It’s no secret that I LOVE hosting parties, especially when there is a theme in mind. There is something so fun about figuring out how to decorate, what food items to make and setting up the decor that if I could… I think I would host a party every month (my husband probably would not approve lol).
Today, I’m sharing my personal party planning tips & tricks as well as my process! The first thing I do when planning a party is figuring out a date and then I always message a couple people with a heads up saying something like “I’m planning on having a party for “x”, will you be in town that weekend?”
I know that it is very rare that a weekend will work for everyone on your party list, but it’s nice to give people that you know you want there a heads up as well as give you an idea of if the date you are thinking works or if you might need to move it up a weekend, etc.
Next, I pick my theme and work on my guest list. I typically only do a theme for birthdays, holiday parties, baby showers, and if we are hosting a football/sports related party. From there I work on my guest list.
After my guest list is done I pick an invitation and print them or if I am in a time crunch I upload my design to paperless post and e-mail them out!
Tip: Always have an RSVP on the invitation. This ensures that you know how much food you are going to need. It’s never fun having so much extra food after or party and it’s even worse not having enough! I always plan for a little extra than how many people RSVP. For example, if 30 people RSVP, I plan for 35-37 people.
As you know, Pinterest is my go-to place for party planning so after the invites are sent I get started on how I want to decorate. Now I never go overboard with decorating but I do like to add a couple fun touches to make it a little more fun! I always create a board with ideas I like then go from there.
Tip: I have that may be pretty obvious but I am still going to share it is that take inventory of what you already have! I always look around my house for items that I can incorporate into decorating or serving items.
For example, I took this wooden tray I had and used it as a serving platter for a burger bar last month for a baby shower. Easy, and I already had it and didn’t have to go buy something new!
Ashlynn Elliff Party Planning Tips & Tricks
My next item is to plan out your menu, are you going to get it catered? Are you going to cook? The earlier you get this planned out, the easier it is to make it happen!
Tip: If you are going to cook, meal prep is key! Try and cook as much stuff as you can the day before the party. There is nothing more stressful than setting-up, cooking and cleaning hours before the guests arrive (been there!)
The last thing I do is a couple days before my party I double check that I have gotten all my RSVPs, purchase food and decoration items and make sure everything with my location is in order (typically I host at my house so I make sure everything is clean, that I am stocked up on paper towels and toilet paper, etc.)
Tip: If you are hosting at home, I always start setting up little by little a couple days in advance. Whether it’s gathering all my plates and napkins together, serving platters set-up, hanging banners, etc. This helps to make sure that you have everything you need and that you aren’t throwing everything together last minute!
The reason why I implement some of these tips & tricks because hosting a party is not meant to be stressful, you are celebrating loved ones and it’s supposed to a fun night for everyone including the hosts!
Have you gotten your free party planning printable yet? Grab yours here!

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