Tips For Event Planning
It was my mum’s birthday this past weekend and I wanted to plan something special for her. She had a busy day so it wasn’t by chance that I ended up hosting her a *surprise* birthday brunch. Along the way I thought it would be helpful to share some of the things that I always keep in mind when planning or hosting any event, whether it is in the comfort of your own home, or at another location. Do you agree with these tips? What do you do when planning an event to make your life easier?
Time is the first factor you should consider when you are planning any type of event or function. Because I knew her schedule for the day I knew it couldn’t be too late. You also have to take into consideration how much work you have to do on the day either setting up, cooking, allowing people to get to the venue on time. Making it a surprise birthday added some complexity into the mix. I settled for 11 for 11:30am, which gave me plenty of time to prepare certain foods in the morning and also for everyone to get there on time. When it comes to cooking, work backwards and make a list of all the things that need to be cooked and how they need to be cooked. Do you need to bake things? Do you need the oven or the stove? How many minutes in the oven for each thing? Start with the quickest and end with the longest. While things are baking or cooking start preparing for the next item or cleaning up.
Preparation is the key to success:
Do the “grunt” work the day/night before. I finished work late the day before the party and had to do the grocery shopping after work. Naturally being tired after a regular working day meant I did not want to stay up all night cooking but preparing some parts of my dishes half way made a big difference and saved me time. For example chopping things the night before allows you to just throw things together in the morning. Fillings for quiches and tarts that I made the night before meant they were completely cool and I just had to bake them the next day, leaving me more time in the morning to make/ do other things from scratch.
Know your limits:
While we all would love to make new and creative things, we have to know our limits – and that’s okay! If you see something amazing on Pinterest or Instagram and feel like making something adventurous when you are getting people over, it might be best to leave it for another day, when you are not stressed and if you mess up it won’t be a big deal. I had something in mind that I wanted to do but had never tried before. I attempted it, it didn’t work out the way it should have and I had to scrap it at the last minute and move on. There was no time to feel bad or think to myself why didn’t this work.
Decide on a menu and stick to it. Plan your shopping list accordingly. Have a good variety of sweet and savoury items. Just because you like to eat cake for breakfast doesn’t necessarily mean other people do. Think of who is attending and not of yourself. Nowadays everyone has some sort of dietary requirement and it is impossible to make everyone happy, structure a menu in such a way that there are 1 or 2 dishes that could work or be eaten in multiple ways. Your menu and budget will go hand in hand and that is the next point.
Whether you have a big or small budget, the same rules apply. When you make your shopping list, research any places that have discounts especially if you need to buy in bulk and write the prices of everything down so you have a realist expectation of how much money you need to outlay. Look around for the best price but also make an informed decision of where you are going to shop. It’s not practical if you are going to be driving all over the city to find something cheap. Minimise the trips and shops you need to go to and work efficiently while you are grocery shopping. For example if you can get everything from one mall/shop thats great. Work methodically from one place to the next or from one end of the store to another, keeping in mind how many things you are going to buy from each shop so you are not lugging your shopping all over the mall or pushing your trolley from one shop to another. Finding lifts/escalators can be tiring and walking from the vegetable section to the baking section back to the vegetable section is not efficient nor is it a good way to spend your precious time.
Let me know what you think of these tips in the comments section. Did you enjoy this type of post? What do you do when planning an event?