Jay Tyrone’s birthday bash. Thank you to Mike Sy for these nice images!
HOW DO I PLAN MY PARTY? THE BEGINNER MOM’S FAQ-GUIDE TO PLANNING HER FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY
In an effort to document what I know about party planning (especially in the modern age of “event styling” as opposed to balloon decoration), and more importantly to help out all the new moms out there, I’m writing below the most frequently asked questions and concerns my clients have thrown at me during meetings. I will try to make this as comprehensive as possible, but in case I missed something out, please do post your questions in the comments section below this blog post and I’ll try to include the answer in this blog post. And make sure to bookmark this page so you can revisit it later on!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How far in advance should I start planning for my party? The answer is that it depends for every mom’s situation and particular requirements. But I would say, on average, a good time span would be about 6-12 months in advance.
Which suppliers should I book first?
Another way to frame this question is: which suppliers are in most demand?
Book these suppliers 9 months to 1 year in advance
a.) Venue – if you are opting for a popular venue, some get booked as early as 1 year in advance, or more. Even if you don’t have a theme yet, just go ahead and book your venue. The details can come later on in the planning process.
b.) Photographer – very important as the photographer will be in charge of capturing your memories. Most popular photographers get booked very early on.
c.) Event Stylist – same story. ;p
d.) Host / Magician – if you are targeting a popular host or magician, same deal. They get booked early. So don’t think about the specifics, just reserve the host!
Book these suppliers 6-9 months in advance
Birthday cake / pastries (most of the popular ones are notorious for not being prompt with their replies, so knowing an event stylist or coordinator that has “backchannels” can really help)
You should also be thinking hard about your program and other entertainment / activities jugglers, singers, princesses, and others.
Invitation designer and printer
Book these suppliers 3-6 months in advance
Kiddie tables and chairs
Lights and Sounds
Do I need a coordinator?
This is a bit of a hard one. The short answer to this is, it depends on what type of planner you are. Are you the laid-back, delegator-type who loves her free time and is fine with trusting others to do the job for you? Or are you the ultimate hands-on, DIY mom who just can’t help but get down and dirty with all the details?
If you are not so sure which type you are, my suggestion is to do your research (like read this blog) and plan everything way in advance. If you feel overwhelmed, that might be the sign that you need a coordinator.
How far in advance should I send out my invitations?
Roughly 3 weeks to a month before the event date.
Should I even get a host?
Again, this is based on your personal preference. Whether you will be getting a host or not, and if yes the type of host you will get (each host has their own strengths), will depend on the theme you chose and the ambiance you will try to evoke.
If you are the type who hates rowdiness and noise, having a laid-back, relaxed party might appeal to you. I’ve had some clients who had literally no host. Their events focused on making the kids busy with activities, while the adults ate, gathered around, and caught up with each other.
It also depends on your guests. Do your guests have lots of active kids (aged 5-12 years old)? If yes, you might need to make your program more “lively”. If your guests are mostly adults with infants, then having a more laid-back program might make sense.
In terms of planning for event styling, what is the typical process and steps that I should undergo? [Read more…]