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Make Your Party an 'Affair to Remember'
When putting forth time, effort and expense to throw a party in honor of a special occasion, some planning and creativity can make the event an "Affair to Remember" rather than just another party. Creating an "Affair to Remember" is all about details, it's the attention to detail that will turn your party into an extra special event that will be remembered and talked about for years to come.
1. What is the party for or who's the party for? Remember a child's birthday party should be quite different from a 50th Anniversary party or a corporate party.
2. What is your budget? Establish your budget even before you create the guest list. The amount you are going to spend may dictate how many guests you are able to invite.
3. Who will be invited? Family members, friends, business associates, are the guests primarily children, older adults, teens...these are important to establish before selecting the location and overall theme for your party.
4. What time of day will the party take place? This is important since the time of day will dictate the type of food you need to plan to serve. If the party is taking place over a regular mealtime then you need to plan on serving food that will feed your guests accordingly.
5. Stay Organized. A planner or notebook will be one of your most useful tools and will keep you organized at the same time. Organize your notes into sections beginning with a Timeline section, then include sections for Food and Beverages, Flowers and/or Decorations, Party Favors, Invitations, Entertainment, Table Settings, Colors with color swatches tucked into your book for easy reference. Guest List, Gifts, Party Clothes (include what you plan to wear and don't forget to include accessories); Photography/Video graphy; and a Who is Handling What section with phone numbers and/or email addresses for fast and easy reference.
6. Set a date. If this party is for a birthday, graduation, anniversary then you will want to have the party as close to the actual date as possible keeping in mind that holidays may conflict. Remember if you are planning on having the party anywhere other than your own home you need to reserve your location first.
7. Decide on a theme for your party. If the honoree has a passion for baseball, old movies, all things Parisian or the color red then you already have your theme established. For a corporate party use an "Open House" theme or "Thank You for Your Business" or a business anniversary parts.
8. Food and Beverages. The location, theme and time of your party will offer some of the food and beverage guidelines. Whether the party is a sit-down dinner, buffet, desserts only or canapes to be passed on trays are all things you need to decide with your caterer or food service provider. If guests are mostly youngsters then pizza, hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, sloppyjoes, pop corn, ice cream sundaes and things kids love to eat are all appropriate. Choose varied options so that guests with special diets and food allergies will have food choices as well.
9. Photography/Videography. Meet with your photographer/video grapher and create a list of all the people and events you want images of at the party. Don't forget the group shots you will want to include as well as informal shots of guests and he guest of honor. Be sure the photographer/videographer knows what your budget is. You may also want to place single use cameras on each guest table so that your guests can take informal shots throughout the party. This will give you plenty of photos have to send one out to each guest after the party.
10. Flowers/Decorations. Meet with your florist and/or centerpiece designer to discuss they type of arrangements you want for each table, the head table, if you need any corsages or boutonnieres. The centerpieces and decorations should carry out your overall theme and color scheme. Be sure to provide color swatches for your designer so they can incorporate the same color and/or complimentary colors in the centerpieces. It is also important that your centerpiece designer know the size of each table, see the room where the party will be held and let them offer additional suggestions for creating a special and festive atmosphere.
11. Party Favors. Favors are not just for kids there are choices for every age. Once again keep in mind your overall theme in selecting your party favors. Party favors are a wonderful way for all of your guests to take home a memento of your special "Affair to Remember." Party favors can also serve a dual purpose at your party, if personalized with each guests name they can serve as a place card as well as a party favor to take home. Personalized candy bars, mini photo frames, cookies, chop sticks, tea tins, bookmarks, coasters, votive candles, sunglasses, luggage tags, charms, mini puzzles, measuring spoons, playing cards, bottle stoppers, Christmas ornaments, golf balls, flower seed packets, mini flower pots, paperweights, crystal baby shoes, cufflinks, key chains, bottle openers, sachets, cookie cutters, pens, cosmetic bags, CD'S, photo albums, mini salt and pepper shakers, notepads, special soaps, mini porcelain boxes, jewelry boxes, golf tees, mini clocks, magnets, shot glasses, mini pumpkins, compacts, money clips, change purses, mini baskets with candies, note cards, mini vases, mini topiaries, letter openers, magnifying glasses, mini books and so on. Let your imagination and your party theme provide creative ideas for your personal party favors. The more personality creativity and uniqueness you add to your party is the more your guests will remember it as an "Affair to Remember."
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