Have you ever had to plan a party? I’m sure you have. Different types of events that we Army spouses often plan are birthdays, baby showers, FRG socials, balls, coffees, teas, spouse club luncheons, neighborhood block parties and so on. Sometimes planning social events can be stressful. Kathy Peel, America’s Family Manager, has a few principles that we Army spouses can apply to our event planning. These principals can help ease stress and make the next event you plan fabulous! Her principles are:
- Mark your calendar
- Use a planning checklist
- Delegate and delete
- Practice the 5 minute maxim
- Execute and enjoy
- Appreciate your team
Brainstorm, with your team if it is a group effort, different ideas for themes, food, venue and decorations. Brainstorming is a great way to get the creative juices flowing.
Get your calendar out and pen in the date of your event. Use your calendar to write down deadlines for sending out invitations, RSVP by date and when to get perishables.
Create your planning checklist. A checklist keeps your tasks and plans in one place. The HH6 Party Planner will help keep you organized. On the front of the planner you have all the details such as the theme, food, drinks, and who was invited and if they are coming or not. On the back there is a blank calendar for you to fill in with what you need to do and when.
If your event is a group effort, make sure you delegate. Sharing the work load can be fun and ease any stress you may experience.
Use Google and Pinterest for researching. You can find all kinds of ideas for food, decorations and themes. Our friends and mentors are another great way to gather information and ideas.
I know we are busy with our normal everyday life. So, when we add a special event to the mix things can get a little stressful. A way to manage the stress is to practice the 5-minute maxim. Kathy Peel uses the example of invitations where you spend 5 free minutes here and there knocking out a few at a time until you complete the list. You can apply this idea to crafting decorations, too.
After all the planning and preparing it is time to execute and enjoy. Decorate, set out the food and turn on the music. Welcome your guests and have fun.
Don’t forget to appreciate your team, or yourself! Acknowledge all the hard work and effort everyone put into making the party a success. Say thanks and pat yourself on the back, too.
Finally, recap (with your team if it was a group effort). Write out an “After Action” report (AAR). Make note of things that went well, what could have been done better, how many people were in attendance, praises from guests and anything else you can think of. Use the AAR and your planning checklist for the next event you plan.