Category Archives: Holiday Party Planning

Planning the Bachelorette Party Menu

Most bachelorette parties involve food in some way. Whether going to a restaurant to eat, having the party catered, or doing a pot luck, eating is a great way to get the party started. Consider the theme of the bachelorette party when thinking about the food.

When organizing the party, the planner needs to consider the bride-to-be’s taste, but also the guests. When going to a restaurant, it is good to choose a restaurant that offers a variety of options. After all, there may be people at the party with special dietary requirements such as those who are dieting, have diabetes, are vegetarian or vegan, or who have food allergies. If the invitations are sent out soon enough, special dietary requirements may be given to the planner when responding and she can then go from there to plan the menu.

Of course, if the bride-to-be is set on going to her favorite restaurant and it only serves a certain type of food, be sure to notify the guests. They may want to eat beforehand then just munch on something small at the party.

If the party is being held at a place other than a restaurant, food will need to be provided, but the diets of others should still be considered when planning the menu. If it is being catered, see if there is a vegetarian plate available or one that is low in fat and/or calories. The menu can be simple or elaborate, based on what the bride would like and the budget for the party. The planner may also want to take into account the party activities. If the party is merely a gathering of family and friends, a heavy meal may be more appropriate. But, if the party is going to go out for the night for some type of activity, the planner may want to keep the menu simple.

If planning a pot luck dinner for the bachelorette party, the planner needs to know what everyone is bringing. This can prevent duplicate or triplicate items as well as let know what else may need to be covered, such as a bread or dessert. Regardless, the planner should not be the only one responsible for setting up the food and cleaning up afterwards – she wants to have a good time as well! Others should offer to help make sure everything is set up properly before the party starts and that everything is cleaned up after the party.

There are many different types of menus that can be planned. Something simple like grilled chicken, beef, potatoes, and vegetables make a nice easy meal that makes for a relatively easy clean up. Even simpler is a variety of sandwiches (don’t forget a vegetarian option) with chips and raw vegetables with dips. A party with great finger foods such as wings, pinwheels, cheese balls, meatballs, dips, raw vegetables, and sausage balls is usually always a hit. Don’t forget the drinks either. This should also include a variety such as a punch, soft drinks, tea, and water for those trying to cut out the caffeine.

The most important thing to remember when planning a bachelorette party menu is good friends, good times and good food!

For more information on Bachelorette Parties and Ideas you can visit her website.

Bachelorette Party Planning Basics

Bachelorette parties are a fairly new tradition. Originally brides celebrated primarily with the bridal shower. But more recently the tradition of the bachelorette party was introduced, it is based off the concept of the bachelor party (as you can probably tell by the name) and serves as a way to for the bride to celebrate in a fashion that doesn’t necessarily have to be as prim and proper as a bridal shower would be. It is a chance for the girls to really have fun and let loose a little bit before the wedding. It marks the departure from an independent life to a committed life in marriage. Because of the importance of this event, you need to be on top of your game when conducting your bachelorette party planning.

A few rules you should follow when planning a bachelorette party include rules for who pays, who should be invited, and what type of event to plan. The bride shouldn’t have to pay a dime. All costs should be divided equally among the participants (minus the bride). Also, anyone that’s invited to the bachelorette party should also be invited to the wedding. It’s ok if someone invited to the wedding isn’t invited to the bachelorette party but if someone is at the bachelorette party it would be strange if she were not invited to the wedding as well. Also, when planning the festivities, it is important to make sure the bride will be comfortable with everything. You certainly don’t want to hire male strippers if it’s something the bride will not enjoy.

To go into more ideas for bachelorette party planning, you can pretty much do anything as long as it is something that the bride will have fun doing. The events can range from nice and relaxed to wild and scandalous. A couple ideas for a nice relaxed party include weekend getaways to a spa center, an amusement park, the beach. An event that allows the bride to let loose a bit more include trips to the club with a scavenger hunt (a sample task would be getting a random guy to do a body shot off of the bride). Also there’s always the option of hiring strippers or going to a male strip club. Whatever you plan, just make sure it’s something that the bride will be comfortable with.

