31 Days to an Awesome Party: Choosing a Location (Day 2)

For a complete listing of the topics in this series, go here.  

Welcome back!  We have chosen our theme and are now our on way to creating a great party.  Next on our list is the practical task of choosing where we will host this great event.

I love throwing parties at home.  You can start the decorating as early as you’d like.  You can set up your tables in advance and play with your display arrangements.  You have flexibility and opportunity to go either way on the formality spectrum.

But maybe a party at your home isn’t practical in your case.  You may have more people than you can accommodate in your house or maybe you’re looking to have your event catered and would like to be off-site (and avoid all the work of preparing your house for a party).

When looking for a venue other than your home, consider the size, location, price and availability.  If budget is a concern, more inexpensive options may be a park pavilion (beware of inclement weather), church hall, community center room, a back room at a restaurant or see if there is another person who is willing to host (in case of a bridal or baby shower).

A Circus Party at Home

The great children’s party debate:  host at home or another venue.  I have talked to many moms about this.  While hosting a party at a venue like Chuck E.Cheese may be more costly, it is certainly nice to not have to prepare your home or clean up afterwards.  Do you like making the food for events?  Weigh these things when you are deciding.  Look back to your descriptive words from Day 1.  Do they offer any insight?

As I mentioned, I love entertaining at home.  But for Sweet Boy’s last birthday, we held the party at a friend’s railroad.  It was the first time I hosted a kids’ party in a venue other than our home.  Our theme was trains and obviously, a railroad was a perfect fit.  What is your theme?  Is there any venue nearby that would play into the party your constructing?  (an old courthouse for an attorney’s bridal shower, a farm for a child’s barnyard party, vineyard for an engagement or anniversary party)  Be creative, dream a little and think outside of the box.

The Rain Dilemna:  There is something completely dreamy to me about having an outdoor party.  Buffet tables set along the tree line of an open field, linen tablecloths gently blowing in the breeze, lemonade in a glass dispenser inviting all nearby to come and enjoy.  The warm glow of little white lights as dusk settles.  Ah, yes.  Dreamy outdoor parties.  I did my fair share of outdoor weddings and they were fabulous.  But we always had a back up plan for inclement weather.  And yes, sometimes we had to take that route.

Whenever you are planning an outdoor event, have a rain plan in mind.  Be sure you can comfortably fit the people if you have to move indoors.  Know when your drop-dead time of decision is.  How easy will it be to change your set up plan?  Would it be worthwhile (or cost effective) to rent a tent when you see a grim forecast for the weekend?  You can’t control the weather.  If you end up having to go with Plan B, none of your guests will ever know what it would have been (sob, sob) . . . put on a cheery face and think about your guests . . . and keeping them dry.

Our Plan B for the Train Party was to move all
tables to the covered porch.  

Assignment:  Write a list of options for hosting your party.  Are you set on a party at home or would you like to go somewhere else?  Think through any budget restrictions.  If you need to make any inquiries, make the phone calls today.

We’ll be breaking for this series until Monday, so you’ll have plenty of time to work on choosing the location of your party.

Do you have anything you’d like to see in this series?  Leave a comment below.