Planning a birthday party can be tough, to say the least. When you are bombarded with decisions like... What theme should I choose? Do I want to do it at home or somewhere else? Who should I invite? Where will I get my decorations? OMG...How should I decorate? When should I do this? Ugh! You find yourself making decisions, trying to make everybody happy...meanwhile, your head is spinning out of control up until the party is over and your are left holding the (trash) bag, cleaning up the mess. What a whirlwind. You probably didn't even have time to snap pictures or even see the smile on your daughter's face when she was dancing with her friends. You were busy being a good mom and entertaining everyone, making sure everything went smoothly. Right?
That's a lot of work. Here's some advice.
Stop Trying to Please Everyone
This party is for your little one. Let go of trying to impress everyone. Let go of trying to make everyone's schedules jive. Pick a day that works for the most important people involved and move on to choosing a theme and location.
Figuring Out Where to Party
Ask yourself if you have enough space to entertain and if you would really be relaxed having to clean before everyone comes, cook, decorate, coordinate, manage and clean up. If the answer is "yes, that sounds great!", then plan the party at your place. You can save yourself a pretty penny doing it on your own! Buuutttt...if this sounds like a huge hassle, consider having her birthday party at another venue. This will undoubtedly take away the stress, you will be able to relax, and enjoy her.
Choosing a Theme
My motto is...let her pick the theme! It's her party, and as long as it isn't a surprise, why shouldn't she be able to pick. I would advise that you narrow down 4 or 5 options so that it isn't confusing. Let go of what you think would be best and let her have this decision. What could it hurt?
Finding Birthday Party Decor - On the cheap!
When you have to find decorations for a certain theme - I highly recommend checking out Oriental Trading or Party City just because they have such a wide selection. (This is not a paid advertisement for them, although maybe it should be...hmmm...). We have all seen what they have at Walmart and let's just say it's not cute...Target has some really cute things but they are so limited with their selection. Trust me, just check out those two stores. Party City is a brick and mortar but both stores sell online. Oriental Trading is most definitely a cost leader in the birthday party supplies industry, as well! If you are looking for specialty items that these stores cannot provide and/or your budget is a bit more broad, please check out some Etsy shops. They have really cute and unique items that you usually can't find in stores. Plus, you're probably helping a family pay the bills or go on vacation by shopping small. I love the thought of that! Now - on to food!
Food can be expensive when you have to buy for lots of people. Our top 5 ideas for feeding lots of people at birthday parties without breaking the bank are:
~Sandwiches - you can cut them in half and kids are usually happy with that, and it looks cute!
~Hot dogs - a perfect go to for outdoor parties!
~Pizza - a great option if you want take out!
~Nachos - you could set up a nacho bar and let everyone choose their own toppings, super fun!
~Snack bar - fill a countertop with yogurts, chips and dip, fruit and popsicles and call it a day!
I am sure there are many other options out there for birthday parties. These just happen to be very cost effective and easy!
In conclusion, this doesn't have to be hard or make you frazzled. Keep it simple, take a deep breath.