Maxine Anders is an author and party planning enthusiast. To learn more about bachelorette party planning or party planning in general, visit

Party Planning Checklist – Five Essentials

Are you planning a party and worried you’ll forget something. Believe me when I say it is not a pleasant experience to be in the middle of a party and realize you’ve forgotten something. It might not even be something that big (and these are usually the things easiest to forget about) like napkins for example, but it would still put a damper on the party. That’s why a great tool to use in the preparation process is a party planning checklist. Unfortunately there is no one checklist that works for all kinds of parties. And fortunately there’s a very simple and reliable process in creating a checklist. This process involves items involving budget, items involving guests, items involving location, items involving refreshments, and items involving supplies.

The first thing in your checklist should be related to your budget. Write down your budget at the top of your party planning checklist so that while creating your checklist, you will be able to see your budget and plan accordingly. This will help you correctly determine the number of people to invite, supplies, venue, etc.

The next thing on your checklist should be items related to guests. This part of the checklist should have items like creating your guest list, purchasing invitations, having your invitations prepared, and mailing them out. You should include a date which you want all your invitations out by so that your guests will have plenty of notice to save the date in their calendars and RSVP.

Your checklist should also have a section dedicated to your location. If you’re holding the party at your home, then this is already taken care of. But you’ll still want to have items like what kind of setup will need to be done and how far ahead of time you need to start to be ready in time for the party. If you’re booking a venue, you’ll need to have items like browsing locations and booking a location. You’ll also want a date set for the time you have your location by so that you’ll have a date and location set to put on your invitations.

For refreshments you’ll need to figure out if you’ll be hiring catering. If so, you should have items like getting quotes from different vendors and having the food and price figured out. If you’ll be providing the food yourself, you’ll need to make a list for what to buy and what needs to be done to get the food prepared.

Finally you’ll want to have items such as the supplies you’ll need. Also, depending on the type of part you’re planning, you’ll need to include miscellaneous things such as hiring a videographer or photographer. As long as you make a checklist, you don’t have to worry about forgetting anything. Even if you’re not sure you have considered everything, as long as you start preparing ahead of time and have your party planning checklist made out early, you’ll have plenty of time to look things over and add to your checklist.

Maxine Anders is a party planning expert. For more information on creating a good party planning checklist, visit

Planning the Perfect Office Christmas Party

Although there is still more than six months to go until Christmas rolls around again, many companies will be thinking of booking their Christmas party in order to ensure that they have the best venue. While colleagues might still be complaining about the previous Christmas party, you are the one that is tasked with planning the next one. It is a thankless job that has not been made any easier by the current economic climate. There are thousands of possible venues that you can consider but finding the perfect one that satisfies that ever decreasing budget is not easy.

By holding these staff Christmas parties businesses want to celebrate a successful year and motivate their staff for the year ahead. It is amazing what Christmas time can do especially when it comes to inter-staff relations. Even those that dislike each other all year long can put aside their differences at this time of year and discover that they can actually enjoy a good friendship. Management gets to hear what the staff really think about things and, over a glass of wine or a beer, the staff can relax and discuss all the things that have happened during the course of the year.

If you are looking for great tips in finding the perfect venue for your Christmas party, one function centre is happy to offer some.

Before you choose a location for the party, consider where everyone lives and try to find one that is central. By doing this you will ensure that everyone will be able to get home with minimal difficulty and so will have no excuse for not attending the function. However, if your budget permits and the party will be out of town, then you need to find somewhere that will offer plenty of adequate accommodation for everyone.

Type of venue:
Depending of the atmosphere that you are wanting to create you will need to choose the appropriate venue. If you are looking for a formal event or even a casual one, this will need to be taken into account. Hotels are great if your party is to be a formal occasion. However if you are going with something more casual, then you might prefer to choose a restaurant. Function centres are there to host any kind of occasion and will be able to provide you with a choice of function rooms as well.

