Party Planning Tips from Tara!

Everyone knows I love a good party and especially like planning them! Thinking up unique themes, going shopping for the goodies and especially thinking of something different for each one… its all fun to me! I get lots of emails asking for help thinking of ideas for parties, so I thought I would share a few tips

1. Plan a Budget- ALL of my parties have budget. Yes some like my birthday and my moms birthday may have bigger budgets, but 75% of my parities cost around $100-$200 to do. My mom says I can stretch a dollar better than anyone when planning parties. After I think of the theme, I make a list of whats the most important things to spend money on and whats the least important. I buy the majority of my supplies from Hobby Lobby and rarely buy anything full price there. Here are a few tidbits to mention

  • You can use a 40% off coupon at hobby lobby on a balloon time machine. It comes out to around $17.00 and you save a ton of money and not to mention dangerous drive home from the party store. : )
  • Paint can do wonders! For example, buy a cheap candlestick or picture frame, spray paint it and viola, its gorgeous and not to mention custom- fancy! ; )
  • Fabric as table cloths. Again you can use your 40% coupon from Hobby Lobby on fabric! Fabric makes a big impact on a table and don’t be scared of trying multiple patterns.
  • Items for height- I have used everything from a simple bowl, to cake stands, to cups to add height to a table. Throw over some fabric and noone will ever know! Just make sure its sturdy! Putting things at different heights is more pleasant to the eye.
  • Stick to the budget- is that $60 candlestick, as pretty as it is, REALLY going to make that big of an impact? Is the fancy deli meat any better than the pre packaged when you can add a fancy condiment for cheaper to spice it up? Its all about getting creative and having those priorities going into the planning.

2. Its in the Details- I am BIG on little details. I like to have little details that people  “talk” about. It can be as simple as $1.00 roll of baseball ribbon used to tie up the silverware for a sports party or to the mini lemonade stand that cost me $10 to make for the picnic party, its just all about the details. Little details make a small budget look big. If you personalize for the person the party is for, they will always remember it.  Especially in weddings, most people do not remember the gorgeous flowers but they will remember signature drink menu you had custom to you and your hubby. I get my ideas by literally walking around hobby lobby,going up and down aisles and just let ideas come to me. Think outside the box!

3.Think about your guests- Will kids notice some elaborate centerpiece that you spent a lot of time AND money on or will they notice a room full of balloons? Will a man care if you have a signature drink or an ice cold mug to drink their beer in? Here are a few pointers…

  • Food- always keep your guests in mind when thinking of the food. You don’t want to try some new recipe the day of the party or have a bunch of “different” foods that people are scared to try : ) Food is an easy and most of the time cheap way to make a big impact.  As well as drinks, always have non alcoholic drinks available. If the party is for a specific person think about what they like. I always have “craving” food for baby showers. Believe me, the mommy to be will appreciate it ; )
  • Weather- if its 90 degrees outside and you are having an outdoor party, have water and shaded areas. If its calling for rain, have a few extra umbrellas out. If its cold, don’t even think about having an outdoor party unless you have heating units or its a camping party haha ; )
  • A little memento- if your budget allows it, give your guests something to remember the night by. Play off the theme and use pinterest to get ideas!
  • Last, get your guests involved. Have a theme for the party, a certain dress code, or an entertaining non cheesy game(i know thats a hard one haha). Getting guests involved builds excitement!

4. Lighting- We all have heard that lighting sets the mood. Well its true! Lighting makes a HUUUUGE impact on certain party themes. It can be as simple as using your light dimmer. I am a big fan of candlelight and personally think everyone looks gorgeous in a candlelit room : ) If you are throwing a bigger event, getting the gels for the up lights make a big impact. If your party is at your house, avoid overhead lighting. Not only does it make everything look so stark, but it also will be very obvious that you forgot to dust that one stinkin table 😉 Keep it to table lamps and candles.

5.GET ORGANIZED- There is NOTHING worse than doing everything last minute when you are throwing a party. Here are a few of my pointers

  • Make sure you have your outfit picked out in advance
  • Spread out your projects and stick to the schedule
  • Have food that you can prepare before and either throw in the oven or put directly out to the table
  • Make lists! Never go to the store without a specific list, because you know you will NOT want to go back : )
  • Get help! 4 hands are better than 2!
  • This is the hardest one for me- you gotta stop at some point. Just because an idea came to you last minute doesn’t mean you have to run to the store to do it last minute. At some point you have to stop and relax.
  • ENJOY yourself! Have a glass of wine and enjoy the gorgeous party you put together. Give yourself time to take a hot bath or go for a run the day of. If you do not enjoy your own party, your guests will notice.

I hope my pointers can make party planning seem more fun and exciting to everyone. If you ever have any questoins, do not hesitate to email me!



7 thoughts on “Party Planning Tips from Tara!

  1. Ashley

    For my husband's birthday this summer, I really wanted to fill our bedroom with balloons before he wakes up, but I was thinking how in the world I was going to do that. Thanks for the tip about the balloon machine!

  2. Maria

    These tips are great and practical! I'm having my son's 1st birthday party this weekend and have made lists, organized, and even gotten a balloon machine. The hard part is relaxing during the party and making sure everyone has a good time. Wish me luck! 🙂

  3. Aliya

    This is great!!! I'm a life planner, but when it comes to party planning, I always put stuff off and then get frazzled at the last minute! I am starting to think about Baby Boy's 1st birthday so I can definitely use this! Thanks for the tips 🙂

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