One of the many mom talents that strengthen over time is the ability to party plan.
All moms envision providing their little ones with the most entertaining, exciting, and memorable birthday party they’ve ever experienced.
Yet, planning can come with a lot of self-induced pressure and anxiety. I’ve always enjoyed party planning and have learned that you don’t have to be an event planner extraordinaire to plan a next-level party!
I follow these key strategies that make party planning stress free and fun.
Start Planning Early
Early planning ensures that you secure the location you want to invite guests with enough lead time and spare yourself the stress of pulling everything together last minute. These key milestones keep me on track.
- 4-6 months out – It’s time to start brainstorming. Begin thinking about the theme, a potential location, a bakery for the cake, party décor, gift bag ideas, etc. Start a Pinterest board or capture notes with all of your brilliant ideas.
- 3 months out – If your party will be in a public location book the event space. Places fill up fast, so consider having a few date options available.
- 2 months out – A party isn’t a party without friends and family. Now is the time to send invites. If you’d like customized items or food, place that order now as well.
- 1 month out – Buy everything else you will need and confirm the guest list.
Lean into your child’s interests
If your kids are anything like mine, their interest changes with the seasons. My goal with every birthday party for my children is to make it relevant to their current interests. The theme, location, décor, and even gifts align with their interest. When my eldest son was into trains, we visited Blue Ridge Scenic Railway to celebrate him. My youngest son loved water and ocean animals, so his birthday was hosted at Seacrest in Stonecrest Mall and he got a beta fish as a gift. While this alignment is always 100%, I recognize their excitement when the party deeply connects to them.
Capture the Moment
It’s so easy and natural to get caught up in the moment and chaos of a birthday party. 10 years from now, you and your little one will want to relive the day. Be sure to make time to take pictures of the day. Or ask a partner, friend, or family member to take pictures for you.
Don’t Sweat it
The most important rule of thumb is to enjoy yourself. Keep your child in focus and do what you are able to do. Resist the urge to add unneeded pressure. In fact, you don’t even have to have a party at all! Some years, my kids have celebrated from the comfort of our home with a homemade cake and with their immediate family. And they had the best time. As long as you pour out love and celebrate your child, they will appreciate and enjoy the celebration.