Style of party:
Invariably, the guests will range in ages and you need to bear that in mind. Certain people might prefer just to sit around, drink and talk, while others will want something a little more active, with a dance floor, for instance. By utilizing function centres you will be able to have access to different function rooms that will cater for everyone’s needs and preferences. Make sure that your guests understand that there is a dress code. Formal events, such as black tie occasions, might boost the morale of some of the staff but for others the expense involved may well prove to be a deterrent. Find a compromise, such as a smart-casual dress code. In this way you will be catering to everyone and not a select few.

Food is a major part of any Christmas party and one that you will need to consider carefully. You might go with the traditional turkey and trimmings or something else. Table seating needs to be addressed too. For instance, do you intend to have silver service or will your guests be able to help themselves at a buffet table? Buffets certainly do have their advantages which makes them popular with most people. Guests are able to circulate among each other, but, remember, buffets can also make some people rather greedy!

Some companies choose to book their venues as early as January or February, while others prefer to leave it until around November, although by then, most prime venues will have already been chosen. Do what you can to make the Christmas party that you organize one that will be fondly remembered by all the guests. Get ahead of the rest though and start looking early for the perfect venue.

Mary Hubbard represents the events centre @ maroochy, a Sunshine Coast function centre and conference centre. Find out more about hosting your next event on the beautiful Sunshine Coast here:

Planning a Great Birthday Party For Your Child

Planning a great children’s party is child’s play when you follow a few rules.
Where? Scope out a great place to party as early as possible. If you’re doing the party at your home, do you have enough space? Kids are small but the need to run around. Make sure you’ve childproofed the house. Check to see that heavy and tall furniture is secured to the walls. Cover electric outlets and so on.
Chow. A kid’s birthday party doesn’t require fancy or expensive foods. Many moms knock themselves out preparing a feast for their little guests only to find out that the little ones are too excited to eat. They’d rather run around with friends instead of sitting down for a meal. Have plenty of snack and finger foods. Before you put any food out, ask yourself, “How will this look on my carpet and walls?” Face it, kids are messy. Keep the foods neat and easy to handle. Go easy on the sugar and caffeine too. Kids don’t need to be any more jumpy than they are at a party.
Who’s Invited? A birthday party is a great time to get to know your children’s friends and their parents. While a big party in nice, sometimes too much is too much. Younger children should invite fewer children than older kids. Make sure you encourage the parents of young children to not just drop and run off. It’s safer for their children and a nice way to make new friends.
Goody Bags. You’ve got to give out goody bags. It’s the unwritten law of children’s birthday parties. But, you don’t have to go nuts or spend a ton of dough. A great resource for goody bags is Oriental Trading. You can find them easily online.
Photographer. If you’re planning a big birthday event, you may want to consider hiring a photographer to capture the moment. Your child is little for only a little while. Parents never regret having too many images of special family occasions when their children were tiny.
Decorations. Get creative! Pick a theme for the party that the birthday boy or girl really loves. Helium balloons fill up a room and add color and movement. Nothing says “birthday party” the way a bouquet of balloons do. Consider Mylar balloons as party favors, but be careful. Balloons are a choking hazard and should never be given to babies.
Entertainment. Get your party started the right way with solid party entertainment! Why not book a DJ to crank out some tunes and get the kids dancing and involved in party games?
Caricaturists. All of your guests will enjoy getting their portraits done at your party. It’s a very special party favor that your guest will keep for years and years.
Balloon Twister. Oh boy! Balloons! Balloon doggies, hats, butterflies, dinosaurs and more. A great balloon twister can make the most amazing balloon sculptures that your guests will adore. Not recommended for very young children because they tend to break the balloons repeatedly and broken balloons are a choking hazard. Lot’s of fun, but use your head!
Face Painting. The children will line up to get their faces painted. They’ll be transformed into monsters, puppies, cats and superheroes. Be aware that face painting takes time. You may need tow or more hours to paint all the children’s faces at a party. Make sure the face painter is using paints that are water washable and nontoxic.
Magicians. We saved the best for last. A magic show is hands down the best birthday party entertainment you can give your child. It has everything, amazing trick, hilarious jokes, silly gags and more. Some magicians are also jugglers and ventriloquists too. A great magician will do a show that feature plenty of amazing magic as well as plenty f audience participation. The birthday child usually becomes the star of the show and helps with some of the bigger tricks.
Finding a great magician isn’t hard. You don’t have to be a Houdini to find a great children’s magician for your party.

