what happens when the party planner has her own party
I turned forty last weekend, and I thought people were coming for the show – free drinks, music, atmosphere and I catered for that. I am a party planner by trade so know the mechanics of a party. I have had plenty of practise pulling them together, yet I was still pooping my pants. What if it was crap? What if the music bombed? What if I ran out of drinks? What if my hair was lack lustre? What if I don’t get to speak to everyone properly? What if I lose my social grace? In the end – none of that mattered once the night was rolling.
Some 140 people graced my backyard and were treated to a million litres of icy cold champagne and beer. I had fairy lights and lanterns and disco balls lit up in trees. I had a six hour mix of tunes. I got my mates into teams of two to sort out the food (my one concession was to not do the food to see what that is like). I was organised to within an inch of the party’s life. AND NONE OF THAT MATTERED.
I cannot adequately describe the outpouring of love toward me. Just after 8pm, my people streamed into my home. I stood stationary for an hour and ten minutes whilst awesome dude after awesome dude kissed me and wished me well. And I learnt my own lesson – the party is not about the party – it is about you. I have banged on about this before in previous blog posts (see here) My people love me and wanted me to have a good time. They dressed up and came with a single purpose – to celebrate their mate’s birthday. Yes, I didn’t get to spend heaps of time with everyone, yes, I had a little cat spew from the over excitement but yes, OH YES, the party was fabulous.
So these are the things that made getting ready the easiest:
Have a theme. I picked red, my favourite colour. Easy to plan, gave structure to the decorations, fancy red drinks, invitations, easy to wear. I had a red MM, red Teletubby, red aeroplane, etc etc. red decorations, a red invite – it made it easier to eliminate cloudy decision making.
Get someone else to look after the kitchen and bar – there is no way I could have done my friends justice if I was running around like a headless chook. ASK FOR HELP! I asked lots of people so I could spread the load without one or two people being trapped by the oven. And they were brilliant. I didn’t have to worry about a thing. So I thank them for taking the catering pressure away.
Lighting lighting lighting – turn the lights down. We had a gorgeous red glow through the whole house and yard – fairy lights and red lanterns and glowing disco balls. I gave myself a $150 budget then borrowed stuff from my mates. No overhead brightness blasting people. The upside – everyone looked sexy AF!
Music – this took me weeks. I had a varied crowd from many walks of life so I needed tunes to suit most of the people most of the time. Two playlists – one for cruising and grooving at the beginning of the night, and one for spinning and swaying and disco moves. The dance floor was pumping all night – but not always with the same people. I’m so pleased that worked. If you’d like to check out my dance mix on Spotify click here or my cruisy mix click here. (some of nick names are Schnapps or Snap in case you’re wondering about the titles)
Invitations– Facebook gives everyone the heads up and chance to pop the date on the calendar. It also has the added benefit of creating excited ground swell. But paper invites are important. Facebook suggests a casual invitation therefore casual attendance. I like to send invites to people- like they matter to me and I really want them there. I made these babies and got them printed v1a Vistaprint (super cheap)
Look after yourself – Hydrate all day. Remember to eat lunch and dinner. You’ll need the fuel if you want to last as long as your guests. Breathe.
Don’t forget to look around – Stop for a second and just look. Look at everyone all together. It’s not often a crowd is gathered for just for you and it is worth stopping to appreciate how lucky you are. A warm glance or a wink from one of your mates in the middle of it all is the most glorious feeling.
I feel so fortunate to share my life with many a glorious dude, and am humbled and honoured that they came and played with me for my birthday. It is a memory of monumental proportions that has etched a confidence in who I am, and who I love. It was so worth doing, and I highly recommend gathering your loved ones for a shin dig every once in awhile. If you are the designated party planner for your event – feel free to contact us. We love nothing more than chewing the fat about all things parties!