1. Neglecting to have a plan.
Create a master plan for how you want the party to go. Schedule every activity. Organize the fun so your guests know what is expected from them. Make a master list of tasks and check them off as you complete them.
2. Not including the Birthday child in the planning process.
Unless it’s a surprise party, your child should have a hand in planning his or her party. Ask them about which friends they want to invite or what flavor cake you should serve. Making decisions like these are part of the fun of being the guest of honor.
3. Trying to do everything yourself.
I know you are a super-mom, but you don’t have to do everything yourself. Delegate some tasks to grandparents or other parents that will be at the party. For example, you may want to assign someone to take pictures, cut the cake or pour drinks. This will free up your time so you can do what you do best. It also permits you to actually be present at your child’s party.
4. Not setting a budget.
You don’t have to have a lot of money to plan a wonderful party, but you do need to know your limit and spend it wisely. For example, don’t spend half of your budget on decorations that you will use once and then throw away. A majority of your budget should be spent on the refreshments and entertainment. (Click here for a free Birthday Budget Planner)
5. Waiting until the last minute to make a guests list.
Make your guests list first, about 3-4 weeks in advance. This will help with 90% of the rest of your planning decisions like how much food to buy and where you will host the party.
6. Not sending thank you notes.
Help your child write thank you notes to your guests for the gifts they received. Let the other parents who helped you at the party know how much their contribution added to the party experience. Even people you hired, like caterers and entertainers, love to get feedback on their performance. Showing appreciation can go a long way. Not to mention it’s just the nice thing to do.
7. Not having a Plan “B”.
As the old saying goes, “If it can go wrong…it will.” So ask yourself, “what is the worst thing that could happen and be prepared with a back-up plan. For example, if you’re planning your party at an outdoor venue, what will you do in the event of inclement weather like rain or extreme heat? If you have taken the time to plan the party, adapting the plan will be much easier.
8. Choosing the wrong entertainment.
Skimping on the entertainment can be the worst party planning mistake. Know what entertainment will be the best fit for your guests and the party environment. Hiring a clown to entertain young children can be traumatizing. Also you wouldn’t invite a fire juggler to perform in your living room. Can you say, “Insurance claim?” Give much consideration to your choice of entertainment.
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