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Tips for Planning a Memorable Party

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 7

Let’s Party! 

If only having a fun and memorable party were as easy as saying the words "Let's party!" we'd all have great parties with little or no effort involved. Although you can try this method and have a good time, it probably won't be a memorable event.  Anyone can throw together a party simply by calling a few friends, serving some food, drinks, and turning-on some music. But, can you have a truly memorable event with little or no planning? Probably not, if you want to have a truly memorable party you need to do some party planning.


Party Planning Streamers

Party Planning Ideas 

The most memorable events for both the host and the guests all have one thing in common – they were planned. Planning a party can be fun if you realize one thing, nothing is perfect and there will most likely be some problems. If you’re willing not to sweat the small stuff and if you have a plan B, C, and possibly even a plan D, you can have a successful and memorable event. 

Do you have a special day, date, or event coming up? Would you like to host a party? Take a look at the following tips; they will help you plan your next great and memorable party.

Tips for Planning a Memorable Party


Party Planning Balloons

Party Check-List 

Before you do anything, you should make a checklist and include the following: Budget; Theme; Venue; Invitations; Guest List; Food (will you serve appetizers, a main meal or both); Drinks (will there be alcohol – if so, host or non-host bar. Don’t forget non-alcoholic drinks for children and those who prefer not to drink); Decorations (make or purchase, or both); Entertainment; Music; Parking (do you need to hire a service to park cars); Send invitations (this is the date you must send out your invitations). 

Select a Party Theme


Party Planning Murder Mystery

The theme is the fundamental foundation of a great party. Once you choose your theme you can then plan everything else around it. There are a number of themes for every event; here are a few: 

Children's Birthday Parties: Cartoon characters; Children’s books, movies or shows; Dolls; Prince and Princess; Cars; Toys; sports; Dance party; Pizza Party; Waterpark; Petting Zoo; Pool Party; Gymnastics or Tumbling; Backyard Barbeque; Have a party at a local restaurant that has a great kid's menu. 

Adult Birthday Parties: Milestone birthdays; "Over the Hill"; Movie characters; Music; A special year or era (50s, 70s or 80s, etc.); Sports; Destination Party; Formal event.  

Anniversary: Traditional 1st, 5th, 10th, 20th, 25th, 50th, and 75th; Casual tropical theme; Formal black tie event; Have a second wedding ceremony; Valentine's Theme; Have a "Through the years" celebration and put photos up of the couple when they met, were dating, got married, had children, etc. 

Wedding Shower: Host an afternoon tea; A Picnic; Host a "Murder Mystery" wedding shower; Have the shower on a small cruise ship such as the "Hornblower Cruises." 

Baby Shower: Toyland theme; Cartoon characters; Baby Themes; Animals; Color Theme; Sports;  Boy or Girl theme. 

For more party ideas, take a look at the article "Unusual Ideas for Your Next Party." 

Party Invitation
Create an Invitation 

This is a great time to get those creative juices flowing, but be sure to stick with the theme. Include the following information in your invitations: The Occasion (birthday, anniversary, etc.); Date/Day of event; Arrival Time/Anticipated ending time; Address of the party location; Attire (casual, formal, etc.); Party Theme; Other important information, such as if the party is a surprise; and RSVP instructions.

Make a Guest List


Party Planning Guests

Who do you want at your party? Make a guest list with the names of the people you want to invite to your party. Be sure to include any spouses or children of your guests who will also be attending. Your guest list total will aid in helping you plan how much food to order or make, and how large of a venue you will require. 

Select and Secure a Venue 

Where do you want to have your party? Many hotels, golf courses, restaurants, and other places have rooms for rent. You can even have a party on a cruise ship with companies such as Hornblower Cruises. When you find your ideal location, book your party. If you wait too long you may not be able to book it for the date that you want. When you book your location, ask the company if you can purchase the food and drinks through them (many businesses will require that you do). If they allow you to bring in your own food and drinks, find out if they will provide the serving trays and utensils, the dinnerware and glassware.

Party Planning Sign

Book the Band or DJ

Once you have found your venue, find and book your band or DJ. Even if you plan on having the party at your home, you will still need to think about whether you are going to hire someone to play music. 

Create a Menu 

Think about the food you will serve and try to keep the food close to the theme. For instance, you will obviously serve hot dogs and hamburgers at a children’s birthday BBQ party. A fun thing you could do for an anniversary party is to re-create the menu from the couple’s wedding reception. If you are having a 50s party theme, do some research and find out what the popular foods of that era were and re-create them. 

Order a Cake


Party Planning Cake

The cake is a special and important part of an event and it's something people remember.  As soon as you have decided on a theme and have an idea of how many people you will be inviting, order a cake. Make sure the bakery knows when and where to deliver your cake, and order early to give them plenty of time to make it (especially if the cake will be elaborate). 

Purchase or Make Decorations and Party Favors 

Your decorations may be as simple as a few streamers or as elaborate as a scene from a cartoon or a movie. Whatever you choose be sure to give yourself enough time to decorate the venue. In addition, have some party favors to give to guests as they leave the event. These can be very simple ideas, such as personalized candies, photos, a special pome, or anything at all. 

Purchase the Food and Drinks 

If the venue you have secured is not providing the food and drinks, you must purchase these items and make sure to have them delivered to your event on the day of your party in plenty of time before your guests arrive. 

Send the Invitations 

Make sure you give your guests plenty of notice. A good rule is to send an invitation within 3 to 4 weeks before your event, unless it's a wedding, then you should send the invite out within 6 to 8 weeks. 

Get a New Outfit and Have Fun 

Party Planning Fun

It's your party and you can have as much fun as you want! If you've done everything within your power to make the day special, you have to allow yourself to let loose and enjoy! Don't sweat the small stuff, remember that nothing is perfect and mistakes will happen. If your guests are having a good time, chances are you’ve created a memorable party, so enjoy!


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Sep 8, 2012 8:35am
Very comprehensive. I have a birthday coming up and was feeling overwhelmed about planny a party. Your article has great advice!
Sep 8, 2012 9:05am
Thanks so much, I hope you have a happy birthday!
Sep 9, 2012 3:56pm
Great article. I will refer my wife here, she's the resident party planner in my house.
Sep 11, 2012 6:49pm
Great article! I l like to go to parties - but planning one is just not my thing ... yet.
Will keep your suggestions in mind!

Thumbs Up!
Oct 2, 2012 3:39pm
Very thorough and well written. Great photos too! I just attended a wine and cheese party with a Hippie theme. Everyone got into the spirit and dressed in period costumes which made it so much fun. Our parting gift was a piece of wine glass jewelry with a peace sign attached. So perfectly planned!
Oct 8, 2012 8:56am
A Hippie theme? How fun! Or, as one of those peace and love flower children would say "Groovy party, man!" Thanks for the comment, diva!
Oct 29, 2014 7:29pm
Love those themed ones - sometimes just having the right decor and music playing gets people up and on the dance floor.
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