I’m planning my twins’ 11th birthday party and I thought I’d take you through the process as I go, so you can see exactly how and when I do everything to pull off a party. Over the next few weeks, keep tuning in on Tuesdays, and I’ll share with you where I am in the party planning process. Don’t miss my party lessons at the end of each post.
About 9 weeks ago…
I asked the girls what they wanted for their party. Baby A immediately said, “Gymnastics!” and Baby B immediately said “Baseball!” And mommy reached for the wine. (Not really. OK maybe one glass.)
I told myself I could come up with a sports party theme with two distinct dessert tables. I began keeping brainstorming lists on my phone and let the girls add to them whenever they had ideas.
But I kept getting stuck on the party activities. You know I believe that a party must be more than just clever decorations and stunning sweets. It must be fun!
Baby A wanted to go to the gym for gymnastics lessons. Well that was fine. (By the way, Hoopla Events did an at-the-gym gymnastics party you should see and Anders Ruff created — of course — a darling gymnastics party at home.) But Baby B wanted no part of a gymnastics party. She thought the girls should play a game of softball or take batting practice. Except that only one of her friends plays softball. And, doing both of those activities in one party would mean a four-hour party and mommy can’t handle that.
Which led to the Instagram question…
(Are you following me Instagram? You can find me at The Party Teacher.)
While the girls were all for separate parties, I just don’t think it’s fair to ask friends and family to come to parties two weekends in a row. Too many logistics. So the notion of separate parties was out.
Anyway, I was beginning to doubt, but I pressed on. About 5 weeks ago, I even hit my local Goodwill in search of softball trophies (to serve as decoration) and scored this beauty for $4.99. It’s as tall as Baby B!
But I finally cried “uncle”
How do you know when it’s time to dump your party theme? How about: when you don’t really have one. I was planning two parties and trying to smoosh them into one. It just wasn’t going to work.
But as the girls were jockeying for my phone in order to research their party “themes” on Pinterest … and as I kept finding selfies they’d taken on my phone without asking … and as I drove through our darling downtown, it finally it me: the girls (like most tweens, I expect) are all about taking selfies and going on lunch/shopping expeditions.
So what about a Selfie Scavenger Hunt Party?
To be continued…
Here are your party lessons:
- To minimize the crazy, start your party planning as early as possible. Our party will be at the end of February, and I started planning 9 weeks ago, so I’ll have about 16 weeks all together.
- Ask your child (if he/she is old enough) what they want. The party should be fun for them. (Besides, you don’t want to be “that mom.”)
- Think about the party as a whole — not just the pretty decorating part.
- Where will you host your party: at home or at a venue?
- If you will host at a venue, how will that impact your budget and your party day? (Transporting a van-full of party goods to a venue is not fun.)
- Will your party be fun for your guests? Will they feel comfortable?
- What will your party colors be?
- Brainstorm yourself first, brainstorm with your child and then turn to Pinterest. (I promise: you are more creative than you think you are!)
- Don’t be afraid to start over. My girls’ favorite party (and my top seller) is still our Nancy Drew Mystery Party, and it was a do-over theme also. (We started that year thinking surfer girl party and I decided that it just wouldn’t be fun in February.)
- Shop your local thrift store. Remember that spray paint can work wonders on other people’s junk.
Have you gotten your copy of my Week-by-Week party planning checklist? It’s the secret to how you can plan your next party without rushing around like a crazy person. Just fill in the box below, and I’ll send the checklist right to you.