Steal and Splurge
Most Embarrassing Moments
Top 5 Pictures
I've shared about the kid parties I've thrown in THIS post, and I talked all about Ari's 5th birthday HERE, and Trip's 7th birthday HERE. I love to plan a party and enjoy hosting friends and family in my home, but as much as I love to make things perfect, I sometimes go a little nuts and can't wait for it to be over. Here are some of my tips for hosting parties big and small:
If I'm having a casual brunch, lunch, or dinner, I like to use Paperless Post to email out invites. In this day in age, I've found that a lot of people from my generation are incapable of responding to a paper invite which is very unfortunate. If I need a super easy invite, I create an event in Facebook because it'll bug the invitees about the party to get a response! Ha!
When I want a beautiful paper invitation but don't want to pay a lot of money, I use PowerPoint, Pinterest, Google Images, and free font websites like 1001 Fonts. I print the invites on cardstock and use colored or specialty envelopes from Hobby Lobby. I appreciate a physical invitation- it's definitely a lost art that I want to see make a comeback!
2) Theme Parties
3) DIY vs. Sanity
If you hate planning and hosting, outsourcing decorations and food may be a good call for you! If you love to plan but your wallet doesn't appreciate your love to party, then DIY-ing might be a good fit for you. I like to do some custom decorations that can be gifted to the lady of honor so what I have in my head might not be something I can search and find online to buy. Also, half the time, something I want to have at the party is cheaper for me to make than to buy online. For example, a burlap banner will run you $16+ on Etsy, but you can make and customize your own banner for about $5.
Stores like Dollar Tree, Five Below, and Target have tissue poms, paper garlands, and felt decorations quite cheap. I've made a bunch of poms by hand, but the older I get and the less time I have on my hands, the more I'm willing to purchase pre-made decorations and mix and match it to my liking.
4) Re-purpose Decorations
I have a holiday closet where I store holiday and party decorations. Once I've taken the time to either make decorations by hand or spend money to purchase pre-made decor, I want to use the decorations again. When I've had a pink party, I re-use the decorations for Valentine's Day. My friend's superhero shower left me with decorations that I was able to re-purpose for Trip's Olympic birthday party. So, unless your decorations are super specific, hang on to them- you'll probably be able to use them again soon!
To save money, I usually cook and bake everything, so I spend a LOT of time planning the menu. I scour my Pinterest boards and hit up friends at school for ideas and recipes to develop a menu. Once I have my menu planned, I make a grocery list with every ingredient needed. I also plan out what platters, bowls, and plates will be used for each food.
Then, I make a timeline. I list out everything that needs to be accomplished starting a few days before the party. For the day of, I have a list with to-dos by time so I can ensure that each dish gets cooked and warmed as close to guests' arrival as possible. Lately, I've come to the conclusion that I do best when we clean the house and set the tables the night before. Then, we head out to dinner so we don't have to do any extra dishes or extra clean-up.
Did you notice that I didn't have any pictures during the parties? That is one of my biggest regrets! I usually get so wrapped up in hosting and hanging out with friends that I forget to take pictures! Maybe I'll make that next year's New Year's resolution! What are your top party hosting tips? Tell me in the comments below, and make sure you stop by my Tuesday Training post from this morning! I'll see you back here tomorrow for the What's Up Wednesday link-up. See you soon!