Staten Islanders love to celebrate the important benchmarks in life– from birthdays to religious events, to graduations and milestone events such as weddings, engagements and sweet sixteens. Spring is inherently the season for First Holy Communion and Graduation parties, but when you add in the other festive events, there seems to be party after party every weekend until summer barbeque season arrives.
While each occasion is unique, the common thread linking social engagements of all sizes is the need to plan.
Event planners are certainly a unique breed of organized individuals, but everyday hosts and hostesses can borrow from planners’ tried-and-true techniques to help parties run smoothly from start to finish.
Begin with the Venue
A great party starts with a good venue. In fact, the right venue can make a party, while the wrong one can break it. Consider the type of event and the size of the guest list when shopping for a venue. If the goal is to provide guests with an intimate setting to mingle, avoid large spaces. If you want guests to dance and plan to provide additional entertainment options, choose a venue that has a dance floor and/or a stage.
Size is not the only thing to consider when choosing a venue. The location of a venue is important as well. The venue should be easily accessible to guests and convenient for guests traveling by car and public transportation. Have a contingency plan if the venue is outdoors and weather may interrupt the festivities.
Remember, the venue is the foundation upon which the rest of the party will be situated, so take extra time to find the right party spot. As soon as you have a date pinned down, reserve the venue. There are a finite number of places on Staten Island, so book early to avoid being disappointed.
Make a Checklist
Take some time to jot down a list of what will need to be done for the party. Relying on your memory alone is not sufficient, as you’re bound to forget some details as the party draws nearer.
Purchase a planner to help you keep track of details and payment deadlines. Store receipts in your planner, and keep it with you at all times so you can jot down ideas as they come to you. Don’t just jot down the things to do. Assign specific deadlines to each task so you will stay on track.
Get Help When You Need It
It’s easy for hosts and hostesses to feel overwhelmed when planning a party. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you begin to feel overwhelmed. Delegate tasks based on your helpers’ talents and experience. Catered food is ideal for those who do not like to cook. If a friend is crafty, put him or her in charge of decorations or the layout of the venue. If the budget allows, hire professionals to create the right ambiance for the party. Store-bought supplies are shortcuts that can keep you on schedule. The more help you have, the less stressful the planning can feel.
Focus on Food and Entertainment
When guests walk away from a party, their thoughts tend to linger on food and fun. Spend time planning the menu and testing foods that will be served, and hire entertainment that suits the mood you are aiming to create. If there will be children at the party, consider some entertainment or activities targeting their age group. A dedicated crafts or coloring table can keep the kids busy while they are waiting for food to be served. It’s also a great ice-breaker to meet other children attending the party.
The Take Away
Party favors add a nice touch for guests exiting the event. Gone are the days of tchotchkes that just collect dust, though. Special desserts to take home, bottles of wine, or useful items that tie into the party theme have become increasingly popular. Check Pinterest for cool ideas and let’s get this party started!
Need help getting started? Click here to check out our Party Planning Directory!