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A Guide to Creating The Best Birthday Party

Plannings a birthday can feel a little overwhelming. From trying to be both organised and creative, to anticipating the birthday person’s wishes and coordinating with guests, it can be challenging.

Fortunately, we have created a step by step checklist to ensure you don’t miss out on any important steps.

A birthday cake

Initial plan

Budget

Probablydrrr the most important detail to decide on before anything else. It’s important to remember spending excessive amounts of money doesn’t necessarily correlate to a better party. Careful thought into what the birthday person and guests would enjoy most is far more important.

Date

Consider avoiding school and bank holidays, many people may be away or already have plans. A weekend is perfect for getting the best attendance as fewer people will be working.

Time

The ages of the guests should determine this. For adults, an evening event works well, expect it to last over four hours, especially if drinks and dancing are involved!

If it is a children’s party, think about hosting it in the late morning or mid-afternoon. Most importantly, don’t go on too long, for young children a couple of hours is long enough to have fun without having overtired children. Writing an end time on the invitations is a perfect way to emphasise it is time to go.

Guestlist & Invitations

A well thought out guestlist is essential in deciding the location, catering options, and ensuring no one is left out. Send the invitations out as soon as possible to get the highest attendance. Be sure to include all the important details and match the invitations to the theme to begin generating excitement.

Venue

Host the party at home for a low cost and intimate option. Alternatively, opt for a venue for a larger group or to make it more of an occasion.

Have a backup location - with the UK’s unreliable weather, plan ahead with a solution for when it starts raining. This may be hiring a gazebo to cover the lawn or be prepared to move this party inside if it gets too cold.

Focus on the Details

Cakes at a party

Theme

A good theme can enhance a party, but choose something too complicated and you may end up alienating some guests. A good rule of thumb is to choose something that guests will already have in their home and won’t have to go shopping for. Check out this list from Stylecaster for some inspiration for party themes.

Food & Drink

It is important to match your food to both the theme and vibe of the party. For children’s birthday parties consider less formal buffet-style options. For smaller intimate birthdays, consider a sit-down meal. There is no need have to take on the task of cooking all by yourself - if you are short on time (or not so culinarily gifted…!) consider getting a caterer. Another option is to organise the guests to each bring a food element; potlucks or BBQs are a great choice for larger numbers, whilst adding a great atmosphere to the party. Whatever option you choose, just remember to consider dietary requirements.

For drinks, having a good range of soft drinks is important for a birthday of any age. Design your bar with your guests in mind, if you know most love a beer then stock up on those, or perhaps create a punch that you know the birthday person loves. If there’s alcohol involved, it might be wise to anticipate the need for extra snacks later on in the night!

Decorations

Time to show your creative side! Consider the theme of the party and match decorations accordingly, consider the colour scheme and then order balloons, tablecloths, streamers, sparklers and lights.

Make the space feel extra special with personalised decorations. Use photos of the birthday person or match the theme. The space can really come alive with Personalised Birthday Banners from Dom & Geri.

Here are some of our great personalised birthday banners – shop now!

Entertainment

To make this truly the best party, focus on what the birthday person would really enjoy. If it’s a child who’s very energetic, consider having a bouncy castle and lots of activities. For adults, consider a murder mystery or a cocktail making class.

Don’t forget about less obvious details which can make or break a party like setting up a playlist and speakers!

As a key element in a birthday party, having a great cake is essential. If you decide to have one made, just remember to give the bakery plenty of time to complete your order. Or add a thoughtful touch as well as saving money by baking yourself. You may find some inspiration from these simple recipes on Pinterest from BBC Good Food.

Birthday presents

Make it clear to guests whether the birthday person is expecting a gift. Making a list may seem presumptuous but can actually help many guests who are unsure what the person would like.

Make sure you do not forget to find a great gift yourself! Make it extra meaningful and stand out with Personalised Birthday Wrapping Paper. We suggest matching it to a Personalised Birthday Card for extra impact.

Here are some of our great personalised birthday wrapping paper designs – shop now!

Final preparations

Organise help for set up

On the day of the birthday party, even with preplanning, there will be a lot to set up. Don’t be afraid to ask close friends to arrive early and help with picking up and hanging decorations, banners and setting up tables or the bar. An extra set of hands can really reduce the pressure on the day and help it to run more smoothly.

Anticipate obstacles

No amount of preparation can ensure that everything goes to plan. Therefore, consider having useful things on hand, such as clothes and a mop to wipe up a mess or a first aid kit for any scratches. Try to remain calm and most guests won’t even notice, and definitely won’t affect their having fun.

Have fun!

Remember, the point of a birthday party is to celebrate! So, take time to speak to all your guests, relax and enjoy the party you’ve created.

Children play with balloons at a party