The Spoiled Mummy’s Top 5 Essential Party Planning Tips for Busy Moms :
1. Set a theme and work around it. Having a theme in mind helps you put your ideas together in a more creative and efficient way. Your party’s theme is the BIG idea and everything else will revolve around it.
For example, if your son is into sports and he wants a basketball themed party, the venue you will choose, the menu you will come up with and the loot bags you will give away must all be related to that basketball or sports theme.
The venue can be any outdoor playground or a basketball court in a park or even your own backyard or garden. The menu can include the typical food you eat when watching a sports game : hotdog in a bun, burger and fries, pizza, lemonade and ice cream sundae. The giveaway bag can contain a sports medal, a customized water bottle or a real basketball to all the kids who came and played.
(Click here to read about this homemade Basketball party in full.)
More important than anything, the theme of the party should of course be relevant to the celebrant. Don’t pick a theme just because you found it cute in a website or in someone else’s party or because your party planner suggested it (because it is the easiest and most convenient for her). Remember: Choose a theme that your child will enjoy and remember as something special when he / she looks back on it later on.
A good example is this photo above from one of my toddler’s birthday parties. He has always been into superheroes and has always been fond of wearing his costumes even when he is just at home. So for his 5th birthday party, he asked all his friends to come in their favorite costumes too! This opportunity gave him another reason to wear one of his favorite superhero outfits once again.
(Click here to read about this Superhero’s DIY party in full.)
2. Set a schedule for everything and stick to it. Having a date in mind for every task gives you the right perspective in planning and helps you get around your busy schedule. Because all Mummies are very busy (whether you are a work at home mom, a housewife or a career woman), sticking to a schedule is definitely of prime importance.
When planning a party, set deadlines not just for yourself but for the suppliers you are working with as well. Then, work backwards from the date of your party to day one of your planning schedule.
Photo above is taken from my daughter’s 1st birthday party. This party had a French Carnival for its theme. The details were too many and too elaborate that it took me more than three months to prepare for this celebration! From the venue, to the table centerpieces made of paper mache single-horse carousel, to the dessert spread and giveaways, every single thing was meticulously prepared for way in advance.
(Click here to read about this French Carnival birthday party in full.)
3. Organize. Keeping all your thoughts, ideas and meetings down to your materials and supplies organized will help you work more efficiently and make use of your time more productively. Being organized keeps you on your toes and relieves you of unnecessary stress and pressure.
For instance: Organize all your party materials beforehand, and leave instructions with your staff or whoever is willing to help (yayas perhaps? or your hired party planner – if you have one), on what to buy and prepare for days in advance and what and how to set it up on the day or morning of the party itself.
In my case, as much as is possible, I try to prepare well in advance because I don’t really like working too close to the date. I am not a big fan of time pressure myself! I prefer to be relaxed and worry-free as the date draws near. Undue stress happens when mishaps occur and you realize that these things could have been prevented or avoided if only you had enough time or you worked on it earlier.
Being organized is actually the key to stress-free planning!
4. Delegate. As much as you would like to do everything on your own, it is just not possible. You have to admit to yourself that you can’t do it all because there are only 24 hours in a day. Amongst other things, you are first and foremost a mom who has to take care of her kids, a wife who has to be supportive of her husband (date nights without the kids is a must) and a manager of the household too (yaya issues anyone?) All these aside from your own personal business – a work at home mom, a budding entrepreneur or a career woman in the corporate world — show that indeed we have so many things going on around us and our plates are always full!
So in party planning, learn how to delegate. Identify which tasks need your utmost attention first (invitation details and giveaways, perhaps?) and which other things can be delegated to people around you who are willing to help. Maybe your husband can help in selecting the menu? Maybe your sister can help with the RSVP (since she knows your guests, too) and perhaps your best friend can help with the flowers, just because she is that one creative friend everybody is lucky to have.
Photo above shows one example of a simple and yet elegant table centerpiece I used, this time for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party. The party had a Vintage Ice Cream Shoppe for its theme. These are Ice Cream waffle cones made of printed paper placed inside clear glasses with one flower each. Something like this is very easy to do and can be done by just anybody! Not to mention that this is very practical and cost effective too!
(Click here to read about this Ice Cream Shoppe birthday party in full.)
5. Relax and enjoy the party. This is the last but the most important tip of all. There is nothing worse than seeing a host all stressed and uptight during her own party. The mood of the host will definitely affect the guests and everything else in general. The host should try to be stress-free as early as the day before her event. She should be given enough time to look good and feel good. After all, she has done all that she could to prepare for all the other details of the party. The most important detail, which is taking care of herself, should not be forgotten. The party is her actual reward for all the hard work she has put in from day one of planning.
By the time the guests start arriving, the host should be relaxed and confident. This is the moment she has been preparing for and since it’s finally here, she should simply enjoy it with her guests. This is the time the host can finally let loose and let the most important person in the party – herself, to shine!!
Even dads should let loose and enjoy the party too!