a bartender to a caterer to a florist. Once you nail down your budget, you can adjust accordingly. If you’re working with a smaller budget (see our list of affordable wedding venues in San Diego), you’ll find that people are happy to offer their services. Maybe a graphic designer friend is happy to help with printed signs or perhaps someone you know is exceptionally good at arranging flowers. Set your budget then find the freedom to create from there!
Plan the Food & Drinks
At Eco Caters, one of our favorite parts of the party planning process is, of course, the food, the drinks, and the menus. Maybe it’s a cocktail party, an all-organic plated menu, or an Asian fusion buffet you’re interested in. Fine-tune your vision then let the rest of it fall into place. We’re an organic catering, family-owned full-service company — and if you’re looking for handpicked, organic ingredients and a passion for food and entertaining, feel free to reach out today.
We’d love to help you plan the food and drinks for your special gathering!