Whether you’re organizing a small get-together with family, or you’re in charge of planning your company’s annual holiday party (at a beautiful outdoor dining in Raleigh NC spot, no less) one thing’s for sure: Planning a party is no easy feat! There are invitations to send out, dinner and drink options to choose from, entertainment and other fun activities to include that night, and a whole lot more. With a seemingly endless to-do list, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Parties are supposed to be fun, so organizing one shouldn’t be as crazy as most of us think!
Why spend time planning a party?
When a party is planned well, guests are in for a memorable and delightful evening. While organizing an event can be a little scary, there are ways to avoid getting anxious along the way — there’s nothing worse than a stressed-out party planner who could also negatively affect the mood of the event. We’ve put together some helpful tips below so you can wade through your own party checklist, slowly but surely, and enjoy the experience altogether.
Create a budget and stick to it
The first rule to any successful event planning task is to make a budget. This may not be as fun as choosing a theme for your party, but it’s a crucial aspect to ensure that things go smoothly. Having a budget allows you to have an idea of how much you can allot for the things you want to have that night. This includes the outdoor dining in Raleigh NC venue, food, gifts or tokens—everything! Having a budget allows you to plan ahead and lessen the likelihood of getting frustrated down the road, because right from the start, you already have an idea of what you can spend your money on.
Pick a theme for your party
Whether you’re planning a birthday party or a company get-together, picking a theme for your event makes everything else a little easier. It helps you decide the party’s dress code, menu, and more importantly, decorations and activity ideas to keep your guests entertained. Having a theme also helps you stay organized and more creative.
Don’t forget the ambiance
Every party’s overall ambiance is essential to create a memorable experience for your guests. Music makes any atmosphere vibrant and unique, so why not have it even when outdoor dining in Raleigh NC? Meanwhile, good lighting can help set a cozy and relaxed atmosphere, especially for guests who want to unwind after a busy day at work.
Keep the menu simple
Keep dinner and drink options simple. While you may want to give your guests plenty of dinner options, it’s not necessary to have a plethora for them to choose from. Interestingly, many outdoor dining in Raleigh NC restaurants offer a prix-fixe menu, or a list of pre-selected dishes for every guest. With the theme for your party in place, think about the way the dishes fit together and how they contribute to the mood of the evening. Also, if there will be children at the party, you may want to include popular dishes for kids — for instance, choose fried chicken over lobster, as well as nachos over oysters.
Keep in mind that some of your guests may have allergies or particular diets (ex. Vegan, vegetarian, etc.) so ask your guests in advance, or provide such dinner options to be on the safe side.
Avoid last-minute changes
In the whole event planning universe, last-minute changes do happen—but you can lessen the likelihood of them happening. One way is to create a detailed to-do list and be sure to include deadlines for each task. If you’re the sole party planner, you’ll have to work with a lot of people and ensure that everyone (including suppliers and vendors) knows what you expect of them. Usually, having a contract saves you from undue stress and guarantees that the person (or organization/business) you signed an agreement with is fully committed to providing what you need for the party.
Ask for feedback
After the event, don’t be shy to ask guests for feedback. You can ask them what they liked and disliked, if anything stood out, what the highlight of the party was, and so forth. This will help you develop confidence the next time you plan another party. If there were mistakes along the way, you’ll be ready to take them on much quicker and more efficiently. Asking for feedback also helps you become better at what you do, so you shouldn’t feel embarrassed doing this.
Ready to party?
Keeping these tips in mind will allow you to carefully plan and enjoy your next party without unnecessary stress and drama. Planning events in general, is a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be nerve-wracking. Once you’ve covered everything, you can confidently sit back and have fun planning (and sometimes being a part of) the ultimate party for friends and family.