Truth be told: I have not had a birthday party in over fifteen years. The last birthday party I had entailed a plethora of sloppy kisses from all my relatives, some whom I did not quite know were related to me until the day of the party.
So let’s just say this time, I want things to be different. The past three years, I have met some of the most amazing people. I grew up moving around often so I never had the chance to develop solid relationships with people. However, right now, I can finally say I have good people in my life. Not all of them are necessarily close friends, some of them are acquaintances, but the love I share with everyone in my life is incredibly transparent.
So I want to celebrate that. With a birthday party!
But I’m scared:
- I am scared because I have never thrown a birthday party.
- I am scared of the attention I will get from people.
- I am scared no one will come.
- I am scared that if people do come, they may become bored and leave.
- I am scared that I will not prepare for it right.
- I am scared about so many things.
Still, I am doing it anyway. I feel like I deserve it. Working and going to school full time has left me completely burned out in every single way imaginable and the only release I have is to celebrate how far I have come. The light at the end of the tunnel is beginning to get brighter, and I feel it is the perfect way to jump-start Spring Break.
So despite my nerves, here is what I am doing to ensure my party is a success and I hope it will help you too if you plan to host a party or an event.
Five Important Elements of a Good Birthday Party
1. Location! Location! Location!
The location is super important! You have to ensure it is going to be an environment that everyone will be comfortable in. One that is spacious and able to accommodate your guest list. That is why I chose Kevro’s Art Bar. It is already my favorite local art bar where I have met a ton of friends, therefore, I know the owner and most of the people who frequent it. If you can, it is always a good idea to gain rapport with the owners of the venue you will be using for your event or party. Also, I decided to have my birthday on a slower day of the week (Sunday!) so I would be able to have more people there, and it would feel personal. That might be a good idea for you too!
2. Entertainment, Decorations: Creating a Party Ambiance
If you are going to have a party, you need to ensure that your guests are entertained and feel like they are really at a party. Here are the ways I plan to boost the FUN factor at my party:
Music: Many of my friends are from open mic events I have gone to so a vast majority of them play music or can sing. I decided to set my birthday up as an open mic party so my musical friends could play all night and my not so musically inclined friends could just dance and enjoy the music
Games- Outdoors, I am going to have Jenga, Corn Hole Toss, and a few other options for people to participate in just in case they want to take a break from the action going on inside. It is always a good idea to have other options in case your guests are not enjoying the main event happening on your part.
Decorations– A party needs decorations to give it that festive vibe. You wouldn’t go to a Mardi Gras parade without beads, would you? Therefore having a theme or having decor that amplifies the party you are throwing and gets people in the party mood is especially essential for planning a good party. So get creative! I plan to have balloons, glow sticks and other fun party decors that I can snag for cheap at my local dollar store.
Some other extra ideas to boost the FUN factor at your party would be wacky accessories for setting up a photo booth, jugglers, drum circles, comedians, etc. Think about the extra details that help your party go to the next level. For my party, I will be implementing performance poets and possible a wacky photo booth table.
3. The Guest List
Make sure you have the right balance of people at your event. Is it a good crowd? Are you inviting people you know like having a good time? You know your friends better than anyone. My advice is variety is key. It is a good idea to have a variety of personalities at your party. Most importantly, only invite people you know you would like to see at your party and people who will not cause any kind of drama or disturbance at the venue you go to.
4. Plan your party like a Salesperson:
I work in sales, so I think of treating my guest like customers. It’s not negative. It is just honest. Pick a date for your event. Get a list of people who plan to attend and then follow-up with your guest list. People forget about dates all the time or think that you won’t notice if they do not attend. It is of particular importance to ensure that people R.S.V.P to your event.
Use social media! I posted my party on websites like Facebook because I wanted to make sure the word was getting out there and that I had a good idea of who was going to come. Social media makes it easier for people to r.s.v.p. to your party!
Send out invitations early. Make sure they know how excited you are that they are coming to your event. When people feel important and wanted, they are less inclined to back out at the last-minute.
5. Have Fun!
Once the date of the party arrives, breathe. It does not matter who comes or what goes wrong or right. At the end of the day, it is all about having a good time. The people who are meant to be there will come, and everyone will have a better time if you are having fun along with them and not stressing out.
Once the day of my party arrives, I plan to just breathe. I know my super close friends will come and that is all that matter so if that means only ten people arrive, more food and fun for us.
I hope this list helps with planning your party if you are as nervous as I am.
Remember to have fun!