0 How to Throw a Last Minute Party, Part 1: The Location and Theme

The beau's big milestone birthday was coming up and since a good girlfriend couldn't/shouldn't/wouldn't let this one slip by un-noticed-- I began planning his surprise birthday a week and a half before his actual birthday. Cheah talk about procrastination. But c'mon the BEST ideas are formulated from that kinda pressure, am-I-right?

You may recall last Friday; I introduced what's in the hopper this week: how to plan a last minute party, procrastinator's style.
Before getting into specific details for your party it's best to have a rough idea of the basic essentials for a party:
  • Helpers- who can/should/will help you pull off your last minute party
  • Budget
  • Guest count
  • Guest needs (handicap, allergies, etc)
  • Time: start/end of party
  • Theme
  • Decorations
  • Entertainment
  • Food/drinks and who is financially responsible
  • To Do List, which is incorporated into the budget in part 3
The Location
Original image source
Debatably, the very first thing to check off the list is nail down your location. Mainly so everything else can fall into place and to ensure the perfect location isn't scooped up by someone else.  In our case, I chose a venue. Mainly for the following reasons:
  • No clean up
  • No rental fee
  • They served food
  • No minimum or deposit required (for our venue)
  • Place settings were included
  • Time management
  • Greater chance of a non-ruined surprise party
For us, choosing a venue eased a lot of planning stress for the fact that many of the basic essentials of a party are already taken care of. Not every venue is created equal so it is important to ask the proper questions for your specific party, here are a few starting points:
  • Is your date/time available? When do they close?
  • What is the cost to rent the room(s)? What's the room capacity?
  • What are the food options? Is gratuity included? Do you have a party package?
  • What is the deadline for the food order?
  • Is there a charge to bring your own cake?
  • Is there entertainment? Can you book your own?
  • Are decorations allowed?
A friend had highly recommended our venue (since she successfully used them in the past) and had mentioned that there was no room rental fee, which was a HUGE bonus for the budget. After calling and inquiring about their banquet menu, and asking about a few important details (like a handicap accessible room), it became a no-brainer that the venue we chose was the perfect place for us.

The Theme
Choosing a theme can be tricky, depending on the guest of honor. Sometimes it can be as simple as specific colors, usually their favorite color, used throughout the decor. Other times, it's trying to incorporate their favorite thing(s). Another hit is to find a fun theme where guests can interact (ever been to an ugly sweater party?). Come to think of it, if you require special attire, you may want to give more notice than a week and a half.
If you're stumped Pinterest is chock full of party ideas- here's a great board and here's an entire account dedicated to parties.
For my beaus party, there was not a doubt in my mind that a simple Simpsons themed party would fit the bill (since he's mildly obsessed). Almost immediately, a vision of unique invitations popped in my head. Ones that would require some planning, designing, and general crafting-- which is up next.

Have you ever pulled off a last minute party?

Preparing for a party of your own? Be sure not to miss:
Part 1- Choosing the Location and Theme (you're here)
Part 2- Simpson's Themed Invitations the Visionthe Tutorial
Part 3- Budget and Checklist Freebie
Part 4- Food and Decorations
Part 5- The Gift
Part 6- Pulling it all together-- aka the story

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