how to plan the perfect party

There are certain elements that every great party must contain. I am starting to plan my daughter’s 2nd birthday party, wow that went by fast, and it seems like every party I plan all comes down to a few pertinent questions that must be answered. In this post, I would like to cover what I would call a 5 step basic party planning strategy that if you follow I guarantee your party will be for the most part, awesome.

My 5 step strategy is to answer in your notebook 5 basic questions about your party and how it will come together. Why five you might ask? Truly, you can get crazy with planning, and sometimes I do but my big five questions are more a jumping off point, a must-be addressed at any party list if you will. With each of these five questions the other details and possible missing questions of your party ideas will come to light easily making the whole planning process a piece of cake….. (pun possibly intended 😉 ).

The first of my 5 steps/questions is who is on the guest list. Establishing the guest list establishes all parameters. It sets the tone of the party, the crowd that you want in attendance. It establishes the size of the party and opens the door for possible themes or entertainment ideas. The guest list is the most important item you need to  get through first. The guest list also helps quantify how much food/drink/invitations etc. that you will need to purchase which in turn establishes your budget. Put it at the top of your list.

The next two food and drink go hand in hand. Establishing a good menu is so important. I separate food from drink because some parties like to serve very special drinks, be it glamorous punch at a children’s birthday party or a sweet summer cocktail at an adult party or celebratory glass of champagne; drinks are their own category. Sometimes it is necessary to serve an entire meal at a party, generally the longer the party the more food and drink that should be served, and sometimes you can simply get by with serving desserts or hors d’oeuvre’s.

Once these basics have been established, you should be forming a mental picture of the size and type of party you are planning. Things should start to fall into place. The last two crucial things that need to be established are decor and entertainment. At a longer party and one with many guests, you may consider providing some source of entertainment. For instance, at a children’s birthday party that is also for adults, consider adult activities that could be going on simultaneously to children’s games. Or consider activities that can involve both adults and their children.

As for decor, my favorite part of party planning, it should flow naturally from the type of party that you are creating. If you party is well-organized and you have a more strict party agenda, you can really play off of the activities you are hosting with your decor; look to them for inspiration. For a party that is more laid back, simple style can be infused in the way the food and drinks are served and minimalism may be the perfect option. I like to keep things along the tone of the party because it ties your guest list to the party itself and helps people to feel comfortable. You have simply created an atmosphere in which your guests belong and are at ease.

So there you have it. My 5 basic party planning steps/points to clarify for yourself while planning a party:

-guest list





Of course there are many other great things to consider while planning  a party (venue, invitations, photography, thank you favors etc.) but this post is meant to help you bring your overall big picture into focus so you can have a jumping off point. I love planning parties so if anyone has any planning questions or is having problems generating ideas for your party, or just in general needs help through these steps you can always leave me a comment of shoot me an email. (

Hope this helps bring your party together.

4 thoughts on “how to plan the perfect party

  1. Pingback: how to host a baby shower | amy+mayd

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