We get this question all the time! How far ahead do I need to plan for my party? The simple answer of course is always “now” :). Always better to book way ahead of time. I usually tell folks that as soon as you have a venue and a date and time, get booking! Doing this well ahead of time guarantees that your preferred rentals, DJ, catering service, and entertainment is available. The closer you get to the date of your party, the more the best providers will be booking up. Also booking well ahead of time may also give you some leverage to ask for a discounted rate – a rate that you won’t be able to get if you shoot for a last-minute booking. So bottom line, secure your venue (even if that is simply deciding that it will be in your own home) and put a date and time on the calendar right away… and then start calling and surfing online for what you hope to have at your party and event. Doing this early will also give you the needed time to send invitations and gather RSVPs as well! As you go, here is a short list of things to think about as a helpful memory-jog:

-Will you have tables and chairs for folks to sit and eat on? What about shade (tent/tents/gazebo) if it will be outdoors?
-Then, what about entertainment or activities for the kids? The best parties keep kids occupied so that parents can relax and enjoy themselves (and mix with each other) without having to feel stressed about keeping their kids occupied.

-Party favors? What will your guests leave with?
-Music – the most comfortable parties have music to keep guest’s ears occupied. Consider at least having a pre-planned playlist on your stereo – or an awesome DJ if you want to really take it to the next level.
-Pinata? Bounce castle for the kids to play in together? Carnival/party games or craft tables? Who will run these?
-How about a magician or puppeteer? Face painting and balloons? Caricature artist or airbrush tattoo artist?
-How far ahead of time will you need to send invitations? Will you do it in the mail or online through a helpful service like Evite? How will you take RSVPs?
-If it is a really big event, or there will be tons of people, consider hiring an event planner who can take care of all the details, as well as help host the party that day – so that for once you can actually enjoy the party too!

Questions? Suggestions? Recommendations or referrals for your upcoming party? We are always here to help!

Happy fall and happy parties!
~Sean Hyatt, Lead Artist

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