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Party planning tips for busy mummies

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Image courtesy nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Spring is here and flowers aren’t the only things that are in bloom. With Easter and the start of the wedding season just around the corner, Spring brings with it lots of cause for celebration.

From Easter parties, birthday parties, baby showers, wedding showers, raunchy bachelorette parties and even small home gatherings or dinner parties, this time of year brings out the party planner in most people, especially mothers.

Now don’t be mistaken, the role of party planner isn’t necessarily a function we mothers signed up willingly for when we decided to have kids, but, it is one of those things that gets sneakily hidden into the “other duties as assigned” clause of the contract.

When your five year old comes to you with those eyes, begging for a spiderman/dinosaur/cars themed birthday party, how could you say no (did I mention the eyes)? With the five million other things that we have to get done during the day, carving out time to plan the most memorable first birthday party that our child will never remember could get tricky (especially if hiring a celebrity event planner is a tad out of your budget).

So, here are a few tips to help you efficiently and cost-effectively plan your next party.

Create a checklist

When planning a party or event there are several elements that must be taken into consideration and, in the midst of all of the chaos, excitement and dirty diapers, it can be very easy to forget or overlook important details.

To avoid this from happening, take some time to create a checklist and a budget for the event.

With the checklist of all of the things that you need to do or confirm for the party, the planning process will be more organised and you will be able to have a clear picture of what items are still left to confirm.

A sample event checklist and budget can be found here.

Shrink the guest list

Just because the kind server in Burger King gave you extra fries last week or the sweet  old lady at church mentioned how much weight you have lost, doesn’t mean they all need to be invited to this year’s Easter egg hunt.

Keep your guest list to a minimum, if possible, so that your event budget and sanity do not spiral out of control. Depending on the event you may be able to get away with inviting just close friends and family, allowing for a more intimate gathering.

Don’t be afraid to go digital

Chances are that most of your friends or guests have smartphones or are digitally connected in some way. So, instead of wasting the time, effort and paper to send printed invitations, why not send online invitations?

The use of online invitations continues to be a growing trend, even though some traditionalists and etiquette gurus may scoff at the idea.  More and more, persons are embracing the convenience, as well as the environmental benefits, of online invitations and a number of websites provide party planners with templates to create beautifully designed invitations for every occasion.

One of my favourites is Paperless Post which provides a wide range of customizable designs for online and printed stationery. The company has even partnered with several world famous designers and lifestyle brands such as Kate Spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, Jonathan Adler, and Rifle Paper Co. to create designs that are classy and eye-catching.

Here are some amazing  invitations from Paperless Post to get you started. You can also go digital for the save the dates, birthday cards, thank you cards and other event essentials.

Bring in the troops

Part of being a party planner is being able to delegate tasks. If you try to do everything yourself you will find yourself feeling overly stressed and unable to enjoy your own party. So mums, swallow your pride, rally up the troops and ask for help.

Maybe your sister could be in charge of following up on the RSVPs, or your mother-in-law could handle collecting the special order birthday cake while you take care of the decorations and your husband confirms the DJ.

In most cases your friends and family would be willing to help if you just ask them and by sharing the workload you will be less stressed and less likely to forget anything. Also, be sure to make use of that checklist.

Use disposable plates and cups

So this may be another area that is frowned upon by the etiquette gurus, however, for smaller, less formal gatherings disposable dishes can make the after party clean up less of a “kill me now” moment. In addition, the fact that disposable wares now come in a variety of colours, patterns and materials, the plates and cups could also be statement pieces to your event, without breaking the bank.

So mummies, for your next party, give these planing tips a try and remember to have a little fun … you deserve it!

This post was published in collaboration with Anagram Interactive on behalf of Paperless Post.

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