1. Time Management: First on my list last time and this time as well. I still found myself making significant changes in the last couple of days that had a huge effect on my use of time. I probably could have had an extra extra two or three hours that could have been used for set up or photos if I hadn’t decided at the last minute to bake a fresh batch of cookies and had remembered to have ALL of my items before the day of the party.
2. Table and buffet placement: This time, I think I did a much better job. It helped that I limited the party to only one area of the house (the upper level). I stayed up late Friday night to get the office and living room decorated, which let me focus Saturday on the food displays. Pushing the dining room table against the wall and raising our chandelier (using an S-hook…total genius on the Husband’s part!) made the house feel much larger and gave the kids lots of extra room to play.
3. Backdrops: I think I improved between T’s birthday and this party, but there’s still more to be done.
|The island at T’s birthday party|
|The island at the Cookies & Milk party|
The same theory goes with the 9-piece backdrop. That is actually just red glitter scrapbook paper taped over my 9-piece artwork in the dining room. I may have to give up on the 9-piece, but I really love the concept. I think the keys here are layering and framing. Maybe add something behind that better matches the size of the table, and a few hanging somethings in front.
4. Develop a comprehensive plan before the party: I can honestly say that I did create a specific plan for this party. My basic format actually came from Kate Landers’ Party Design Challenge; with a few minor adaptations. It’s been fairly helpful, but I still need to work out a few kinks. Nonetheless, I’ve been using this format for all my party plans. I’d really love to know how other people organize their party plans. Do you write down every detail, with no deviations or do your parties evolve as time goes on?
5. Define a purpose for each space: I definitely feel as though I was successful in creating areas to help traffic flow and also to help break up the big huddle that seems to happen at the buffet.
7. Budget & Tracking Expenses: This is also new to the list. I originally set out to keep track of every single penny spent on this party. Then I got busy, and I’m still not sure how much I spent. Do I include the total cost of supplies, even if I only used a portion of the item? We don’t have a lot of extra money hanging around, so it’s really important that I keep all costs reigned in. I’m just not sure the best way to keep track of everything. How do you ensure that all of your business expenses are tracked properly?