I hope my seven steps below give you a little insight into how I mostly stayed cool, calm and collected during the planning processes of my party.
STEP 1: I started with writing a somewhat wish list
I began my planning in February, crazy early I know but function centres get booked up and I’m just a little bit of a control freak!
I started by writing a massive ‘wish list’ of everything I’d like in terms of décor and then my Mum and I started looking at venues.
My wish list looked something like this:
• Flowered 21 numbers on stand
• Personalised door sign
• 2 sets of 3 large, confetti filled balloons
• Video of photos playing
• Guest Book
• Photo dedication to my great, grandparents
• Personalised, pressed cookies for guest to take home
• Cake & cupcakes
• Personalised cake topper
• Personalised invitations with personalised envelope seals
STEP 2: Find a venue
This step proved harder than we thought but after lots of searching and visiting I found a venue I was very happy with! It is also a great idea to discuss a budget before picking venues; how much do you want to spend on food, drinks and room hire. There are lots of things to consider when picking your perfect venue.
• Do they have minimum spends on food and drink? (my first choice of venue had a minimum spend of $5000, my Mum and I almost fell over when we were told)
• Is the room hire price reasonable?
• What time do minors have to leave?
• Does their food menu cater for all dietary requirements?
• How many people do these venues fit conformably (because I knew I’d have at least 100 guests we didn’t want a small, crowded venue)
• Ask whether they have projector access and a sound system
STEP 3: Budget
Between my parents and I we worked out and agreed that Mum and Dad would pay for the room hire, food and drink and I would pay for all the décor, my dress, hair/make up etc.
I then created a bank account for 21st savings and slowly deposited money in there. I also got as many prices for décor items as I could, and I hunted around many different businesses to find the best possible price with fabulous quality.
STEP 4: Guest List
Deciding on how many people and who you are going to invite to your birthday is always tricky. All my immediate family and god-parents were obvious however inviting friends is a little harder. I followed the thinking that if I hadn’t spoken or caught up with them in the last year or so then I didn’t invite them. This was the best way to keep it relatively small and make sure that everyone invited meant something to me.
STEP 5: Book everything
There is actually so much that goes into a big party like this! I started writing numerous lists that I kept on my computer desktop and I updated them as I went through things.
• List 1: To Do – Paid and Finalised
• List 2: To Do – Need to Pay
• List 3: To Do
For example, I had ‘Book Balloons’ on my To Do, once I booked them I moved ‘Book Balloons to my ‘To Do – Need to Pay’ list and once I’d received the invoice and paid for it I moved it to the ‘To Do – Paid and Finalised’ list.
This was the best way for me to stay on top of everything I had going on, to begin with this is what my original to-do list looked like.
• Door Sign
• Cake Topper
• Speaker Hire
• Cello Bags for Cookies
• Invitations and Envelope Seals
• Flowered 21 Stand
• Tassel Garland
• Music Playlist
• Book Appointments (Spray Tan, Nails, Lashes, Hair and Make Up)
• Organise Cake, Cupcakes and Cookies
• Food Order
• Drinks List
STEP 6: Give yourself time
Whilst some people think I’m crazy for booking and organising everything so early it was the best way for me! My life is super busy already, I didn’t need to be trying to organise everything a month before. Having everything already booked also allowed me to pay off everything slowly.
STEP 7: Ask for help
Remember, this should be a time of celebration and fun therefore if you’re getting bogged down in your planning or struggling to do it on your own ASK FOR HELP! There will be a friend, or family member who will be willing to help. My sisters helped me to find photos from my childhood to scan into the computer for my video, one of my friends came with me to the venue to plan where I wanted all the furniture placed and Mum has listened to me talk about it every minute of every day for the last three months, haha sorry Mum!
I hope this gave a good insight into how I party plan, whilst it sounds like a lot it was easy because I’ve started planning early and wasn’t financially pressured either.
“For every minute spent organising, an hour is earned.” - Benjamin Franklin
Lots of love, B