Places & Faces
Stress-Free Party Planning!
3/5/2018 1:17:06 PM
Party Planning

Parties should be enjoyable, lively events where people are smiling, laughing, and thinking about how effortless you have made everything look; but often the planning aspects evolve into little nightmares full of checklists, guestlists, and wondering why you decided to plan a shindig in the first place. Whether you are planning an elegant soiree or a fourth birthday party, there are sure-fire steps you can take to make your event successful, not stressful. 

Planning A Party at Home

Keep it simple and organized. 

Three things will determine the tenor of your event: the theme, the guestlist, and your budget. Once you know what you want to do and who you want to invite, you can set realistic goals within your budget. 

Keeping things simple and within the original parameters you’ve set will keep you grounded and organized when you start thinking things like, "If one piñata for my fiesta is good, one-hundred will be even better. Ole!” 

From there, you can find useful checklists online with timelines to help you prepare for your special occasion. 

Send out informative invitations. 

If you have ever received an invitation that left out crucial information like the time of the event or the appropriate attire, you know how frustrating that can be for guests and hosts alike. Carefully proofread your invitations before sending them out and anticipate things that your guests might need to know. Is it casual? Should everyone wear costumes? Did you include your address, phone number, and RSVP instructions? 

The invitation is the first thing guests will see, and it sets the tone for the entire event. If you’re having a unicorn birthday party for your seven-year-old, you might find whimsical invitations online, for example, www.zazzle.com; but if you’re throwing a bridal shower for a dear friend, you may want to consider using a professional. PaperSmith, located on Ernest Street, will take care of the details for you and ensure that you send out a beautiful invitation that gives the right impression to your guests. 

Food, music, and décor make or break a party. 

Chris Allen, owner of Paradise Florist, reminds that, "No party should be without food and music. Décor plays a huge role in the look of the event, but without the other two, there is no reason for a guest to stay.”  

Allen’s job is to make a place feel special, no matter the budget. Regarding floral décor, he says, "Fewer, more substantial pieces are appreciated more than many offerings that are skimpy.”

Once you’ve decided on a look, you’ll want to focus on what types of food and drink you will serve and create a timeline in which to prepare them, unless you’re hiring a caterer.
 
Perhaps you will have live music. 

Book musical talent well in advance of your event. Chris Shearman, a local musician, reminds hosts to check out live video of a musician playing before deciding if they will be right for your event. They may be talented, but unable to work with the vibe of the party. He says, "Lake Chares has a wealth of hardworking, talented musicians. I don’t know if there is a better region to book great local musicians who will adapt to whatever the gathering calls for.” 

For a child-focused get-together, you might choose the perfect Disney Radio playlist to make your young guests happy. 

Relax and enjoy your guests. 

Once you’ve set up the final touches for your party, relax and enjoy your guests, knowing you are a super host or hostess, and that planning makes perfect. 

Planning A Party at a Venue

Find a venue that will accommodate your guests. 

When helping you plan your special event, Jake Stutes and Luke Powell, owners/operators of Charleston Ballroom and The Governor’s Mansion, first ask, "How many guests are you expecting?” 

For small parties or showers, the second floor of The Governor’s Mansion has a loft space that can accommodate up to 70 people. For larger parties, the main floor can host up to175. The Ballroom at the Charleston can host even more, accommodating up to 225 guests for larger events. 

If you’re hosting a birthday party for a younger child and want something exciting with very little set-up and no clean up, The Children’s Museum of Lake Charles is a great place to consider as there are multiple party rooms, three floors worth of entertainment for your children and guests, and they provide everything but the cake. Packages must be booked in advance and range from $170-$300. They are open Mondays through Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., making celebrations a breeze. 

Decide on the details.  

Much like planning an event at home, you will need to focus on details like invitations, décor, music, and food. However, many local venues offer their services in most of these areas. Powell and Stutes of The Charleston handle all the planning, from food, alcohol, floral arrangements, and photography. They work with trusted vendors for any service they don’t provide. Brickhouse Catering and Events also includes a bevy of services to cater your event needs from business meetings, office parties, and weddings. 

If your venue does not have an event coordinator on-site to assist you in creating the perfect party atmosphere, it is important to create a list of things you want at your event and fit them into your budget, as well as a realistic timeline. Find vendors with great reputations and book them far in advance of your party to ensure getting everything you want. 

Have a great time. 

Once the clock announces the time of your event, you’ve done all you can do except mingle around and make people feel welcome. Put on a smile, grab a drink, and toast to a successful party that you and your friends will talk about for years to come. 
Posted by: Lauren Atterbery Cesar | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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