31 Days to an Awesome Party: Guest List & Time (Day 3)

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

How is your planning coming along?  We now have our theme and location chosen and are on our way to creating a great party.  Next on our list is to determine the time and what I often consider one of the hardest tasks, the guest list.

What kind of party did you decide on throwing?  Is it a shower, birthday party or something else?  Who will you invite?  The answers may vary as much as your type of party.

When writing your guest list, consider these questions:

* How many guests would I like to invite/attend?  Do I want a small intimate gathering or a fun blowout party?
* How many people can I accommodate?
* Do I need to consider my budget for how much it will cost to feed a certain number of people?
* Do I need to consider someone else’s wishes or is it completely up to me?
* Will I stick with a particular circle of people or will I meld two or more groups?
* Am I inviting a particular a group, but excluding one or two people?
* For a children’s party, will I invite friends or classmates (or both)?  I don’t want to invite the entire class, but how will I draw the line?

For a children’s party, you may have heard the premise of inviting a number of children corresponding to the age of the birthday boy or girl.  If your child is 5 years old, invite 5 kids, etc.  I find this immensely difficult between our many cousins, neighbors and now school friends.  Just see my daughter’s 3 year old tea party . . . we had 12 guests . . . but 6 of them were baby dolls.  The main thing for writing your guest list is to be reasonable and be kind.

Picking the Time of Your Party:  A lot of the timing of a party depends on if you plan on serving a meal or not.  If you are not serving a meal, schedule your party for after lunch or dinner time.  Don’t neglect the possibility of a breakfast or brunch if it suits your party.  I have been to many a Saturday morning bridal/baby shower where they served a great breakfast, not to mention we still had the rest of the day ahead of us.

What works best for you and what works best for your guests?  If your party involves a lot of last minute work, have you given yourself enough time?  If you are inviting young children, are you avoiding nap time?  When choosing a weekday for a children’s party where children are still young enough that parents still stay for the party, have you considered that parents may not be able to find child care for siblings?  Are you prepared for extra siblings or should you consider a Saturday party?

Don’t be afraid to mention on your invitations if you are only serving appetizers or desserts.  Letting your guests know ahead of time what can be expected will help them plan accordingly.  A well thought out party not only decreases your stress as the day approaches, but can increase your guests’ enjoyment during the event.

Happy Planning!

Assignment:  No surprise here.  Start writing your guest list and set the time of your party.