Remember those good olden days, when all our parents needed was a birthday cake, a packet of small balloons accompanied by that of a giant balloon so that we, at the end of our birthday parties could burst it with a pin and wait for a sweet shower of candies and chocolates? Aah! How easy it was for all of us to get grooving at a birthday party, where the treats were the sameas usual, the decor used to be the same and in the name of return gifts we would get those cute compact pencil boxes, or crayon boxes and sometimes getting that extra slice of cake was more than enough for us as kids to give a huge thumbs up to any birthday party! Well, as much as we loved the old days, the time has moved on way too much and so have the ways of planning a successful birthday party!
The games of planning have evolved so much so that each party has its own unique theme, decor and menu these days! And if you are someone who is planning a birthday party for your kid or friend, or mom, dad, sister, brother or any other special person in your life, we are sure you don’t want to commit these 15 cardinal sins aka planning mistakes while aiming to throw a nice and memorable birthday bash to make that person feel the best on their special day!
1. Taking it all on your shoulders
Whether you are planning a small get together or a grand birthday bash, planning should never be a burden put solely on your shoulders! Regardless of who you are throwing a birthday party for, planning is always fun and easier when the responsibilities and tasks are shared amongst those who are willingly ready to help with the logistics of a celebratory event! If someone offers to help, feel free to use that extra hand! After all, there are loads of things to be done, and you wouldn’t want to get stuck only in the planning process.
In case, you are going for a large scale party, it’s always a wise thing to take help of the professional party organisers. Not only do they take the weight and responsibility off of your shoulders, but will also do it flawlessly. Thinking about what you are gonna do? Well, be their supervisor. Make sure everything is being done as promised and enjoy the time when the day of celebration comes.
Pros: You will have loads of time to make the birthday boy or girl feel special. You can spend as much time as you want to spend with them. You won’t have to run for last minutes party essentials, cause a professional party planner will take care of every tiny detail related to the party!
Cons: Naah! There aren’t any!
Looking for someone who can help you organise a fantastic birthday bash? Find the best party planners in your city here!
2. Choosing a venue which requires loads of commuting!
Unless you are hoping for a no-show from your invited guests, it wouldn’t be wise to keep your party in that part of the city which isn’t easy to reach! Book a venue which requires less travelling time for others! You will have to consider that not all of your guests are going to come by their personal vehicles, so easy commute through public transportation such as cabs, metro, auto-rickshaws have to be taken into consideration while choosing a party venue.
3. 10/10 rule for the food and plates can be a party pooper for you!
Always go by the Baker’s dozen rule! Regardless of how many people you have invited to the birthday party, always keep extra food and plates handy, in case the number exceeds. So, if you have booked a party hall for the event, you can ask the caterers to arrange at least 1/5th extra food and plates for the occasion. If it’s a homely birthday celebration it’s always good to prepare extra food for the guests!
4. Booking an outdoor venue without a backup plan? But what if it rains?
Let’s say, you are going for a grand birthday bash and a garden party has always been on your mind, and when the day arrives it suddenly starts raining cats and dogs! You won’t cancel the party due to the rain, right?
Well, to avoid such situations you should always have plan B ready for the party! If you have booked an outdoor venue for the party, make sure you talk to the authority about the unexpected party-ruining circumstances such as a rain or a storm. This way you will not only save your party from being ruined but will also keep it going!
5. Being the “Procrastinating Pooh”
So, it’s your best friend’s birthday in a month! And you have been thinking of surprising her (or him). Seems like you are also buried deep into work from your office or probably you have a huge exam/assignment coming up. What do you do? Well, you can easily get everything done, if you do it ”in” time and not ”on’ time. It’s always better to divide your task list into small chunks and complete them one by one until the birthday has arrived. Let’s say you’ve been planning to gift your best-friend a nice handbag. Start finding it online or offline a month before the big day; don’t leave it for the last week or a couple of days prior to your friend’s birthday. Procrastination may still kick in your superfast-mode as a student or a worker, but birthday planning needs timely completion and well-executed plans.
6. Not considering guests’ allergies
There may be a number of guests in lists who may be lactose intolerant, allergic to peanuts, meat-allergic, and of the likes. And it’s better to know about these problems well in advance than have your guests eat nothing at the event. If yours is a large scale party, you can easily ask about your food preferences and allergic-concerns within your invite. An e-invite would work wonders in this case. It’s fast to send, R.S.V.Ps won’t take a lot of time, you will have the information you seek at the fastest speed.