To find your perfect party performer anywhere in the United States, call Bryan McGovern. Bryan is the birthday party wizard at Hijinx Entertainment. He can help you find the funniest and most amazing party entertainers. With a large variety of America’s top magicians, Hijinx can help you find the perfect entertainer for your child’s birthday. For free birthday advice, visit Hijinx at or call 877-688-3133.

Simple Graduation Party Planning

Planning a party can be quite difficult, particularly if it is your first time. That is the same for graduation party planning and any other kind of party. There is always an element of doubt that you have everything covered and indeed you can fear you have missed something big. However with a good plan and a lot of common sense you should be able to very effectively plan a graduation party. Depending on the kind of person you are, it may be harder or easier. My close friend is always making lists and is very detailed in her approach to everything she does. For her it is important to get absolutely everything on the list and she will then be very exact in her approach. For me planning at her intensity is not quite as natural and I need help from other people. One thing for all of us, when you are giving a party in your home, there is a natural tendency to try and do all of it yourself. That includes all planning, organising, cleaning, catering, clearing away and being a DJ. It is a lot better if you will be getting help and that help should be part of your plan. You will still need to work hard, but you don’t need to do it all.

To calm my nerves I do like to walk through the main things that need to be done. My simple high level graduation party planning is to send out invitations, arrange caterers, arrange house cleaning and freshen up, arrange entertainment and photographer, arrange decorations, arrange games and prizes, buy favors and of course set a budget. Add to that a last minute checklist and a plan for the day then I feel more relaxed. I do have a very detailed checklist which includes centrepieces, tableware, tent rental, thank you note paper, guest list, date, will I co-host with another parent, and things like taking pets to a friends house. All of this is in date order starting from 3 months out and including daily activities leading up to the party and an exact plan for the big day.

With the party being at my home I do get a bit obsessive about how my home is presented. I take the task of tidying up all plants, flowers and bushes myself and stand across the street to see what it all looks like. However it is a party needs a host so getting caught up with too much detail on the day will not help me circulate. The pan needs to include getting everything ready and in place before the party starts and also how helpers will be useful in freeing up the hosts time. Things can go wrong but at least trying to be the perfect host is worth it.

Graduation party planning for a larger venue, bigger number of guests, a school party or a party at the park will be different in terms of the detail and the level of help. It may still be the same overall outline but the task times will be a lot higher.

There is lots of detail at and lots more on all aspects of graduation at

Your Toddler Birthday Party Planning Guide

The big day is coming soon. Your toddler’s birthday. You want to throw him a great birthday party, but the thought of where to start is paralyzing. Your darling little tyke deserves a special party, but the best you’ve come up with so far is an Elmo pinata hanging from the ceiling fan. Come on, you can do better than that!

The following are some pointers to get the toddler birthday party planning started.

1. Set a budget. It’s so easy to go overboard when it comes to planning your little one’s birthday. Once you know where to find the best decorations and accessories, you’ll need to have a budget guideline set up that you can stick to. Keep in mind too, that there may be other expenses at the last minute, so make sure your budget allows for some extras if needed.

2.  Find an appropriate location. Most parents simply hold their toddler’s birthday party at home, but if you have a large family and lots of friends with little kids then you may consider a larger location such as a community room in your church. Maybe a family member has a larger space they will be willing to provide for the party.

3.  Create a guest list. Think about the number of people that you can accommodate at your location. How many little kids will attend? Don’t go nuts with your guest list. Keep it manageable.

4.  Find games and crafts. Locate games that toddlers will enjoy. Make sure that all little kids win a prize. If you invite older kids as well, then consider games for their age group. You’ll need enough supplies for all, and enough games or crafts planned to keep the party flowing.

