Home » Arts and Entertainment

Party Planning

Aug 17, 2007
Anyway, first and foremost - - you absolutely CANNOT ask people to pay for your birthday party -- frankly, you cannot ask or expect them to bring presents either. The simple fact that they may be willing to take time out of their incredibly busy lives to come to a party for one or several hours -- should be gift enough for you.

First, decide on your budget. Be realistic...don't plan on renting a room at the Ritz if you can only afford a suite at the Comfort Inn. The budget depends on you.

Your budget should include (at least):
Site rental
Food cost
Beverage cost
parking/valet costs (you can certainly expect your guests to pay their own fees here -- but you'll want to include the rate information in your invitation packet so they are not suprised)
Gratuities and taxes
Favors (what goodies will your guests take home to remember this special event)
Cake or specialty food costs
Cake cutting fee (some caterers charge this, some don't)
Service costs
Rental fees (some caterers will charge for chairs, tables, table cloths/napkins, silverware, glasses and dishes)
Centerpieces
Decorations
Security fees (some places will charge you a security deposit that is returned as long as you leave the venue in the same condition you found it)

You ought to count on the cost of your outfit from your hair to your nails to your shoes.

Now, let's think about a THEME that works for you. What's your goal -- fancy or laid back bar-BBQ? Do you have flexibility on the day of the week and the time? A brunch or luncheon on a Sunday will be less expensive than a Friday night or Saturday dinner. Your theme can be anything from a Favorite TV show to a color. But just pick one and use it from the invites to the favors to the centerpieces.

After the theme, think about places that 'work' then start calling them. Speak to their sales or catering director and let them know your plans. They will likely have lots of good ideas to help you build on your theme.

Make sure your catering manager is aware of your budget before you get started so they can work with you to get the most 'bang for your buck.' Also, if your budget is lower than what they can work with -- a reputable caterer will let you know up front and will recommend some other venues that would be more in your range.

Don't feel bad if your budget is a little tight -- you're life is just beginning and you're not expected to have elaborate things just yet. You can still have a magnificent and fun party without going over budget...just PLEASE do not ask anyone to subsidize your party.

If you want you can always have a smaller gathering where you take your most favorite people to a fancy restaurant for dinner and drinks. and then have a larger party in a more laid back atmosphere.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert commentator at http://www.CustomDesignPostcards.com/. Visit us when you need to make custom designed holiday, gift, and invitation cards, as well as business cards and brochures. We are the only design utility that lets you download the print-ready images!
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