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Decision #2 – When?

This decision can really make or break a party, and you have to think about the WHEN in terms of both a date and a time – so lets look at each of these in turn.

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Lets talk dates first –

Thinking about the date of the party isn’t just about when is best for you, for the venue etc… – you also need to think about whether people are likely to be away (if its a bank holiday, or in the school holidays etc….), and try and ensure you will have the most people possible being able to come.

If you are holding a Christmas party and you want to have it on a special day close to the time, then you want to be organising invitations asap so that people are more likely to still be free – as people tend to get booked up quickly at certain times of the year.

The last thing you want is a party that no-one can actually come to because the date isn’t great!

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Then think about time-

Timing is crucial for a party – having more of an idea of what the party will be and who will be coming will help you to determine the right time for the party.

Also worth considering is how long the party will be as well – always best to have a start and finish time in mind as then guests will be more aware of whats expected, they can organise transport or babysitters, and you won’t have the issue of asking people to go at the end! You can also ensure that you have enough time to do whatever you are planning at the party as well (i.e. eating, entertainment etc..)

Some options would be:-

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Decision #3 – Budget

Of course – you may have very grand ideas for what you want, and where you want to hold it – but knowing your budget will help you to make decisions more easily, and count things in or out depending on what they cost.

Give yourself a budget for the overall party, and then split into things like venue, food, entertainment, drinks etc….. and remember to STICK TO IT.

Whatever the budget you have, you can make a party amazing – and you can be more creative on less budget as well.

Some ways to save money are as follows:-

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Decision #4 – Venue

Picking a venue will be important as you need to ensure it’s available when you want to have the party, and that it is suitable for the type of party and the number of guests you want to invite.

Think about how many guests you are having, what the weather is likely to be like, what facilities you may need, what entertainment you may have etc…. – and of course your budget.

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Decision #5 – Guest list

Next is pulling together a guest list – so brainstorm who you would like to invite, and then work from there.

It may be that you have the perfect amount of people for the party you have in mind, but you may well have to cut down on people as well.

Think about who knows who – are their groups of people that work well together, people you have been dying to get together as you think they would gel well, or equally there may be people that you know that don’t get on at all. Knowing how people work together will help you create a fantastic party environment – the last thing you want is for an argument to happen halfway through the party.

For example:-

If you are having a small dinner party then you will want to make sure that everyone gets on – otherwise it will be a long night!

It may be that you have to limit children at a kids party because the venue cannot hold more than a certain number – and you have to factor in parents as well!

TIP – Ensure invitations are very specific – especially if you want your guests to bring / do anything for the party. (i.e. dress up, bring a bottle, bring a game etc…). Also ensure that you ask people to RSVP by a certain date – and keep a list of who you have invited, and who has replied – so you are sure of numbers etc…

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Decision #6 – Pick a theme

Themes can be very in your face and obvious, or more subtle. But sometimes they are great to get everyone in the party mood!

What about a simple theme like getting everyone to dress up in a certain colour, or genre, or style – or have the venue set up asa theme, or have the food as the theme i.e. Italian/cocktails/Mexican, the entertainment i.e. casino night, karaoke etc….

Whether you go big or small in your theme, make sure you have thought about it, as then your decision making will be easier.

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Decision #7 – Food and drink


Think about food – will you or won’t you have this – is the party timed correctly so that your guests will be hungry?! It sounds obvious but if it starts at say 8pm then a lot of guests may assume they need to eat first – so your time and money may be wasted if you have a huge buffet on offer.

Also – having a childrens party between 1 and 3 may not be ideal if you have food – as children tend to want to eat earlier for lunch and later for tea – so you may again have a lot of food uneaten which wouldn’t be a sensible use of your budget.

Its also really important to know if any of your guests have allergies or food likes and dislikes so you can ensure there are some choices for everyone.

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Having enough drinks available is key to a good party – whether it be juice at a kids party, or alcohol at a cocktail party.

Think about what types of drinks will be needed, and try to cater for everyone – i.e. for a cocktail party you will have some people not drinking so you need to consider some great non alcoholic alternatives for those people so they don’t get left out.

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Decision #8 – Party supplies

Every party will need supplies – whether it be decorations, items for the table (plates, cutlery, napkins etc….), party poppers, streamers and balloons, banners, party favours, party bags, themed items etc…. – the list really is endless.

As with everything, it is too easy to go overboard if you’re not careful – so stick to a budget, plan out the essentials, and hunt around for a bargain – but ensure that the venue looks as good as you can, and that you have all you need for people to eat, drink and be merry!

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Decision #9 – Entertainment

It’s easy to think about making the venue look great, and having food available for guests – but a lot of people actually forget about what their guests will do once they get there. Think about the feel you want at the venue – will it be bright and loud or dim and calming – and then look at the entertainment that will create that feel.

Use music, games, kids entertainment, to create the party ambience you want to create, and let your mind wander to include anything that guests will enjoy doing when they are there.

Will you have paid for entertainment such as a disco, or a kids entertainer – or just simply have music in the background?

This decision can make or break a theme, as you are creating an atmosphere with your entertainment – and having a disco set up at a cocktail party will really kill the mood!, just as having quiet music at a BBQ wouldn’t be suitable either.

TIP – Whatever type of party you are having, if you are also inviting kids then ensure they are going to have something to keep them busy and interested – this will relax the parents, and make the party go much more smoothly! It’s always worth having toys or something for them to do -have a craft table set up so that they can sit and colour in, or balloons/bubbles in the garden etc….

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Decision #10 – Who is doing what?

Last but not least is to delegate and get help for all the decisions you have made.

There’s a lot to do once you know what you are putting together – from Invitations to be sent out, people bringing stuff, decorating etc…. and it all needs to be delegated or taken control of.

Write down names by the jobs and get as many people involved as you can – people like helping organise parties, and it will take a lot of the load of you – which can only be a bonus!


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The 10 decisions you need to make when you are organising a party - get these things sorted and your party should run smoothly!

To recap – the decisions to be made are as follows:-



So – next time you have a party, take a look at each of these and ensure you don’t get caught out!

Above all else though – just HAVE FUN!


Have you had to organise a party, and has anything gone really wrong or really worked for you? I’d love to know so please leave a comment below…



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