Every year I get to plan at least 4 birthday parties. My kids, mine, and my husbands. This year is no different and as I approach my husbands birthday I am getting into the nitty-gritty of planning his party.
Over the years I have found a process that works to keep me organized, on track, and well not to insane during the day of the party.
The first thing I do is figure out the guest list. Then I figure out a theme (mostly for invitations at the adult stage). Next I invite people making sure to try and give them a month notice so they have time to plan around it, but honestly there are times that I am not perfect at this aspect of it.
The very next thing I do is go to Pinterest and start a board dedicated to that party. This is probably my favorite part of party planning because I can imagine I have limitless possibilities, of course this means that I usually have to bring myself back down to reality of a budget and time. It still really helps with organization, especially because I am a visual person.
On Pinterest I look for menu ideas that might fit into the theme, cake designs, decorating ideas, and entertainment ideas. Later I can go back and make my lists using these ideas.
About a week before the party I really figure out the menu, decorations, and any entertainment ideas that I am going to use for the party, along with the number of people who are coming. I start a list with the menu, decor, and games written down under their own sections. Then I make a grocery list and a list of other items that I will need. I try and do this all on one piece of paper in sections so I can see it all at once.
At the beginning of the week I try and buy anything that will need time to make for decor or games. Then in the evenings when the kids are in bed I start working on those things.
In the morning the day before the party I try and do all my shopping and cleaning. Then that evening I try and do prep work. I usually make the cake but don't decorate it, do anything that can be done ahead like washing produce.
The day of the party is all about decorating and making food.
Here are a few links to Pinterest boards I have done for parties in the past in case you want to take a look at them. The next party I am holding is for my husband's birthday on Friday and it is a BBQ theme. I hope maybe letting you in on my process will help you a bit with your next party.
http://pinterest.com/ecarleyroe/ak-birthday-party-ideas/ (this was a bird themed party for my little girl)
http://pinterest.com/ecarleyroe/ab-bday-party-ideas/ (This was a superhero themed party for my little boy)
Do you use Pinterest at all? Do you make a board for your parties?