If only I had a dollar for every time I asked myself this question while planning a party/event etc! (Geez I’d be rich!). How many times have you had a vision of your event and by the day-of nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is what you had envisioned? Whether it was that you wanted to have a particular “feeling” for your event, or a schedule you wanted to follow, it is perfectly normal for things to go wrong. In fact, count on just that to happen! If you can prepare yourself mentally for the fact that “nothing is ever going to be perfect” (how many times did you hear that growing up?) I guarantee that you will have a better time at your own event!
There are a few basics to keep in mind when planning your party or event, and they apply to any size or theme. First and foremost, remember to ALLOW yourself to have a good time, this will in turn allow your guests to have a good time as they will see you enjoying all that you have slaved over!
But where do I start?
This is easy! After you have selected the date for your event, whether it be a birthday, wedding, dinner party or just a gathering with friends and family, you need to select your THEME! Every party is better with a theme, it helps to set the tone for the day, and believe it or not it also helps to keep you better organized. So what do you feel like doing? Are you up for an all out costume party, or would you rather the food be the star of the show? Remember to take in to account the people who will be there. You don’t want to host a costume party if your group of friends aren’t ones to get dressed up and into the fun. Once you have your theme sorted out you can really start the planning!
Wait, I thought after picking my theme I was done…what do you mean plan!?
Okay, it really sounds a lot scarier than it is! This is the most enjoyable part of the entire process, it is where you can really put your own flair on things! It includes your menu, your details, music etc! For the purpose of the article, lets say you chose to throw a Wine and Cheese party for your friends before the summer ends (what a SCARY thought that Fall is right around the corner…). Now, you will first need to figure out if you want to just serve cheese and crackers with the wine, or do you want to have a full meal for them to enjoy. Weigh both options, perhaps by physically writing out your pros and cons and comparing them to come to your decision!
If you want to do a full meal, are you prepared for the difference in time and money it will take to pull it off? If you choose to only do cheese pairings with the wine, are you going to give 1-2 options per wine or do you want more? Will you put out individual boards for your guests or have one communal one for everyone to share? Remember, there is nothing saying that this has to be an EXTRAVAGANT event, you can ask guests to bring their own favourite wine and cheese pairings to share with everyone!
So, now that you have narrowed it down to the theme and mood that you want for your event, and perhaps you have even begun to settle on your menu, it is time to move on to the small details that really separate your party from the others!
It’s all about the DETAILS baby!
Quick, what do you think of when you hear Wine and Cheese party (besides the obvious!). Immediately my mind wanders off to the cheese boards, cheese knives, wine glasses, table cloths and the lighting! Didn’t get all those? Don’t worry! Remember at the beginning of the post I mentioned that the most important thing about throwing a party is to allow yourself a good time? Right! Well, your guests will NEVER know you hadn’t thought of the lighting if your focus was instead on the table itself, because you will be so darn proud of that table and it will show!
So back to the details! There are so many fantastic stores you can find beautiful cheeseboards and knives at, whether you want to buy local or from a big box store is up to you (although I prefer to support our local artisans!). This applies for any theme party you are throwing, you can get your decor from the party store in town, make your own, or even have a local vendor create something special just for you! Have you ever heard of Pintrest…USE IT! It will help to get your creative juices flowing, and inspire you with hundreds of photos/pages to browse (although be careful, you can sometimes get overwhelmed and carried away!).
For the wine glasses/table cloths (or in your parties case, serving ware/table cloths/chairs etc) you can choose to use what you already have around the house to keep the costs down, or you can go all out and get some new ones! Any party that you throw can be as BIG (maybe you want an ice sculpture for your kids Frozen birthday party…or an exotic animal show for their zoo-errific back to school party) or as small as you want it to be (how about having the kids make their own snowflakes out of paper…or bring their favourite stuffed animal instead!) , there is no rule saying that every aspect of every party HAS to be purchased brand new just for that event (and if you have a crazy mother in law, or estranged aunt that tells you it needs to be, you can “accidentally” misplace their invite). Set the table, chill the wine (well the white anyways!) and make sure your cheese is at room temperature and you are almost ready to go!
There are just a few other ideas for the wine party details that need to be sorted (these can be used for any party as long as you fit it to your theme!):
- Candles (why not splurge on those Merlot ones you saw at the designer store in the city!)
- Take-aways for your guests (why not do a bottle opener with a set of glasses) *Don’t worry, I will do an entire post on take-aways (or favours as we call them) and give you a TON of ideas for any party!*
- Games (I know it seems a little strange for a “grown up” party, but everyone loves a good laugh! Why not get creative with this one and play a tasting game with them…who can get the wine correctly matched to its region, or the cheese to its maker!)
- Music! Set the mood here guys! Do you want a Jazzy feel, or are you feeling a little more contemporary? (Again, as with the theme, let the music you pick really speak to the people you are inviting!)
Okay, so how are you feeling? Ready to tackle the world!? You have your theme picked, your mood set, your details sorted, and your wine is chilling (or maybe it’s a nice rhubarb lemonade for your summer BBQ). There is nothing more for you to do…
That’s it! Really, I promise! Simple right? Remember to mentally prepare yourself for the party (maybe slip your favourite artist into the player and dance around in your new outfit before the guests arrive! Light the candles, have a glass or two, and just enjoy). Stay tuned for next weeks post, a BIG carnival for my hubby’s 30th birthday!
Remember, everybody needs a little more creativity in their lives <3
Do you need some ideas for a “theme” for your party?! Send me an email or comment below and I will help you get inspired with fun themes for every age!