I've been planning my daughter's birthday since November of last year. Yeah, I know it sounds crazy to start making plans that early when her birthday is in June. But it has helped me out so much.
On my daughter's first birthday, I made a cake for her and went to Disney for the first time with a few family members. It was great. I didn't really need to plan anything other than making sure family were able to come to Orlando.
Now this year it's not going to be stress free as the previous year. First thing I have to make a budget for the party. Originally I didn't want to spend more than 300 bucks but that went out the window when I realize how much everything would realistically cost .
The next step was location for the party. I was willing to have it in our apartment but then I looked at the space I have verses the amount of people I would have invited and that wouldn't work out. I also looked into renting a pavilion at a local park. The pavilion was HUGE for a party of 30-40 people. And besides the park that I wanted to have the party had soo many restrictions so we passed on that.
Then I had a brilliant idea. What about a pool party!? My daughter's birthday is in June and its usually hot cause it's Florida summer weather it would be perfect! I wanted to do it at my apartment's community pool so we can save money there. But my husband and our friend Liz axed that idea. -_- Their reasoning were that there will be a lot of teenagers and college students lounging around and the pool is sometimes not clean due to the lovely trees that surround the pool area. They did have a point.
Luckily Liz works for a hotel that is close by. She offered to give us her discount on the pool room. We get to use a little room that has a/c and is located next to the pool. That way I can butt out whoever is not invited. The day I want to have the party is on a Saturday most of the tourist will be at the parks so it will be perfect. We will barely have anyone else at the pool area besides my party.
Second step is guest list! I made an actual list through Google Docs. (used this to plan the party)
So I made a couple of columns with names, # of adults and children and then I split it between friends, my husband's family and my family too. This makes it easier for me to remember who I have yet to invite. As you can see my guest list goes to about 60 people. But realistically half of them won't show up because they live in a different city/state.
Third Step is the theme! This was a no brain-er for me. My daughter LOVES Sesame Street. I'm pretty sure once she gets older its going to be a challenge of what she wants for her birthday.
Fourth and fifth step is figuring out what you want to serve for food and what decorations you want to purchase. Always compare prices! My main three places that I was comparing are Party City , Walmart and Amazon. You'll be surprise that Amazon doesn't really have the greatest prices. Also look out for specials. I noticed a trend in Party City that every month they have a sale when you spend over $65 you get $10 off or 20% off entire purchase (when you sign up with your email to receive notifications). Sometimes Amazon's prices fluctuates from week to week. Also keep an eye on the date of arrival. You don't want to stress out on an item days before your party.
If you have time making the decorations and invitations yourself can save you money! Here is a past post of making my daughter's invitations with Google Docs.
You can use my birthday party organization for holiday events , dinner parties , and many more events.
I will be blogging more birthday party related posts in the near future.