7. Sending last minute invites
Talking of invites, you can’t simply send an invite to a person a day prior to your event, unless that person is super close to you. People tend to plan their day and accommodate their workload into previous days if an event comes up during the working days. Some would apply for a leave, some would plan the entire day keeping your event in mind, and that’s why it’s rude to send out last minute invitations for a planned birthday party.
8. Inviting the whole ‘district’
So, my friends and I planned a surprise birthday party for one of our closest friends. And we literally ended up inviting thrice the number of guests than we had planned for. Not only did we took part in those panicky last-minute runs for extra food, drinks, cake, chairs and so on; the place we had as our venue looked like a jam-packed railway bogey with people struggling to sit, chill and enjoy the party. Apart from this, our birthday girl had her own struggle of meeting and spending time among her college friends, school friends, work friends and colony friends. So, if you are not up for a crowded gathering, consider filtering your guest list down to at least half of the size you had started with!
9. Planning too many activities
Be it your kid’ s birthday party or someone who is special, the key to having a successful birthday party is planning the right number of fun activities for the guests. Make sure there are not more than 3 activities for your guest-entertainment. Reason being- kids or not, people love spending only 1/5 of their time at a party on activities and games. And if you end up planning for than 3-4 activities, you will be busy shuffling through the props and rules for the subsequent activities. Your guests’ attention is likely to wear off after the 2nd game/activity. The most important point- planning too many activities just to impress the guests is too much of an energy-consuming responsibility. Or let’s just say…
10. Booking a too small (or large) venue for the party
A well-thought guest to space ratio balance has to be there while you are planning a birthday party. You can’t assume that 100 guests will fit into a small hall. Ask the venue owners about the place’s accommodatory capacity. If the problem arises, you can change the venue or probably go back to your list to find out whether you are committing MISTAKE #8.
This is how your party may look like if, in case, you end up booking an inappropriately tiny party venue…
Don’t make a rookie mistake! Shortlist and book a venuefor a party that too within your budget and according to the size of your guest listhere!
11. Being the Shy Samantha at your own party
If you are the host, don’t rely on your guests to get your party started! Since you have invited everyone for the event, it will be expected from you to initiate a formal introduction amongst your guests. If there are any activities planned for the party, it would be up to you when and how you carry them out for your guests. And being shy is what you cannot be at your party!
12. Missing the forest for the tree
Don’t get too indulged into planning the party that there is always a frown upon your forehead. Don’t be the worrying lad/lady, who has to deliberately force a smile while talking to a guest, and simultaneously worrying whether the cake has been delivered or not. Trust me, nobody enjoys a party where the host is the most-panic stricken person visible. Since, all of the guests know you, you have to make sure you too are enjoying the party while managing the entirety of it.
13. Not informing the guests about the theme, costume or dress code ( if there is any) while sending out the invitations
This could be a party-pooper on a whole new level! It’s better to mention the party’s theme in your invite’s first page than having some guests appropriately dressed for the occasion and the others finding themselves in an awkward position. You can save a whole lot of confusion amongst your guests with this little detail to your party invite!
Otherwise, this would be you…
And your guests would be like…
14. Forgetting to schedule the party without considering the availability of your party’s guests
You can’t plan a birthday party on a Tuesday afternoon, knowing all of your friends are working which definitely makes it possible that more than one-third of invited guests won’t be able to make it. Therefore, it’s better to be a bit considerate about your guests’ schedules. And if you aren’t familiar with that there is no better way than asking them about their availability on the said date. You can definitely ask this…
15. Not setting a budget for the party
Whatever be the size of your party or the number of guests invited for it, it’s always advised to keep a stringent limit to your party budget and plan according to it. I am not saying that if you are planning to spend, let’s say, 25K for an intimate gathering of 10-15 people, that is all you should be spending, but try avoiding unnecessary expenses while going for it. However, it’s always better to carry the 25% extra of the total amount set for the party, because sudden expenses have a funny way of popping up while you are planning any party.
And you wouldn’t wanna end up like her…
Well, that’s all we had for today’s FM gyaan in the art of event planning! Ever been to a boring party, share your experience in the comment section below!
For more interesting ideas related to birthday party decor, kid’s birthday parties, and the best catering ideas for a gathering read: