Party Planning 101: Where to Start as a Beginner

Monday, February 17, 2020


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Event Planning Checklist, event planning business, event planner, event planning for beginners, event planning ideas, party planning, party planning ideas

Hosting a party is a big task to take on and shouldn’t be a decision made lightly. However, by choosing to host, you have creative control and it can be a lot of fun. As someone who has made a career out of event planning, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way that I want to share with you in hopes that it will make your event run a little smoother.


Anything from a Homely Happy Hour to a big Birthday Bash or wedding will consist of a lot of the same steps; some more dramatic than others, obviously. From having the perfect location down to the napkin décor; you want this to be a day to remember for all of the right reasons.

Because of this, you need to ensure you plan everything effectively. If you sit down, make a proper plan, and think logistics from the get-go and make a proper plan then you will be able to ensure that everything is perfect. Nonetheless, finding a starting point can be the most difficult point of the process when you start thinking about all that will need to be done. Don’t panic before the planning even begins, sis.

Pick a concept and gather ideas

Event Planning Checklist, event planning business, event planner, event planning for beginners, event planning ideas, party planning, party planning ideas


What do you want to host? How many people do you anticipate attending? Is there a purpose? What is your budget? These are just a few questions to consider to get a few of your logistics in place and to start scaling your needs.

Pinterest is an awesome spot for inspiration. This can help you figure out what you may or may not be capable of. However, beware of Pinterest Perfection syndrome. Don’t let perfect Pinterest boards scare you away. Use Pinterest as a tool, not as a competitor. So what if your craft doesn’t come out as cute as the blog you found it on. No one will even notice. They will just notice the effort you put into it.

Write down a guest list...

You need to make sure you write down a guest list so that you have a good idea regarding the number of people who are going to turn up. This is important because it will ensure that you get the right-sized venue, amount of food, and anything else your event will consist of.

Don’t let your guest list overwhelm you. If you only want thirty people but have about 75 people to invite, that is OKAY! Typically, of the people you invite, half the people will say they’re coming and then half of those that RSVP’d YES will actually show up. Puts you right back at about your magic number.

Pro tip: Don’t take it personally if someone can’t come. People are busy.

Decide on a location...

Event Planning Checklist, event planning business, event planner, event planning for beginners, event planning ideas, party planning, party planning ideas


The very next thing you need to do when planning any event is to decide where you are going to have it hosted. More often than not, if you’re planning something on your own it is usually an intimate gathering between family and close friends. Therefore it is unlikely that you are going to want to rent out a big hall.

A lot of people decide to book a table at a restaurant. In a lot of restaurants, they have a part sectioned off for events such so it might be worth considering. This will get you out of your house and you will have your own space for your guests, but you won’t need to rent out an entire venue.

However, having an event in your home can provide a more casual feel and a sense of home for your guests to celebrate. Cater to the seasons if this is the case. If your gathering is taking place during the summer then you may want to have a barbecue. Or maybe rent out a fire pit for guests to mingle outside in the winter months.

Catering...

Once you have decided, where, you can start talking about the good stuff. FOOD! Yum. What are you serving your guests? Is it a potluck? Are you hiring a caterer?

If you are booking a table at a restaurant then you will be able to sort out the food with them. You will want to make sure there is an array of options to fit most dietary concerns and some cravings from artisanal pretzels to cupcakes.

If you are having the event at your place then you will have to take care of the food yourself. It is up to you whether you hire an outside catering company or you buy food and prepare it yourself. Hiring a caterer is obviously more convenient yet the latter is more cost-efficient.

These are the basic concepts I would start with when it comes to party planning. Doing things with intention will help you have the best gathering ever and your guests will appreciate the opportunity to gather, regardless of the food, venue, or guest list. Have fun and happy planning.

Check out some of my other event planning guides below for more fine line details.

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Event Planning Checklist, event planning business, event planner, event planning for beginners, event planning ideas, party planning, party planning ideas

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