How to plan a birthday party - The basics

With Harry's 4th birthday fast approaching I have been thinking a lot about parties, planning and what's involved so I have put together a list of the basic things you need to consider when planning a party and am bringing them to you via this post!

The first and most important factor of all is do you have a birthday boy/girl? A birthday party needs to be for someone (age isn't important as who doesn't like a party?) once you have your birthday person it's on to the next step. In my opinion the next step is choosing a date for your birthday party, do you want it on the birthday, the day before/after or on the weekend before/after. The choice of date is completely up to the party planner/birthday person but you may wish to consider a date which would be more convenient to guests so that more are able to attend. Once you have a date/day in mind you can then decide on a time, the time for me would differ depending on if it were for a child or an adult - an adults party would definitely be an evening affair for me where as a for a child would either be day time or late afternoon.

Next on the list for the basics needing to be planned would be a guest list, thinking of friends, family, work colleagues, school friends, nursery friends (obviously each age dependant) and making a list of everyone invited so that you can check them off as they reply with a yes or no. In order to invite your guests I would write invitations and either give or send them out but give a RSVP date so that you have plenty of time to plan/arrange catering.

Catering of some kind would be up next on the to do/to play list. This can be some party food you prepare and serve yourself or as fancy as a proper caterer or catering company. You will need to know how many guests you are expecting in order to know how many sandwiches and paper plates to provide!!! I will also say you want to think about drinks whilst considering food, if you are having a party somewhere with bar facilities you are sorted but if not you either need to buy all drinks (soft or alcoholic) or request guests bring their own. For a children's party I would suggest squash and two big jugs (choice of flavour for any fussy children) rather than pop to try and keep e numbers and hyperactivity down (as much as you can anyway ha ha). Along with general party foods and drinks you might also wish to think about baking or buying a birthday cake!! I am a firm believer that you can not have a birthday without a cake, so regardless of age I would definitely ensure there was a cake and some candles!

Entertainment is also something to plan and think about, a party for a child could consist of party games such as pass the parcel, musical bumps, musical statues and many more where as a party for an adult may just require some form of music playing or a DJ so that people can dance the night away. I know my children love to see banners and balloons on their birthdays and so I would also urge you to consider decoration. Whether it is as simple as a banner or as lavish as table decor and big balloon statues/decorations. It might help you to consider a colour scheme if you are thinking big or if it is for your children you can go with most bright colours and mix them up and they will still love it. Unless of course you are themed for the party then you will probably want it to all match and co-ordinate. This one is probably more for children than adults but party bags can be a pretty important part of a party especially for children, at my son Charlie's birthday in January he handed out his party bags himself to his friends as they said goodbye to leave and he had such fun doing so.

Last but definitely not least have fun!!!!!

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