Preparing for a large event, such as a dream wedding or a Bar or Bat Mitzvah can feel like a lot of lead-up with a potentially explosive outcome, but it can be simplified with careful planning and a clear vision.
- Create a Checklist: For those who are under-organized and for those who are over, a checklist comes to be your best friend. Writing down everything you need to do–whether on paper, a laptop, or your smartphone–creates a visual organizational tool for you and breaks down the overwhelming process of event planning into small, manageable tasks. As a personal perk, crossing each item off of the list as it is completed will give you a sense of satisfaction to combat any stress you may be feeling.
- Choose a Theme: An event instantly becomes more memorable if there is a theme to accompany it. The theme can be based on color, pop culture, location, and much more. Simply picking three main colors will create a theme that can be carried through the smallest details such as napkin holders and place cards. To start the theme strong, pick invitations that go with it so that your guests know the tone of the event from the very beginning.
- Set a Budget: To start preparing for the party, you will need to first determine what you can spend. On average, a Bar or Bat Mitzvah will cost roughly $15,000 to $30,000. As of 2012, the average wedding reception cost $13,106. Naturally, the larger or more extravagant you want the event to be, the more money will have to be in the budget. Determining a guest list, or at least an approximation of how many people you want to invite, will help in knowing your necessary budget. Be prepared to be flexible in your budget, as unexpected costs tend to pile up quickly.
- Find your Rental Company: Whether you’re planning a Sweet 16, a graduation party, a dream wedding, or anything in between, you’ll need to turn to a rental company for assistance. Renting most of your goods from one company will simplify the process. Chairs, tables, and tents are the obvious equipment that you and your guests will need, but renting linens, chair covers, and tent accessories from the same company is cost effective and can tie your color themes together.
- Determine the Location: Your event’s location can make or break the big day as well as your budget. Renting a venue can help tie in the theme of the event, but be mindful of any additional costs that come with the base rental price. Having it at an outside venue will also keep the messiness and foot traffic that come with a party out of your own home. If you’re ready to tackle those obstacles, hosting the event in your or a family member’s backyard can help you save money. Using your own home or backyard for the party will also create a more intimate and personal setting for your guests.
A birthday party, dream wedding, or neighborhood festival can be anything you want it to be with good planning and great support. The most important part to any event you plan is that you and your guests enjoy yourselves and the rest of it will fall into place. Take a deep breath, and get started with your party.