I'm Hungry! When do we get to eat cake? I'm bored! This Party is lame!
These are all the things we don't want to hear when hosting a party. As a host, you want to hear your guests gush with delight at all the fun they had while attending the party you worked so hard to throw for your little one. You want guests to brag to all of their friends about how you can put together a wonderful event and how they can't wait to attend the next shin-dig you host. How do you achieve this and avoid all of those unexpected party disasters?
Well, today I am going to give you 12 ways you can avoid party fopas and snags. Keep in mind that there may always be something that will go wrong unexpectedly as no party is planned to perfection. Even party planners have issues arise the day of an event, but they are always prepared on how to quickly handle the problem.
1. You didn't plan your party properly! You seemed to have forgotten something while planning your party. Maybe it was the cake or seating. Whatever it is, it is always best to avoid these occurrences by having a plan. Make a list (or use ours!) of all the items you need. You should also make sure these items are within your budget (click here for budget spreadsheet). If you happen to still forget something don't fret. the item you forgot might not be that important to have or you can make do with something else. Keeping a reserve money stash on hand for these mishaps is always a wise thing to do.
2. Guests are arriving and you're still setting up?! Make sure you allot your time properly. Maybe you can start setting up the large items the night before and the smaller more detailed items the day of. This also applies to when you put out food to feed guests, when to play games, entertainment, open presents and eat cake. Keeping a schedule or time line of events will help your party flow smoothly so guests don't get bored and they don't have to see the magic being made. They can arrive and gush over how wonderful your decorations are and experience the magic you made.
3. The clown isn't coming! What are we going to do now?! This has happened to so many people. The entertainment, photographer, caterer and so on, that was hired decided to no show or cancel at the last minute. Sometimes, these things are unavoidable. It is always best to have a backup plan for everything when planning an event. If your entertainment failed to arrive; have some games or music you can play instead. You can make everyone get involved in a group dance off. Photographer bailed? Keep disposable cameras on each table so your guests can be your back up photographer. Click here for more photography ideas. There are so many ways to plan for backups. You just need to get creative or check out our other posts for ideas.
4. "Do you have anything non peanut based? I'm allergic to peanuts." It's not uncommon to hear someone ask about food alternatives being served at a party. More and more people these days have diet restrictions that limit what they can eat when they go places. Food allergies, gluten intolerance, lactose intolerant, and vegetarian are just some of the things we need to make sure we watch out for when serving food to our guests. While you can't please everyone or cater to every type of issue, you can offer a little bit of everything. Planning foods for everyone is actually pretty easy as long as you make sure there are options available for those who don't eat certain things. You would never want your guests to leave your party on an empty stomach. The hungrier they are, the less fun they are having.
5. I didn't know you were coming! So glad you could make it. I couldn't tell you how many times I have had guests show up at the last minute when they didn't RSVP. Or, guests who RSVP'd no showed. You can't force someone to attend your special occasion. This is why we ask they RSVP when invited. It is an easy way to tell how many guests we should prepare for. It never fails though, you have more guests arrive then expected. If this happens then don't worry. Why? Because you planned ahead and made sure you had extra food. This way your guests don't leave hungry. Those that RSVP'd didn't make it? This is OK. I have had this happen multiple times. It is disappointing when you have a smaller attendance than expected. However, you can turn it around and enjoy your party with your more intimate group. If you have a lot of leftover food, you can give it to guests to take home, freeze the food for later use (if possible), or better yet, donate it to a homeless shelter.
6. Why is no one mingling? Sometimes parties have a tough time taking off. It's always best to break the ice and have a group game to start the party off with. You could mix people into small groups and have the groups work together to win a game. It could be a question and answer game, activity game or drawing game. We have provided some ideas for you on our Pinterest page. Try to introduce guests to people they've never met and share what they have in common. You're party won't be a hit if there is an awkward cliques going on.
