There are 10 minutes left until the guests arrive, and you’re not quite set up. Now you think that maybe this wasn’t a good idea.
Hosting and planning parties can be stressful—but it doesn’t have to be that way—party preparation should be exciting.
It’s a party, after all.
And one of the ways to ensure the guests have a good time is to be a host who is relaxed and having fun.
Maybe you’re wondering, “What is the best way to prepare for a party?”
Luckily, we’re here to give you a few pointers that will help you enjoy your party planning as much as you get a kick out of watching your guests have a good time.
10 Pro Tips for a Stress-Free Party Preparation
From the guest list to entertainment, party preparation will run smoother with a well thought out plan. What this means for you is less stress.
1. Start Party Preparation Early
It might be obvious that good organization is the best way to prepare for a party. However, the key is to give yourself time to brainstorm.
Getting organized is easier when you give yourself time to look at the big picture. Then you can break it down into bite-sized tasks to get everything accomplished on a timeline.
Trying to throw things together at the last minute rarely works, and it’s not the way to be stress-free.
Also, depending on the size of the celebration, you may want to start a couple of months in advance. Events such as weddings and 50th-anniversary celebrations could have a lot of variables.
2. Make a Master To-do List
After you’ve reviewed the big picture, make a master to-do list.
Here are some basic items to include:
- Guest List
3. Plan the Theme
If it’s a holiday party, themes like ghosts, witches, Santa Claus, and fall-inspired decorations come naturally.
However, you can and should choose a party theme for your party regardless because it gives you a base for inspiration.
Food, music, decorations, and drinks can all revolve around a theme. Even a simple cocktail party can have a fun theme. Try a Sangria inspired brunch for a unique twist.
4. Safety First
We all have that friend (or friends) who overindulge. The thing is, we want them at our party, but we don’t want to worry about them when it’s time to go home.
Ease the stress and plan what to do ahead of time if someone drinks too much. You can appoint a designated driver.
Plus, it never hurts to have a place for a few guests to sleep over if needed.
5. Send out Evites
Now that you have all the pieces in place, you can send out the invitations. Ideally, they’ll go out a couple of weeks before the event so your guests have time to make plans.
If you’re going old-school and using snail mail, then get those invitations to the post office as soon as possible. Don’t forget to ask guests to RSVP, so you’ll have a headcount.
Alternatively, you can use an online service such as Evite and send out electronic invitations. This is a quick and convenient way to get those RSVPs.
One more consideration that will save you tons of stress, in the long run, Make sure you find out if your guests have any food allergies when they RSVP.
6. Take the Party on the Road
You could take all the stress out of your party planning and rent a party bus. Pick a destination, tour the town, go barhopping at popular breweries, a party bus is a fun and safe way to have a stress free good time.
7. Get Some Help
Here’s the thing, even if you throw the shindig at your house or rent a space, you can always get some help to reduce your stress as a solo host.
Help can come in many forms. You may choose to do most of the work yourself, but have the food catered. Alternatively, you can enlist family members and friends to co-host and help clean up afterward.
8. Keep it Simple
If you decide to save money and make the food yourself, you’ll reduce the stress by doing as much prep as possible ahead of time.
Premake all your desserts and appetizers, so they’re ready to go.
Not only that, but you can make some entrees beforehand (like lasagna, for example), then bake or heat it up the day of the party.
Think of the time you’ll save.
You may decide that finger foods are the best choice. If there are kids around, kid-friendly finger foods are always a hit.
9. Treat Yourself to a Spa Day
Or at least buy a new outfit, do your nails, and take a long hot bubble bath. One sure-fire way to feel good on the day of your party is to look great.
Not only that, planning your day of beauty as you prep for the event is bound to make the whole thing less stressful because you know you’ll get that little break before the big day.
10. Set-up Early in the Day or the Day Before
Finally, it’s essential to get as much set-up as early as possible.
You’ll want to stage areas for entertainment, food, and a space to mingle and dance. Arrange the furniture in various rooms for a variety of comfortable spots to sit and chat.
It’s nice to set up a separate area for the kids as well. You can put together a game table, set-up a video game area, and even have outdoor activities ready to go.
Additionally, prep the food and drinks and set up all of the dishes and utensils. And apply all the finishing touches on the decorations.
Then give yourself an hour or two to primp and relax before your guests arrive. You’ll feel revived and ready to go.
Let’s Get This Party Started
Are you ready to have some fun with party preparation? Hopefully, you’re feeling inspired. Whether it’s a small gathering of friends or an event for hundreds, the best way to prepare for a party is getting an early start and forming a plan.
What are your favorite stress-reducing ideas for party planning? Let us know in the comments below.