Insider tips from a professional party planner
Have you ever wished you had a professional party planner to plan your kid’s party?
Party planning can be overwhelming with so many things to plan and consider. But party planners are expensive!
To help save you time and money, I have put together this ULTIMATE kid’s party planning guide and checklist, with insider tips and tricks.
These are the MOST IMPORTANT items you need to consider when planning a party for your little one.
I say 4 months loosely as I normally start planning 2 months before the party. 4 months gives you plenty of time to choose and book a venue and vendors if you decide to hire them.
Choose a date – Consider public, school holidays and sporting events. Sporting events include everything. From your son’s soccer match on Saturday morning to the Footy final. There is nothing worse than planning a beautiful party and no one can come because they are on holiday enjoying the Gold Coast.
Choose a time – How long will your party be? Will you be serving lunch?
Decide on a venue – ALWAYS ASSUME IT WILL RAIN and have a backup venue. Home is the easiest place to host a party but if screaming children running rampant through your house with fistfuls of lollies makes you feel sick then an external party venue may be the answer. The local park is a fabulous place to celebrate a kid’s party. Choose one with great play equipment and most of your entertainment is sorted. If the weather is unpredictable, a community hall might be a good fit. And if money is no object and you don’t mind the noise, you may choose a children’s play centre.
4 - 6 Weeks
Send out the invitations – Consider paper invites or electronic ones via Facebook, Messenger, or email.
Start thinking about the food and book any vendors you may need for grazing boards, a cake or party equipment.
Research decorations – Again, Pinterest and Google are a wealth of information here. If you decide to purchase from companies like Amazon or eBay, you will need to order them earlier rather than later to ensure they arrive on time. Don’t forget to shop at home first. You probably have a mountain of toys that could be used as cake toppers or table decorations. Borrow or hire where you can to keep to your budget.
Consider entertainment and party games. Think about the theme when deciding on games, for instance, if you are throwing an Emma Wiggle party you may want to play Pin the Bow on Emma (we have a FREE printable for this game by the way)
Decide on party bags and their contents. We have a great blog post with some eco-friendly party bag ideas. I know I am not a fan of bringing home the traditional sugar and single-use plastic rubbish bags that are given out at most parties.
Once you have decided on these put together a shopping list for food, prizes for the games, and party bag contents.
An easy way to elevate some party pressure is to put together everything you can for the party before the time:
Start your party shopping for anything nonperishable like decorations, party bags, and prizes. Opt to hire what you can to minimise your party footprint.
Start with any DIY decorations you are planning to add to your party. This includes printing out any food labels, welcome to my party signs and banners or games.
Put the party bags together.
Week of the Party
Start preparing the cake – If you have chosen a mudcake hack (my favourite!) or to bake the cake yourself, you can prepare it a week before the party and freeze the naked cake in clingfilm. Cold, defrosting cakes are easier to crumb coat as you don’t have to fight with lots of loose cake crumbs.
Fondant also keeps very well in an airtight container. So if you are trying your hand at some fondant decorations, starting the week before the party will ensure you have plenty of time to play.
Confirm any vendors you have hired. Hopefully, they will reach out to you but you never know…
I believe a balloon garland can also be prepared the week before the party. I am not an expert with balloons, as you know if you are a follower of mine – I HATE balloons. I rather opt for decorations that are sustainable, the hiring of party backdrops, character cutouts, beautiful bunting, and paper fans to set the scene.
Complete your food shopping – don’t forget the ice!
Finish off the cake
If you are hosting the party at a venue, start packing and if you are hosting the party at home, start cleaning.
Day of the Party
Yay! The day has arrived and it is almost time to have some fun. But first…
Get the party table into position and start decorating. Remember things like paper pom poms take a little while to fluff up and look good.
Prepare and arrange the food and chill the drinks. Complete any food labels you have and set them out beautifully so your guests can easily tell what’s what on the party table.
Welcome any vendors you have hired and let them do what they need to do.
Get yourself and the kids ready and looking good. This is the fun bit 🙂
Remember to nominate someone to take some party photos, unless you have hired a professional photographer – I choose a family member or a close friend who is good with a phone camera and will remember to take the family behind the cake photo. This is the most important photo of the day.
Now you are ready to welcome your guests and enjoy your party.
Subscribe and Download the Ultimate Kid's Party Checklist!
If you have found this post useful, I have a Free printable version of the Ultimate kid’s party checklist to make sure the planning of your next party is easy and stress-free. I mean who doesn’t enjoy a quick party checklist 🙂