Party Planning - In Action

You may have already spotted a few posts where I'm planning for Lily's fifth birthday in September. I'd originally thought about having a fairytale theme for the party but then we watched Moana and Lily asked for a Moana party.

Last year I wrote a post about how I plan events. I'm not a professional 'party planner' but have many years experience in planning both personal parties and larger scale corporate events. Following on from that post, I though I'd give you a glimpse into my plans in action.

I'm attempting to keep the whole event at under £200. That's party decor, food, cake, entertainment and party bags for less than £10 a head. In order to make sure I don't get too excited and splash out I've created a particularly detailed spreadsheet.

Under a 'planning and pricing' tab I record each item I would like to purchase, the details, the supplier (with hyperlink to product), quantity, cost and total cost. I make sure that I include every single purchase on this, allowing me to keep track of spending accurately.

On another tab I have started compiling the guest list, it's far too early to send out invitations but it's never too early to get an idea of who will be coming as this informs decisions on activities and party bags.

I'm still looking at possible venues. I loved our local library which we used last year for Lily's 4th birthday. At only £20 for the afternoon it is undoubtedly the cheapest venue but is also modern, bright and airy which suits the theme.

However, I am concerned it may be too small for 24 children, especially with the entertainment I have planned.

I always look at invitations and stationery design early. It helps me with confirming the theme and colour scheme in my head and gives me a template for the rest of the event.

As well as the invitations themselves I also set up a Facebook event page for tracking guests and RSVPs. This year, I may have gone a little over the top with a short Animoto video for inviting people online (watch this space).

Food and Drink
I try to keep things simple when it comes to children's parties. I'm planning on providing a traditional party buffet with lots and lots of cake to keep both the children and adults happy.

In addition to all the usual party games I really love the idea of having an entertainer or dance instructor visit and teach the children a short dance routine to one of the great songs from the soundtrack. This would take up a huge chunk of the budget though and so I'm hoping my sister or some friends may be able to step in and help out!

Decor and Setting
This will depend on the venue decision but I have started on ideas for a feature table. I loved the balloon arch I made last year and it was so much easier than I thought it would be and so this year I'm going bigger and (hopefully) better!

For everything else I'll be keeping things simple - no sticking items on the walls at any of the venues I'm currently considering and no dangling things from the ceiling. I'm hoping that a fabulous feature table and fun table settings will help carry off the theme.

This party essential always stresses me out but I'm desperate to make as many of the kids cakes myself. I love baking but the decoration is challenging - but if I don't try I won't get better right?

Party Bags and Favours
I'll be handing out these gorgeous leis when guests arrive. They're a bargain purchase from dotcomgiftshop as they're currently only £2.95 for a pack of 6! I've already bought 4 packs and am so impressed I'm likely to go back for more. Guests can wear them during the party and take them home with them at the end. I'm also going to fill some simple kraft paper bags with bubbles, sweets and cake before decorating them with a frangipani flower and a bespoke 'thank you' sticker.

So, those are my plans and at this stage in the process there isn't much to do until I have confirmed the venue. Once that is done I can confirm numbers and rope in an unsuspecting family member or friend to take care of entertaining the children!

At this stage all the ideas are in place and it's a matter of tying up some loose ends before putting everything into action in August. If you pop back soon, I'll have more party planning posts for you to read. In the meantime, you can check out previous posts below.
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