5. Decide how you’ll get the word out. You can either buy or create adorable invitations to go along with your toddler’s birthday party theme or keep it simple by emailing or inviting your guests in person. Give everyone enough advance notice to plan; two weeks is usually good.

6. The fun part – Your Toddler Birthday Party Theme. Here’s where you can have fun. If your toddler already has a favorite character or toy, then go with that. He will be absolutely thrilled! If you don’t have a set theme to start with, then check out some of the birthday party online sites; there are tons of great ideas.

Most of all, remember to stay calm, nobody likes a godzilla mom at a toddler birthday party. Plan ahead, set your budget and don’t forget that it’s for a very little kid who may or may not even know what’s going on. They’ll enjoy themselves if Mommy is happy and smiling!

Find more Toddler Birthday Party Ideas at and Fun Toddler Learning Activities at Family Play and Learn

Party Planning Checklist – Your Secret Success Tool

If you have ever hosted a party before, then you know how much production and energy goes into the planning process. You can make things easier on yourself by making a simple checklist to help keep you on track and to make sure to take care of all the necessary details.

Probably the most essential item on your checklist will be your cost for the party. Budgeting will allow you to get a more accurate idea of how many guests you can comfortably accommodate, which brings us to item number two on the checklist, the guest list. Start with a master of list of who you would like to invite. If your budget can accommodate everyone on the list, perfect. If not, perhaps you might need to scale back a little bit. Remember, it’s rare everyone invited will be able to attend, so keep this in mind for your master list.

Next are the invitations. The process of buying, addressing and mailing invitation can be a bit time consuming, so allow yourself adequate time or recruit a friend to help you. Be sure to come up with a deadline for sending out the invitations, and adhere to it. Invitations should go out no less than three weeks prior to when your party is scheduled to occur. You should give guests up to two weeks to RSVP, so they have a little time to take care of any arrangements on their end, such as finding a babysitter, necessary so they can attend your event.

The next item on your party planning checklist is the location. One option is your home, but of course you can also research renting a venue, such as a private room in a local restaurant, a banquet hall or even a group picnic shelter at a local part. The location should be tied into the theme of the party. Be creative! The location changes the look and feel of your party dramatically, and a great location doesn’t have to be expensive.

Use your checklist to make notes and track pricing and estimates when you speak to vendors on the phone. When renting a venue, many places require you to purchase food from them and will not always allow you to bring your own food. Compare the price of having your party at a rented venue versus hiring a private caterer and having the party in your home. Doing so will help you choose which is the best alternative for you.

If you should choose to go ahead and hire a caterer, discuss a menu and get a price quote. Most caterers have suggestions for you based on your budget, number of guests, and type of party. Don’t even be shy about discussing your budget. Caterers are very creative and can come up with great menu alternatives.

If you end up deciding that you don’t want to use a caterer or rent a private space, you could always take on the food arrangements yourself, but you will need to figure out how much this will cost you as well. Whichever you choose, be sure to add a space on your party planning checklist for reminders so that you can confirm any venues or caterers you may have decided on chosen as the date of your party draws near.

Some of the smaller, but equally as important items on your checklist may include plates and utensils, cups or glasses, napkins, food and drinks. Some hosts will choose to give party favors at the end of the evening to thank their guests for attending, in which case you will also need to research, purchase and prepare the favors. Based on the number of guests attending, you may also have to consider renting tables and chairs, or even a tent, all of which will need to be researched.

Start with these guidelines when creating a checklist for your event. All parties vary regarding the details, but the items listed above are basics for any event. Just remember to keep you notes in one place, hang on to names and phone numbers and write those important follow up dates on your calendar. Staying organized and using your party planning checklist makes planning your event so much easier and enjoyable. Here’s to a fabulous event!

