Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Parties

Summer is probably one of the best times of year to have a party! With the weather being nice and school not  being in session, there's practically no better time for a fun get together with friends and family. You can have a party just for the fun of it, or for a special occasion like a birthday, graduation, or a summer holiday like Independence Day if you live in the United States. (Do you have a special summer holiday you celebrate in your country? I'd love to hear about it!) You can even have a party towards the end of the summer when school is about to start again! 

Planning is an important part of having a great party, regardless if it's during the summer or any other time of year. If you are planning to have a party, or are helping someone to plan a party there are always a few things to keep in mind. From planning the guest list, to refreshments, to parental permission if you still live at home there are so many things to do. It's always best to plan ahead of time, rather then the day before or the day of. Keep in mind that bigger parties will require more planning then small get togethers. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning a party:

Parent's Permission- If you are still living with your parents, you'll want to be sure that it's okay with them before you even begin planning a party. If they say no, you could always see about helping a friend plan a party. If your parents are having a get together over the summer, you can see if they will allow you to invite a few friends. While it may not be fun to ask your parents, it's always better then getting in trouble later. If you live on your own, you can skip this step :P

Guests (if you live at home, your parents may want to know your guest list when you ask them)- This should be one of the first things you take care of when planning a party. If you live with your parents, or have limited space, it's best to keep the guest list small and only invite a few friends. You can have just as much fun with small group of people as you can with a larger one. Always let guests know ahead of time when planning a party to be sure they don't have other plans. 
      ~Other guests- Make sure to let your guests know your rule on bringing other friends or family to the party as to how many they can bring, or if others are allowed to come at all. You may also want to know who else they wish to bring with them. You want to make sure you have enough food and room for everyone, and avoid potential drama.

Invitations- You can always make little invitations to send out to all of your guests. But phone calls, emails, or even Facebook is a great way to let your guests know about your party. Be sure that you let your guests know the location and starting time of the party. As well as how to dress, what to bring, and the rules on bringing other guests along. If you are having your party at a venue like a bowling alley, club, or recreation center, you'll also want to be sure they know how much money to bring, or if you have paid for them to get in.

Location- Most likely you'll want to have your party on your's or a friend's house. But if you wish, you can have your party at a park (especially if you plan to watch fireworks for Independence Day or other holiday. You may also want to have your party at your local rec center, or at a bowling alley, club, or other fun place. You may need to call some of these places ahead of time to make a reservation. You'll also want to find out how much it's going to cost to have your party there. 
*for some venues such as clubs, you'll want to be sure that all guests will be able to get in. Know the age policy for the venue, many may not allow anyone under 21 or 18 to enter. 

Snacks and refreshments- Make a list of all foods, snacks, and drinks you want at your party to help you when you go shopping. To save money, you can assign each guest to bring a certain thing. Try to have a variety of snacks and drinks. If you have a small guest list, you can ask each guest what they would like to eat or drink. You'll want to try to buy everything at least the day before your party. Make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare everything! If you are under 21, you should not serve alcohol at your party. If you are 21, do not allow anyone under 21 to drink. Never allow anyone to drive home drunk. If you are 21 and serving alcohol be make sure everyone has someone to drive them home. You do not want to get in trouble with the law!

Decorations- While you don't always have to do a whole lot of decorating, some balloons, banners, or small decorations are always a nice touch. Many decorations can be bought at the dollar store for cheap. You can even check out Walmart or a party store to see what they have. An American themed party would be amazing for the 4th of July. Or you can get some Hawaiian themed items and have a luau! You may even want to have some themed items for your guests to wear such as red, white, and blue jewelry or a lei. 

Activities- Be sure to prepare some fun activities for your guests. If you are having your party at a venue then be sure your guests know what you'll be doing there. If you are going to a water park, be sure everyone knows to bring a bathing suit! If you are having your party at home, try to get a few board games, outdoor games, or video games to play. You may even want to play some music from your iPod, or even off of YouTube. Movies are also a great activity for smaller parties. 

Weather- Keep an eye on the forecast for the day of your party. If you are having an outdoor party, be sure guests know what will happen in the event of inclement weather. If you can still have the party indoors, be sure to let your guests know. You may need to cancel the party if you don't have enough room for everyone inside, or if you are at an outdoor venue. It's best to call or text all of your guests if you have to cancel the party to let them know. You don't always have to cancel an outdoor party for a light rain if it wont interfere with anything. But you should never keep a party outside in the event of a thunderstorm. If you can reschedule, make sure everyone knows the new date of the party. 

These tips don't just apply to planning a summer party. They can be used any time of year! Try not to stress to much when planning a party, and get help from others if you need to. And remember to have fun :) If you have additional tips to add, please leave them in the comments. I'd love to hear them! 

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