I thought it was fitting we talk about the initial planning for B's first birthday party as "first steps."
Get it? Since the little guy will be taking his first steps any day now??
Ok, all jokes (even bad ones) aside, we want to do some groundwork weeks prior to the party to help make the day as enjoyable as possible. The classic starters for planning are: date, venue, theme and budget.
Themes are a fun way to make events special.
As mentioned in the first blog post of this Just for Fun series, inspiration for B's first birthday party came from his Halloween costume. Since he likes to "roar" at everything from his toys to his friends at daycare, a prehistoric dinosaur theme was perfect for the party.
Planning a party for an adult?
Or perhaps you are planning a work party? It's easy to choose a theme for a kid party, but not always so easy to select a sophisticated theme for a party honoring an adult. This article on MarthaStewart.com shares party themes that aren't your average cartoon character or animal theme.
With the theme, guest list and preferred date in mind, a multipurpose room within the community center was booked as B's birthday party venue.
ESPE TIP: Negotiate a better venue rental price by booking multiple events at once. We were able to get the tear-down time for free by inquiring of the space for a future work event. The venue saw the potential for future revenue and offered us a deal for B's birthday party rental. (Savings of $20.00)
Once the fixed cost of the venue was set, I created a budget to help keep myself on track for those future purchases of event decor, party favors and food.
Timing for a smaller event such as a birthday party varies a bit by the time of year the party will take place as well as the personal preference of the planner.
Below is my guideline for the initial phase I used for planning B's first birthday party during the holiday season.
8 WEEKS OUT:
- Book venue
- Select theme
- Create guest list
- Send Evite (4 weeks out if not during busy holiday season)
- Begin bargain shopping
- Start those DIY activity projects
Check back for the next ESPEevent post which will share tips to save money on your party purchases.