Amber Coco is a party planning expert with over 15 years of experience planning and hosting events. For more information on creating a party planning checklist, or the check out her most recent book, Hosting the Perfect Party, visit

Planning a Twilight Themed Halloween Party

This year for Halloween I’m going to throw a Twilight themed dessert party. Everyone is going to come dressed up as their favorite characters from the Twilight movie or the book series. It’ll be perfect timing for the party as the New Moon movie will be on screen just a few weeks later, so we can watch Twilight on DVD to get ready. Since you might like to have a Twilight theme party yourself, I thought I’d share some of my ideas for planning it.

For the party, I’m going with a red theme for desserts to match the book cover of the first book. We’ll have some savory appetizers on hand, such as chips and salsa, but this is a dessert party. I thought it would be fun to do something different and rather sweet and fluffy and it’s a great substitute for those of us who are too old to still go out and trick or treat!

I love Red Velvet Cake so it’s a great excuse to make Red Velvet cupcakes which I’m sure everyone will wolf down like fiends. For soda pop, there’s cherry soda, strawberry soda, Mountain Dew’s code red and I can make a nice sparkling punch. For those old enough to drink, Sangria should be a big hit, as well as sparkling wine with a dash of red food coloring. If you really have a wild bunch, some red jello shooters would be perfect.

For party snacks, bowls full of ripe red cherries, red pistachios and red Tortilla chips with salsa should work well. Red Jello will make a great additional dessert. You should be able to find it in a couple of flavors. I think Strawberry jello with whipped cream could be fun. I’ll also make up some chocolate-covered strawberries and create some candy-covered apples.

If you put your mind to it, you can probably come up with lots of different ideas for red foods that would work great for a Twilight-themed party. And of course, if you decide to serve a real dinner, Italian has to be the way to go, since that’s what the Cullens were so eager to serve Bella during her first visit.

I have even more Twilight party ideas if you want to plan a birthday party or just want to throw a party for fun. A DVD-watching party before New Moon gets released would be a blast.

Planning Your Office Christmas Party

If it’s down to you to make this year’s office Christmas bash the most successful in company history then you’ll need to start planning now! If you can get the basics right then the stage is set for the perfect party and you can relax and enjoy the fun.

It might seem ludicrously early to even begin thinking about celebrating Christmas but if you want your company to have a night to remember it’s worth making that extra effort and hopefully everyone will thank you for it!

Decide on a budget

Find out from the outset what your budget will be because your party depends on it! There’s no use making big, elaborate plans if there just isn’t the money there but don’t worry if the cash doesn’t match your expectations it won’t have any bearing on how much fun you can have. As long as everyone is clear from the outset, there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises in store for bosses or staff.

Who’s Who

You’ll need to know very early on who will be invited to this year’s Christmas party. Is it purely for staff or will clients or suppliers be on the guest list too? And don’t just assume it will be the same as last year. Budget constraints may mean clients aren’t invited this year, or maybe your company is asking partners of staff along for a change. And if the company is split across several sites and departments then you’ll need to know if you are organising one big celebration or a smaller, more intimate get together.

Name the day

Be realistic when deciding on a date. Whichever day you decide upon there will always be someone who can’t attend. Don’t try and please everyone, just book early and make sure everyone knows well in advance and if you have refusals don’t take it to heart. If you want to maximise your company’s attendance then sending out a group email with a selection of dates to choose from might be in order, but even then you will always end up excluding someone. Depending on how busy your office gets at Christmas time you may decide to have your party slightly earlier than most, and there is an increasing trend to wait until January when diaries are less full and prices are cheaper!

Booking a venue

Location is key here. Once you know a date and roughly how many people will be on the guest list it’s time to start thinking about your venue. Once you have decided on the type of venue, whether it be a hotel, pub, nightclub or restaurant, the most important factor consideration is the location. It makes sense to have the party relatively near the office so everyone is familiar with transport links. However glitzy the destination, staff are unlikely to want to make the trip to a different town or part of London with no means of getting home. If you must do it, then consider laying on transport to a recognised location, such as a main train station or tube stop.

Chillisauce is a company that specialise in creating an exclusive and shared corporate Christmas Party. To read more about the different types of Company Christmas parties you can organise for your team, visit