Thank you to Anoush Banquet Halls & Catering for partnering with me for this post.
All thoughts and opinions are 100% honest and my own.
When we celebrated Brynn’s baby shower and first birthday we rented a room in a nearby city. The ability to just show up and decorate/prepare and not have to worry about much clean up was a HUGE benefit to us, as it saves so much stress. When we celebrated Brynn’s second birthday we were responsible for everything and while it was fun and she had a good time, I had a pretty stressful day. I snapped on Mike and my mom a bunch and I probably seemed like such a grouch, but the pressure to make everything perfect was SO high. It was intense! But in planning these 3 parties I have learned a few lessons about how to host a stress free event, which has me excited in anticipation of her third birthday this year!
MAKE A LIST
Keep a list of every task that needs completing and check off as you go. This will ensure you don’t miss anything. You can also keep a “transport” checklist for the items you need to take with you if you rent a hall or are hosting in a place that’s away from your home.
photo via Beauty and the Binky blog
RENT A ROOM OR HALL
No matter the size of your event there’s a room you can rent in or near your home that will accommodate your guests. There are lots of indoor play centres, movie theatres, and even community centres that have rooms available for rent. Your local parks may even have outdoor gazebos you can rent. You can also consider a banquet hall, as they usually have rooms of all size. For example, Anoush Banquet Halls have rooms that accommodate from 64 to 550 guests (they are located in California)!
photo via Thoughtfully Styled blog
HIRE A CATERER
Or, enlist family members and friends to bring items. Usually for events like birthdays Aunts and Grandmas will ask you if they can help in any way. Accept their help, especially in the form of treats and food for your party. It will save you a ton of time. If your party is a bit more on the formal side, a caterer is a sure fire way to avoid headaches and ensure everyone loves the food! Many banquet halls offer catering services and packages to go with the room rental, and it’s absolutely worth looking into.
photo via Sparkle Shiny Love blog
CHOOSE A THEME OR COLOUR SCHEME
Brynn’s first birthday was pink, gold, and cream, and I’m thinking of under the sea as a theme for her third birthday. Choosing a theme or a colour scheme will help you organize and narrow down your choices for decor and treats, which can be overwhelming when the options on Pinterest are all so gorgeous.
photo via The Ashmores Blog
MAKE INVITATIONS EASIER
If the event is special, it’s worth purchasing paper invitations for. When you use a company like Tiny Prints for your paper goods you can save yourself time – they provide everything you need including return labels. Plus their selection is outstanding, and you don’t have to set foot in a store!
SAVE YOURSELF SOME TIME
This one is huge for me. I was SO rushed with Brynn’s second birthday that I didn’t get a chance to stop and freshen up before people started to arrive, and because I was so GO GO GO all day long, I was stressed out and in a funk for the party. Try to take deep breaths if you’re feeling pressure while you’re getting ready for your event, and leave yourself an hour or so before the event starts to relax, freshen up, or just put your feet up.
USE DISPOSABLE PLATES AND UTENSILS
If you aren’t renting a room that provides these things for you, I recommend purchasing inexpensive/disposable dishware and utensils like we did for Brynn’s second birthday. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but places like Target, Walmart, and even Dollar Tree are stepping their game up when it comes to party and entertaining supplies, and that includes utensils and disposable plates! You can find super cute plates, bowls, serving spoons, utensils, cups, and napkins for super cheap. And since everything can be tossed or recycled afterwards you don’t have to worry about hours of clean up, or the possibility of someone breaking something expensive.
photo via Livin Life With Style blog
WHEN IN DOUBT: FRESH FLOWERS
If you want simple decor I recommend flowers and greenery. It brightens the whole room and is a great opportunity to tie into your party theme or colour scheme. You can keep it very simple with a centrepiece or two per table, and even that alone will make your decor feel pulled together. Flower budgets can vary depending on the size of the arrangements and the type of flowers you like, as well as what is in season. For Brynn’s baby shower we actually used fresh flowers that we picked from my mom’s friend’s garden!
Perhaps the most important tip of all is to keep calm and have fun. Any event you attend, even if you host and plan it, should be FUN! And I promise you that your guests won’t notice if any of the little details you planned are off or missing. Focus on the fun and everyone will have a good time!
Can you think of any tips for stress free event planning that I haven’t thought of here? Let me know!