7. What is he doing here?! I told him he was unwelcome at this event! Party crasher's are the worst right?! They can turn a happy place into a very somber one in mere moments. So what do you do when someone crashes your party and you want them gone? You can do a couple of things. First, ask them into the next room away from the other guests. Once there, politely tell them they are unwelcome there and they need to leave. If they refuse, tell them you will be forced to get the police involved as you don't want any problems. Sometimes this is enough to make the person leave. However, if the person is still refusing to heed your warning, follow through and call the authorities. Try to keep all the drama away from guests so those attending don't have to deal with your drama.
8. Mom! Auntie and Papa are arguing again! Every family has those members who feel they need to be heard. They are always right and don't listen to or care about others opinions. There may be topics that they are very passionate about and when discussed, might turn into a yelling match or fight instead of a pleasant conversation. Fighting at a party is an easy way to destroy a party and have attendees leave early. Here is what I do to keep guests from discussing those unwanted topics at my parties. I post a sign at the door or entrance of the event. This sign will read, 'Welcome to our party, we are so glad you came! We want everyone to enjoy themselves, so today these topics are not to be discussed.... politics, religion, race'... and so on. Make sure you list ones that you know certain friends or family members get heated over so as to avoid that unwanted drama from them. If a guest gets heated over any old topic, just walk over to them and tell them this isn't the time or place for their argument. Should they want to continue their heated discussion then they can leave the party immediately.
9. 'The forecast for tomorrow is 55 and raining.' There will be times that the weather seems to hate you. You planned this perfect outdoor party and it has been warm and sunny all month long. The day of the party it rains. Just your luck right? Always plan for changes in forecast when planning an outdoor event. You could rent an outdoor tent to have on standby or make sure the venue you are hosting at has an indoor option as well. Always make sure you provide warm options if the weather is cold. You could give out blankets, gloves, have space heaters, fireplaces, and have the option for guests to go either in or outside. If it is supposed to be hot out, you can provide fans, bug off, cool drinks, water balloons, and other ways to stay cool as well as keep the bugs off.
10. The tipsy or drunk guest: Serving alcohol is a great option to have when celebrating a special occasion. It is a tricky way to get people to relax, loosen up and socialize. There are however, downsides to this option. A guest could become tipsy or drunk during your event. Are you prepared to care for them? Since they are at your event, it is your responsibility to see to it they are safe and cared for. Make sure they have a safe place to get sick should that happen, sleep, and sober up. I like to employ the fish bowl rule. If anyone is to purchase or consume alcohol at your event, they have to place their keys with the barkeep before being handed a drink. Your bartender should have a maximum amount of alcoholic drinks each person is allowed to be served and before they get their keys back have to pass some sort of test. This is to ensure no one drinks and drives and that everyone leaves your party to arrive home as safely as possible. If they are too drunk to drive, ask a friend to take them home or have them sleep it off at a designated safe space.
11. Where is our host? I haven't seen her all evening! Inviting a lot of people to your event could be a downfall. With so many people it is hard for you to make your rounds thanking everyone for attending, socializing and catering to all the party needs at the same time. Try to keep your party simple or have help with the party details so you can be a great host and your guests can enjoy your presence.
12. The Birthday Boy is asleep?! Party festivities and tons of excitement can drain a child of their energy pretty quickly. Especially if the party is being held during their usual nap time. Make sure to plan your party around a time where your child is normally awake and not during their nap time. You want your child to enjoy their special day and be enjoyed by all their family and friends. The whole fun of attending a birthday party for a little one is to watch them open their presents, eat their cake and enjoy their special day.
Now that you have some key tips on avoiding disasters, put these to use and prepare to plan a spectacular celebration. For more ideas on games, tents, how to handle the weather and party ice breakers, click here to view our special Pinterest board. Please don't forget to check out our Store for spreadsheets and planners. Subscribe to our page, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for updates and more tips on all things special occasions.