A celebration, whether big or small, is about taking a moment to acknowledge the good things in life. In a world where things often feel chaotic and overwhelming, it’s important to set aside time to celebrate those special moments, achievements or milestones. What better way to do that than with a party?

Maybe you groan at the thought of the work it takes to throw a great party. We get that. The good news is you don’t need a professional party planner, and you don’t need to go it alone. DIY planning help is here. Here are 5 party-planning tips that will help make the process go more smoothly.

Pick a Theme

 

A theme gives a party planner a starting point. A theme brings focus, and it can be as simple as “family potluck” or as specific as “everyone wear pink for Hailey’s third birthday princess party.” A theme influences the type of venue needed, decorations, food and budget. It also helps you decide whether to have a buffet style event (which is easier), a family style event (requires more tables and seating), or have a “everyone bring something” event (potluck style).

Set and Stick to a Budget

 

Unless you have a never-ending bank account, you must set a budget. Some people plan the other steps before considering their budget. Don't make the same mistake, otherwise, you may end up breaking the bank.

That being said, the best way to set a budget is to decide how many people are on the guest list. From there, it’s easier to determine the numbers for food, drink, space and things like party favors. Find creative ways to keep costs down and stay within budget, for example, purchasing bulk party supplies, look for discount codes and coupons. Think of people you know who can offer a helping hand. For example, offer to bring food items, hang decorations, or be a DJ for the evening (instead of hiring a professional).

Book the Venue Early

 

Choosing a date and location is critical. If you work with your guests in advance, you should be able to select a date that works for most. You might have to move the date around a little to ensure as many people as possible come. A lot of people won't be able to attend an event held during the week, for example. If the person's birthday is on a weekday, consider moving the party to the weekend. You can select a location based on the number of people you expect to show up.

Professional event planners will tell you that booking a venue early is key, especially during busy party months like May, October, November and December. Many places have online booking, so it can be easy to quickly secure that special place. Other venues might require a credit card number or a small fee to hold the reservation. Be sure to get all the reservation information in writing and read through any contracts thoroughly. Never be afraid to ask questions or to inquire about discounts.

DIY Event Needs Checklist

 

Every professional party planner lives by lists. Whether the lists are digital or handwritten, they help keep planning organized. One of the easiest ways to party plan like a pro is to use a free event-planning app like Pitch In Club.

If you’re planning a potluck or a tailgate party or hosting a holiday party, it’s likely your guests will be bringing food, drink or other supplies. It’s hard to keep track of who’s bringing what, and you don’t want to end up with 11 dishes of potato salad. This free event-planning app helps you track who plans to attend and who is bringing what. The homepage has an easy-to-read dashboard that shows your guest list and basic stats for the event.

Tackle your Event Planning Checklist

 

Things becomes smoother if you start planning things two to three months in advance. This allows you to spread out the cost of purchases over that period and minimize stress by not waiting to do everything at the last minute. If small children will attend the event, include things for them to do so that they also have a good time at your party. Do your best to find decorations that match the theme of your party and get supplies like plates, napkins, and games out the way first, then tackle the purchase of things like food, drinks, and snacks as you get closer to the event. Consider guests with special needs, from food allergies to mobility challenges, and make accommodations, so every guest has a safe and fun experience.

Final Thoughts

 

Many people think DIY event planning means they must do everything on their own. The good news is that DIY event planning does not mean you can't get a little help, and a free event planning app like the Pitch In Club can make your life that much easier.

You can schedule your event, manage your guest list, and send out invitations, but what sets this app apart from others is the ability to create a Contribution or Helping Hands sign up. This allows you to list various ways people can volunteer to help out, which makes it an ideal companion for the DIY party planner.

 

Thank you for checking us out. Hopefully this was helpful. For more easy party planning tips, check out our  blog.