My mum missed (what I think was) a great business opportunity. She could have started up a kids' party styling business back in the 80's.
In those days, kids' birthday parties were simple backyard affairs with some cake, ice cream, chocolate crackles and a few balloons.
But when my mum hosted my 7th birthday party in 1981, she had no previous party planning experience. I was an only child and Mum had never held a party for me (or any other kids) before.
She had few ideas on where to begin, so she (ingeniously) visited the local library and borrowed a stack of books on party ideas for children. Yes, this was before the days of online research, people!
Mum was a bit nervous about organising a party for a group of kids she didn't really know. As it turned out, she was worried about nothing, because she struck a goldmine. Her hard work and creativity made my party a HUGE success.
So much so, that all of my friends' mothers were asking my Mum to host their kids' parties and offering good money to do so. Right there was the perfect start-up chance and my mum said no. Why? Because she felt that the whole process was too much work and too much stress to be worth it.
And that's exactly how we can feel about hosting parties, can't we? Is this you?
Oh, parties are way too expensive...
and hard work.
I don't know how much food to serve.
I can't decorate!
I'm hopeless at doing cakes...
Do people still do favors or goody bags?
How many people should I invite?
Anyway, I don't have the time to plan a party...
and why are parties such a big deal these days, anyway?
Oh, here comes a panic attack!
Yes, parties are a lot of work. And time. And some expense (it's actually not that pricey when you DIY). But isn't life worth celebrating?
Let's explore 7 of the most common things that we hate about hosting a party, and ways in which we can turn them around.
1. Parties have to be Perfect
People often choose to avoid hosting parties, because they feel worried that :
their house isn't nice enough, big enough or safe enough for kids
- they can't afford a fancy party like their friends
- they can't cook or decorate
- their guests won't turn up
people won't enjoy the party
Stop the self-critique. Your party does not need to be perfect in every way. Your guests will surely appreciate all the work that you have put into your party planning and they're there to celebrate and relax with you.
Know your limits. Stick to what you know and are comfortable with. Keep the gathering small and simple, so you don't become overwhelmed. You can work up towards larger and more extravagant parties gradually (or not).
2. Too much to Clean Up
When people think about hosting a party, one of the first things that comes to their mind is the amount of cleaning they'll have to do - before the party and then again after the party. Ugh, it's just too much effort!
Adopt some selective cleaning before the event. Your venue doesn't have to be absolutely spotless, because it's gonna get dirty as soon as your guests start arriving!
Ensure that the place is tidy by removing clutter
Remove breakable and expensive items
Empty dishwasher so it's ready to fill when required
Set out rubbish bins and/or bags and paper towels for your guests
Ensure extra toilet paper and towels are handy in bathrooms
Clean bathrooms and eating areas.
At the Party:
Serve finger foods that are less mess
Use disposable utensils
3. There's no place like Home
For various reasons, some people just don't like the idea of holding a party in their home and this one thing prevents them from hosting parties.
- Community Hall
- Play Centre
4. Too many People, People!
Hosting a party for a large group can be completely stress-inducing. There's much to consider - will there be enough space for everyone? How much food needs to be served? How to keep so many guests entertained? Will people get along? Will things get out of hand?
Don't feel the need to invite everyone. Close family and friends are easier to host; simply because you know them better and you can hence serve them better. Distant acquaintances your barely know are more difficult to host and this can cause you stress, so it may be best to not invite them.
5. I can't Cook
For those who lack confidence in their own cooking abilities, the thought of hosting a party and having to feed people is just plain scary! As food is an important part of any celebration, they just refuse to host parties because they can't cook.
Plan a simple menu. If you have a few simple things that you can cook, stick to those
- Ask others to cook for you
- Host a pot luck party
- Hire a caterer
- Buy pre-prepared food that can be reheated
6. I'm too Disorganised
For some, just the thought of planning the party stresses them out. The key to stress-free party planning is organisation, plain and simple.
Make a list
- Get one thing achieved each day
- Set realistic goals
7. I can't Enjoy Myself
When all the party guests are enjoying themselves, and the host never gets to relax and enjoy it too, why bother hosting a party in the first place? What's the point? Aren't parties supposed to be fun?
Some tips include creating self-serve stations at your party, so guests can top up their own drinks and plates, meaning there is less for you to do on the actual day of the party. Some ideas include:
Tea & Coffee Bar
Pizza & Pasta Bar
- Ice Cream Bar
- Dessert/Candy Bar or Buffet
- DIY Photo Booth Station
- Grazing Tables
- Jukebox/Music Station
- Dance Floor
- Waiter Service
Okay, so we've addressed 7 of the most common objections that people hold against hosting a party. But what about the expense? Well, hopefully we've got that covered too.
There are many ways in which you can save on your party hosting, so here's our tips on parties on a budget.
If you're hosting a kids' party, download our free 90-page guide.
Hopefully these party hosting tips have been a great help to you. If you've been helped by this post, let us know in the comments! We'd love to hear from you!