Party Planning: How To DIY Without Too Much OMG
Planning a party is one of those things that brings out the best in some people and the worst in others. We all have that one friend who, the moment a party is suggested, kicks into planner mode. Before you know it, you’ve been tasked with sourcing invites. Meanwhile they, somehow having acquired a Bluetooth headset from nowhere, are berating caterers.
Party planning can be a fraught exercise, especially when you don’t have a huge budget. Whether it’s entertainment, food or decoration you’re looking to outsource, prices go up when they know there is a party going on. Particularly if it’s around a busy time of year for parties, like Christmas, Halloween or Valentine’s Day.
So the alternative is to do as much of the party as possible yourself. This brings to mind the question, though, of how much is possible. Not only that, but how good can it be if it’s a DIY party compared to one with hired specialists?
Music: Who Needs A DJ Anyway?
Not to be demeaning about anyone’s occupation, but let’s be honest. Anyone can DJ if they have an ear for music. Especially in this day and age when a lot of music isn’t even released on vinyl. The need to stand next to some decks with an expression of intense concentration is no longer a thing.
You just need a list of appropriate songs, a laptop and a USB stick. Oh, and some speakers if it’s a bigger gathering. Get downloading the tracks (send out an email asking for requests, so you’ve even got the DJ beaten there). Then compile them into a playlist which you can put on shuffle, and hey presto! You’ve saved money, space and the indignity of requesting “Macarena” – you know the one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anzzNp8HlVQ – from a moody teenager.
Food: Do You Need A Caterer?
In part, the answer to this question depends somewhat on how many people will be in attendance. Can you do canapes and cake for 200 people? Maybe, but you’ll need a REALLY big kitchen. Assuming it’s a smaller gathering, there is a lot you can do yourself.
There is no need to order a cake from a bakery, who will charge a premium for it. You can even make it look professionally personalized if necessary – a perfect guide can be found at https://cakejournal.com/tutorials/how-to-make-a-fondant-name-plaque/. Simply make sure whatever food you lay on is easy to lift and handle, and not too messy.
The Clean-Up: Sooner Is Better
One reason that so many people prefer to outsource a party, including the venue, is that at the end of the evening there will be mess. It’s inevitable, and having someone else to handle the clean-up is always preferable.
The truth is that taking this on yourself may be the best way to get it done – hiring a cleaner to come in at 2-3 am may be impossible. Appoint a team (including yourself) to handle this part of the job. Better that it be done before you go to sleep – it gives any mess less chance to attract pests, become ground in, or crash your post-party lie-in.