7 tips for stress-free party planning

Parties are usually times of fun and celebration. But for party-planners, it can be a source of stress and anxiety.

But we’re here to help with these 6 tips for stress-free party planning.

  1. Keep It Simple

Simplicity is the best way to keep your stress levels low when party planning.

It starts with the guest list. Things get more complicated when the guest list gets longer. Encourage your clients to keep it down to who they really, really want to be at their event.

Things like appetizers, settings and favors can be very simple. For instance, appetizers don’t have to be made from scratch. There are plenty ready-made ingredients that you can use to whip up a tasty appetizer. You can mix and match different dishes and linens to create unique settings.

Favors don’t have to be complex or expensive, they can be simple and useful. Small jars of jams, drink openers, teas, plants and chocolates are just as effective as more elaborate favors.

Another great idea is having a self-serve cocktail bar, so you won’t have to be mixing drinks for the entire party. You can even add an exciting touch by serving one specialty cocktail.

  1. Make a Checklist

If you want to ensure you will not forget any of the steps you need to do, then make a checklist. It will keep you on track and minimize any distracting details. You can save a lot of time and resources with this simple tool.

Also, if you tend to get overwhelmed, checklists help to ease a lot of the tension. There is something about writing a to do list and then checking things off that eases the mind. Plus, now you have extra brain space because you don’t have to expend energy trying to remember it all.

Checklists also help you to track where you are in the process. Write down the first “to do” task on your checklist – start creating checklists!

  1. Create a Budget and Stick to It

When you are planning an event, you need to first create a budget. That is usually easy, but the challenge is sticking to it. Nothing stresses out an event planner more than seeing the end cost ballooning.

In the beginning, you and your client should sit down and set limits on what you would spend on food, drink, entertainment etc. When you are determined to stick to your budget, you tend to find other less complex ways to get things done such as the self-serve cocktail bar.

  1. Go Paperless

Keep things techy by going paperless. Look at everything you would usually print for an event and put it online. A helpful nudge would be to put the cost of printing these items next to them.

Send online invitations. Replace business cards with smart tags. Use mobile apps where applicable. Save the trees!

This way you not only save money, but you are reducing your event’s carbon footprint and your guests have less things to carry around. It is not just reducing stress for you but for your guests too.

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  1. Get Help

Which brings us to a word that probably comes to your mind a lot when you are planning stressful parties – HELP! If you need help with cooking something beforehand or to set up the tables, do not hesitate to solicit help. Accepting help from your friends and family is a great way to reduce your stress.

If they are unwilling, then you can hire other skilled persons to help in their area of expertise. You need to know when it is time to delegate.

  1. Create a Playlist

You don’t want to be rummaging through CDs (okay, so maybe no ne uses these anymore) or skimming through your music when an event is underway. That interrupts the mood of the event and makes you look disorganized as the planner.

The idea is to create a playlist prior to the event. You can choose appropriate songs for the mood you would like to set for the event. For example, if it’s a Christmas party, you can create a holiday music mix.

  1. Make Cleanup Easy

Even if the party was enormously successful, no one is excited about the clean up after. It seems to add more stress to an already stressful event. So, try to make cleanup as easy as possible.

Get your team to clean as they go, so that there is minimal mess afterward. Make sure there are bins nearby so that guests can throw their trash in (Bonus points if you point recycle bins also).

When you clear the dishes, scrape the plates so that you can stack everything. This saves counterspace.

Accept help if offered. If guests want to clear the tables or move chairs to make room for dancing, then let them. If your event is truly successful, they would be more than willing to help.

So, the next time you are planning a party, we hope these 6 tips will help you plan stress-free!

Related: 8 tips for dealing with hostile clients

What causes you the most stress when you are planning a party for a client? Were there any tips that you thought were helpful? Is there anything you would add? Let us know in the comments!