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Planning a party on your own can be a daunting experience. Where should it be? What food should you serve? Are ‘party games’ still cool? This handy checklist takes the stress out of party planning so that you can, well, party!

  • Make a date – give guests up to four weeks’ notice and have a decent Google for other events scheduled for the same day (no one wants to be upstaged by the Midnight Oil comeback tour!).
  • Write a guest list – whether it’s a small dinner or a cocktail party, make the list well in advance to avoid the awkwardness of forgetting someone.
  • Secure a location – get in quick, as venues can be booked out months in advance. If it’s a party at home, you’ll need time to prepare and clean up so clear your own schedule.
  • Send out the invites – now you’re ready to let people know about your shindig. A simple text or Facebook invite can be fine, but putting some thought and time into making and mailing hard copy invitations will make your party much more memorable from the get-go.
  • Sort the food – think hard about what you’re planning to serve. Have fun picking the perfect Chardonnay for your brie and croutons but, most importantly, remember to check your guests don’t have food intolerances or allergies.
  • Plan the music – whether it’s an intimate gathering or a big birthday bash, choose your tunes wisely to set the scene. If you don’t fancy yourself much of a DJ, check out the many playlists Spotify has to offer.
  • Party favours – whether it’s a party bag or a party ‘favour’, having a little somethin’ somethin’ for your guests to take with them will end the event on a high note. Some yummy treats, beauty products or a ‘hangover kit’ for the adults will always be well received. And think deeper than just lolly bags for kids’ birthday parties. One small sugar-free gift might cost you the same as a bag filled with lollies but it’ll impress the kiddie guests’ parents more!
  • Pick your outfit – in amongst all the other thinking (above) don’t forget to give yourself time to plan an outfit well before the event. We all want to be the host or hostess with the most(ess)!
  • Coordinate your clean-up – when the fun dies down and you’re left to pick up the pieces, you’ll thank your past self for roping the kids and maybe a few very, very good friends into pre-planned clean-up duties. Many hands (and bribes) make light work!
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haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.