As Christmas is only a few weeks away, we thought it would a good opportunity to show you how we plan for these types of events. Whether it’s a large family gathering or a small birthday party the principle below works every time.
A simplified way to get you organised and hosting an event that will have everyone wanting to know how you did it!
Step One: Theme
Working out the theme of the event can be one of the best steps; it gets you excited and motivated. A couple of questions to ask yourself is:
- How do you want it to look?
- What’s the feel of the event? Is it a Christmas dinner or a special birthday?
Step Two: Planning
Once the theme (feel) of the event is set then it’s time for planning. I find the easiest and simplest way is to write lists. At the end of the process you will have a couple of lists to work from but this helps to be organised and will help keep the whole process simple and easy.
First, write down all the items you will need including:
- Serving dishes
- Tables and chairs
When writing the list make a note next to the item of things that you already have around the house, items that you can borrow for the day and items that you will need to purchase.
As you organise and hold more events the section of items to purchase will get less. If money is tight, ask to borrow some items from friends and family, you can then put these items on your list to purchase when you can.
Step Three: Food
So now you need to sit down and plan the menu. Biggest tip here is to keep it simple. Nobody wants a lovely meal at the expense of a stressed host who you hardly see as they’re flitting to the kitchen every minute. You can still make a huge impact with less work.
Once the menu has been finalised its time to write a list of all ingredients you will need. Again, mark ingredients that you have already in the pantry and items you will need to purchase. It’s a good idea to do this task well in advance of the big day, as this allows you to pick up some of the items along with your normal shopping and to keep an eye out for when things are on sale. It also means that you’ll have all the ingredients you need prior to the event, no running out of something at the last minute.
Another option to help reduce your food budget is to ask your guest to bring a plate to share. Most people don’t mind bringing a plate and it also gives you a wide variety of dishes that you may not have tried otherwise. And if you have a little OCD with the look and dishes for your event, don’t panic. Just transfer the food provided to one of your own dishes to keep the theme the same.
Step Four: Layout
This can be a really fun time and helps to bring back the initial excitement and motivation for the event. Step four is layout planning.
A helpful tip that will make things run smoothly on the big day is to draw a layout of the position of tables and decorations. Having something written down will help you have a clear vision on how you want it to look, and it will also allow others to help as they will know how you want things laid out.
Step Five: List Everything!
This is the most important step to planning an event; it is where you bring everything together.
Write down absolutely everything that needs to be done prior to the event from:
- Mowing the lawns
- Cleaning the house
- Making the food
- Moving furniture
- Borrowing items
Get your diary ready and look at the weeks prior to the event and start planning, write down what jobs need to be done and when you will do them. Do as much as you can in the weeks leading up to the event, you don’t want to leave everything to the last minute. By writing everything down, you’ll feel more in control and it will give you the freedom to enjoy the event along with your guests.