How To Pick & Plan A Birthday Theme

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This How To Plan A Party post is courtesy of our contributor KatePicking a theme is without a doubt my favorite part of the planning process. It can also be a very stressful time for a parent, spouse, or friend; especially when you feel like you are left with little to no ideas for throwing together a party! So how can you eliminate that stress, and pull together an amazing party?

How To Plan A Party

How To Plan A Party – T.H.E.M.E. Method:

First and most important note, think. Who is the party being created for?

Use the simple T.H.E.M.E word below to choose something suited to your event.

T – Top five things that remind you of the guest of honor

I suggest starting with hobbies, interests, toys, movies, books, locations, and people that inspire. Write down the top five things that you know are going to not only capture this person, but be easily molded into a party. Write your preference from these five options in order 1-5.

H –  Help yourself by having a list

Writing down your ideas helps keep everything in perspective. Try not to purchase any supplies or spend money until you have these items sorted (This order is VERY helpful)!

a.      Budget

b.      Must have party essentials (date, venue, guests)

c.       Date & Time

d.      Other (entertainment, foods, decor)

E – Entertainment

The most essential part of any party is making your guests interact. Whether it be four year old playing lawn games, or a wine tasting event for your colleagues; entertainment is important! You have narrowed down your top 5 theme choices, and made a list of essential party items to get your creative juices flowing. Now you must use these theme ideas to inspire something to keep your guests entertained. This may help narrow down your theme choice. Here are a few examples

Scenario. My eight year old daughter is celebrating her birthday. She goes to her soccer practice then goes to her friend’s house where they do homework and host fashion shows! When she gets home she listens to her favorite bands, and sings at the top of her lungs! She wears bright yellow clothes, jewelry, and shoes everywhere she goes. She absolutely would love to travel the world. She dreams of a vacation in London. What are some ideas for a theme?

1. Soccer Theme (pylon & soccer kick relay, decorate a soccer ball)

2. Music Theme (contact a performer, have your guests sing or perform a song of choice, music trivia)

3. Makeup & Fashion Theme (simple makeup kits, before and after photos, dress up station, professional makeup artist demo)

4. Yellow Color Theme (create a painting, create a necklace using party color)

5. London Theme (have guests create a London phone booth, make postcards, create a British dessert using certain ingredients)

By simply using your guest of honors favorite life inspiration, you can easily pull together entertainment to keep your guests interacting and having fun!

M – Memorable Parties

The best and most memorable parties are the ones that happen naturally. Asking your guests to travel three hours out of the way so that you can throw a birthday, or hiring a harp player to play for your guests as they walk in. Sometimes, it’s just best to keep it simple. Functional (well planned) parties leave little to no surprises and you can actually relax with your guests! Now that you have a list, organizing your thoughts, you can plan the rest of your party. Start with these items:

a. Entertainment: You have already tackled the most important factor of your party, good work! Now your final items!

b. Food: Food does not need to be complicated! Now that you have your theme (and guest count); you can plan enough food for your event. Below you will see a scenario on how to plan your menu.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to make it known on your invitations that your event will or will not have food. This way guests can prepare.

Answer these questions when choosing foods:

1) How many guests & how long is your event? If you have an unconfirmed guest list, do what you can to “guesstimate” how many people you think will be arriving. Too much is better than too little, but you must ALWAYS consider the time of day that you are having guests. If you choose a party time that is near regular meal hours, be sure to feed your friends!

2) Sweet & Sour: For my guests, I like to provide 1-2 varieties each of something sweet and savory (made for x amount of people). Use your theme to draw inspiration!

Scenario: I am hosting my sister in laws baby shower in a few weeks time and I am unsure what to feed the guests. The theme is “tea and see”.

a. Tea –Use your theme and serve your theme! Tea is perfect and cute for baby showers; it can be served hot, cold and is cost effective!

b. “See”-Refers to the mother revealing the sex of the baby. Use neutral tones throughout your foods (example: yellow or green icing on cupcakes).

3) Who are you serving? Make sure that your dishes are age appropriate, but also easy for guests to eat. I love finger foods and small individual portions for the simple fact that it is simply easy for your guests to grab and go.

E – Examine the essentials of your party

You have tackled the tricky parts of planning a themed event. Now all you need to do is examine your work with a fine comb. There are many small and simple things that we can overlook. This is why we write all things down. These are some small essentials.

Take your original list and figure out what still needs to be done:

a. Budget

b. Must have party essentials (date, venue, guests)

c. Date & Time

d. Other (entertainment, foods, decor)

Ask yourself these questions:

Did you go through all of these essential party keys. Do you have a confirmed guest count, food, venue and everything in between listed and organized. Make sure you remember serve ware!

Revisit your list and keep cool!

We’d like to send a big thank you to Katelyn for sharing these helpful tips with us. You can find Katelyn styling beautiful parties over on Events By Kate. Be sure to follow her on Facebook and Pinterest for even more creative ideas!

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