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How to plan the perfect party in 5 easy steps

Whether you're coordinating an office event, setting up a kid's birthday party or celebrating something special with family and friends, check out these simple tips to help you get the party planning started.

Step One: The big one - budget

Whether the budget is set by your boss or hammered out between you and your spouse, setting a dollar amount and making every decision work with that number is critical to your planning success.

Once you decide on the maximum spending amount, make a list of projected expenses - food, party venue, entertainment, party furniture, lighting, catering equipment, marquee etc and record all the costs keeping in mind your maximum allowance. It is a good idea to have a provision in your budget, say 10% for unexpected expenses, this will provide a cushion for items that may have been missed in the planning stage.

Step Two: The party team

Enlist the help of a team of people, they will help to come up with idea's for your theme, make a list of who will help with what task. Time management on the day of your party/function is critical to the success of your party, everything needs to run on time.

Step Three: Planning, create a checklist

Creating a to do list in order of time can assist the team in ensuring that all the tasks for the party are organised and ready to go on the day, the checklist can also include a run sheet for the day.

Arrange regular catch up meetings with your team to ensure everyone is on track. A team member who is ahead of schedule can reach out to another who might need a little extra help.

Step Four: Invitations

Ensure invitations are sent out with enough time prior so that guests have plenty of time to plan i.e. babysitters, transport etc. As you are working to your budget it is important to maintain the number of guests that you have budgeted for.

If you are using social media to invite your guests ensure you use a closed event and that invitations are controlled.

Step Five: On the day

It's important that the checklist is used to ensure nothing is missed and everything runs to the plan. If there are any minor issues on the day these often aren't noticed by the attendees, it is important that any issues are handled with discretion.

Ultimately the success of your party will be based around the guests having a positive fun experience on the day.

Styling Ideas: Nautical Theme