How to plan a birthday party

It’s time to get planning and a party is the perfect way to celebrate, whatever the occasion! When planning a birthday party, there’s lots to think about. Will you have a garden party with a dancefloor or will it be a more relaxed occasion? Whatever your plans, we’re here to help you with how to plan a birthday party.

Who’s birthday party?

The first thing you need to think about is the style of the birthday party. Is it a child’s birthday party or an adults? An adult birthday party may be more likely to last longer and therefore may require different entertainment and more food.

In comparison, a kid’s party may mean you’ll need goodie bags as well as games. Games can include classics such as pin the tail on the donkey or even a giant Jenga!

That’s not to say that an adult’s birthday cannot include games, you’ll just need to make sure they’re age appropriate. Using outdoor areas during parties is a great way to spread out your guests and even have a different theme running in indoor and outdoor areas of your party.

Party planning checklist

We’re sure you’re already getting excited about your party and thinking of all of the ways that you can make sure it’s a special experience for everyone involved. One way to ensure that you don’t miss out on any aspects of your party is to create a party planning checklist.

A party planning checklist will help you to itemise elements of your party as well as allowing you to set dates for when these tasks need completing by. Some tasks may require more time such as hiring a venue or a DJ, where others can be completed a couple of weeks before the party.

Budgeting for parties

Before you start the fun party planning process, you will need to decide on a budget. Planning a budget can help you to make better decisions and also save you some pennies along the way. You should try to stick to your budget as best you can but also be aware that sometimes products and services are more expensive and there may be no way around that.

Think of ways in which you can save money in your budget, such as through entertainment or by creating your own decorations. It can also be a good idea to work with a local party planner to find the best suppliers for good rates. Our party planners work closely with many suppliers across the country.

Party entertainment

One of the most costly aspects of parties is usually the entertainment. Some hosts choose to have magicians or live bands, if you’re looking to lower costs, you don’t need to miss out on all of the fun, you could just be more open to shopping around and asking close friends and family members if they know of anyone in the industry. Alternatively, games are always a fun, cost effective way to get everyone involved in the birthday celebration.

Choosing a party venue

You will need to select a venue that meets your needs. Before you decide which one to go for, think about asking whether party food is included or how the venue can be decorated. Are you looking for an outdoor party? It is important that you gain access to all of this information before you agree to a venue.

At home party

Not everyone chooses to host their party at a venue, some choose to have the party in their own house or a friend’s house. Having your party elsewhere is great but you’ll need to remember that you are solely responsible for cleaning up after your party. Some venues may also request that you stay behind to clean up.

Having a party at home means you’ll need to source your own food and consider anyone on the guest list with dietary restrictions. These will need to be considered at a venue too, but they may be better equipped to deal with food allergies. There are usually plenty of options for food at parties, maybe you want to host a BBQ or maybe you’re planning an outdoor food truck. You’ll need to plan the food in advance and ensure that it is inline with your budget.

For a child’s birthday party, you will need to source more simple food such as sandwiches and crisps. Why not get some fun table cloths to go with your birthday theme?

If you’re wondering how to plan a birthday party, there’s lots to consider, one element is drinks. Will you provide drinks or will you ask guests to bring their own? It’s your choice to decide but you’ll need to let guests know. Whatever you decide, it may be a good idea to stock up on something fizzy to present as your guests arrive. Alternatively, why not look into hiring a drinks van to bring your event to life.

Party guest list

Your guest list is a very important part of your birthday party and you’ll need to ensure that you send invitations with enough notice so that guests can make plans. Some guests may live nearby but others may have to travel and therefore make accommodation arrangements. It’s up to you who you invite to your special occasion. So, only invite people that you know will want to be there and you wouldn’t want to miss. It can be hard to know how many guests to invite to your party, if you book at a venue, they will most likely decide for you with a guest limit. This could mean that you have to be more selective with friends and family that you invite to your birthday celebration.

Planning your birthday party invitations

When planning party invitations, you will need to be specific about party details and also chase up any invited guests who have not RSVP’d to your event. Your invite should include the occasion, the date, the time, the location, a dress code and how guests can respond and let you know about any food allergies.

Your birthday party invitations are very important as they are generally the first thing that your guests will see, therefore you should ensure that they support your themed birthday party. You’ll need to decide on an event theme before you plan your invitations so you can think carefully about the colours, fonts and even the spacing. There are many companies that can help you with planning and printing party invitations.

Depending on the type of party you are planning, your guest list may include both friends and family members, or you may have planned the birthday party for just one group and then be celebrating with the others on your actual birthday. If you’re worrying about the size of your guest list, this is a good way to reduce the numbers without offending anyone. If you’re planning a birthday party at the weekend, there may be more guests able to attend.

Choosing a birthday party theme

Planning and choosing a theme for your birthday party is a hard task, will you ask your guest list of family and friends to arrive in fancy dress? Will you buy theme specific party decorations? Party decorations can get expensive, especially if you’re considering party favours. Party favours are a great idea if you want to add a personal touch to your party. You don’t need to spend loads of money on party favours, why not search for some creative ideas, gather some craft supplies and create your own? This will save you money and may help you to plan a birthday party theme too.

Birthday cake: a party essential

No great party is complete without a birthday cake! Will it be a vanilla sponge or a chocolate fudge, either way, make sure that it’s big enough to go around all of your guests. You may choose to cut the cake and distribute it at the party or you might prefer to send guests home with little goodie bags, the choice is yours. Your cake doesn’t need to be extravagant, but you may prefer to use a local cake company to create a more personalised cake with decorations that match your theme.

Event essentials that often get missed

Planning parties is usually lots of fun but it is not always a stress free experience, with that being said, it’s not uncommon for people to forget important details from the day.

You should always have access to a first aid kit, this one is particularly important if you are hosting your party in your own house or elsewhere. Obviously, you’d like to think no one will need it but if you’re hosting a child’s birthday party, you may need a couple of plasters nearby.

You may receive some birthday gifts and it’s a good idea to have somewhere for guests to put them. You could set up a specific table for this, why not purchase a guest book too for people to sign so you have an extra way of remembering your birthday party. Hopefully, all your guests will see the book and leave you a nice note.

Sometimes it’s about the smaller details at an event, and often the smallest details need planning in advance so that everything comes together on the day of the event. You could order small items such as straws or room decorations to enhance the theme that little bit more.

We hope we’ve helped you with how to plan a birthday party but if you’re still wondering how, get in touch with us, we’re more than happy to help. Whether you need help with a birthday event or any other special occasions, our wide knowledge and expertise can help to guide you at every step of your planning process.


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