April 19, 2011

How to Plan a Large Birthday Party-Part 1: Creating an Itinerary and Invitations

When planning a large birthday party, especially if it is going to require people to travel, you must FIRST outline the entire party in terms of what you will be doing on each day. The easiest way to do this is by opening up a Word document, writing out a 24 hour day and inputting things you would like to do on designated hours. This week I will get into more of that process, but for now, the most important thing to consider when guests need to fly/drive to your party is where they are going to stay. For my birthday party I wanted us to stay in the Beverly Hills/Hollywood area so I chose W Los Angeles-Westwood as our hotel to stay at. Why? W Los Angeles-Westwood has extremely spacious rooms and fit the trendy, young atmosphere that I wanted for my guests.

Now the WORST thing you can do is simply book a hotel and not check it out first. Go to the hotel and make sure that it fits all your explicit needs.

Another thing to keep in mind is how your guests will be getting around throughout your party. Especially when accommodating a large group, you must have clarity and structure with transportation so people don't get lost. To fix any hiccups along the way, I ordered a limo for the weekend. Other options could be a party bus or even setting up taxis. The limo company that I used was Five Star Limousine located in the Southern California area. There were punctual with excellent service!!

Once you have decided on an itinerary for your birthday party, created a potential guest list, and have chosen a theme with your main colors for your birthday party it's time to send out invitations! As much as I love hand making invites, there is another creative way and that is through Vistaprint! Since my theme was Mardi Gras meets Masquerade I chose a design that mirrored the theme.

Vistaprint makes everything from fliers, to banners, to business cards, to wedding invitations and so much more. You can customize things right down to the envelopes like I did!

*Click on the images to see a larger view :-)

There are a few key things that you must include on the invite: Dates of birthday party celebration, theme, location of venue/hotel, name and number of who to RSVP to, when to RSVP, special comments/criteria your guests should know. RSVPing is so crucial to the success of a party because it allows you to effectively plan and account for each individual. Later on this week we will discuss how to handle people who have not RSVP'd.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Decorations!!

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