8 Steps for Planning a Birthday Party...for Grownups
Birthday parties are always a good time - but what if you're the one planning it? Planning a party for a kid is easy - but what about a birthday party for an adult? Where do you start? Do you need a theme? Where do you have it? Who do you invite? The advice below will help relieve some of your stress and guide you through the steps involved in planning a birthday party for an adult.
Kids aren't the only ones who love birthday parties - adults love them, too! But maybe you've never planned a party. Where do you start? Is it ok to just blow up some balloons and hand out noisemakers? Do you need to provide entertainment? Below you'll find 8 simple steps that will get you on your way to planning a fabulous birthday bash.
BudgetInto every party plan, a little budgeting must fall. Be realistic about what you can spend and then stick to it. It's also helpful to decide what the most important factors are. Are you set on a big, extravagant cake? Will you be hiring entertainment? Will you need lots of decorations? Budget the largest chunk of change to whatever you feel are the "must-haves" and then adjust the remainder of your budget accordingly. Don't forget to budget for your gift, as well.
Pick a Theme, Any ThemeWhen it comes to choosing a theme for an adult's birthday party, pretty much anything goes! From surprise parties or casino nights to Hollywood glamour or "over the hill", there are lots of themes you can make uniquely your own. But remember - the party is in honor of someone special, so stay away from anything that would be embarrassing or in bad taste.
Who's WhoWho will you invite to the birthday party? Just a few close friends? Friends and co-workers? Family? Everyone the guest of honor has ever known? Will it be "girls only" or "boys only"? Unless it's a surprise party, work with the guest of honor (and your budget) to try to determine how many guests will be invited to the shindig.
The When & WhereOnce you have a rough idea of how many people may be attending, you'll need to decide where to have the birthday party. Will your home be large enough? Will you need to rent tables and chairs to accommodate everyone? Or will you need to have the party at a restaurant or hall? Decide what location will suit your needs, then set a date and time.
Send InvitationsOnce you've determined a location, date and time, it's time to send the invitations. Try to send them 4-6 weeks ahead of time so that the guests have plenty of time to purchase a gift and make travel and/or childcare arrangements. The invitations can range from formal and traditional to casual and fun. Many people even choose to simply print their own - especially if they're on a budget.
On the MenuWhat kind of food will you serve? Whether you're serving finger-type foods or having the event catered, now is the time to plan what will be served to eat. When planning drinks, be sure to have caffeine and alcohol-free options available, too. This is also the time to select what type of cake you'll serve.
Fun, Fun, FunWhile some themes (like a casino night) will require you to have games planned out, other themes may offer more flexibility. Many parties are fine with just music and mingling, but it's a good idea to have some fun activities planned in case your guests need help getting in the party mood. Activities such as charades and karaoke will usually liven things up and get your guests loosened up.
Décor & MoreNo matter what theme you choose for the birthday party, you'll need decorations...a banner and streamers at the very least. Party supply stores offer inexpensive decorations for a variety of party themes, so it shouldn't be difficult to find what you need. And besides the decorations, you'll want to make sure you have enough cups, plates, napkins, eating utensils, etc. Stock up now so you're not caught short during the party!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heather L. Clark is a Web researcher and writer. Check out her favorite sources for planning 40th & 50th birthday parties, free printable birthday cards and planning ahead.