Hi there! Rachel here, from RV Parties, with the latest installment of Parties in a Pinch! Today’s topic is… How to Host a Party Outside Your Home! When choosing a venue for your party, there are so many things to consider. For for my son’s 2nd birthday party (which had a Royal Little Prince theme), our house just wasn’t going to work. We had a few too many guests and it was way too hot to let kids play outside.
While I much prefer hosting parties at home — you have unlimited time to set up and access to all the items in your home to decorate — I’ve discovered a few quick tips for those times when the party’s somewhere else that have become real lifesavers!
Prepare as much in advance as you can.
For the weeks leading up to the party, I spent most of my time organizing decorations and getting everything as assembled as possible. Don’t wait until the event to hot glue wrappers on water bottles or iron tablecloths… if it’s possible to do it ahead of time, then do it! I tried to keep all my items sorted — a separate box full of items for the dessert table, table settings, the entrance tables, activities… the easier it was to find things, the quicker it made our set up.
Bring every possible item you might use.
The colors for this party were red, navy and gold — so even if I wasn’t sure if it would get used, I grabbed everything around the house I could find in those colors. It’s better to be over-prepared than under! It was great to have a few extra red buckets when I realized I had nowhere to put straws and a set of paper suitcases to add some height to our entry table.
Recruit friends to help set up and tear down.
At our venue, we were paying by the hour, so I wanted to be able to set up as quickly as I could to keep costs reasonable. Having friends come to set up and tear down makes the process much quicker and more fun! Going back to number one — have everything as close to ready as possible so that your helpers don’t have to do anything but put things in place. If possible, you can even make sketches in advance so they’ll be able to set things up according to your vision. Sounds kind of crazy, but its easier than trying to describe it and fix it if it isn’t quite right.
Bring a box of extra supplies.
The night before the party, I filled a box with scissors, tape, safety pins, a lint roller, hole punchers, hot glue gun… and anything else I could possibly think of that we might need the next day. It was so helpful to have a central place to go and grab supplies from as we were setting up.
Don’t stress when things don’t quite go right.
Maybe the jumbo balloons will end up being under-inflated and therefore not quite clear or able to support the weight of your pretty ribbon tassels… or maybe the garnishes you made for the tea sandwiches won’t get put out. Perhaps the lovely labels you made for the beverages will get left at home and you have to resort to writing BOOZE on a piece of paper with crayon so that the kids don’t accidentally get served alcohol. Sometimes your husband just doesn’t have time to make the plywood double decker bus you requested… and sometimes you forget your grand plans of painting the cornhole boards like Union Jack flags until its too late. Hypothetically, of course. None of those things happened at this party. But even if they had — no one notices except the hostess. It’s important to remember the grand plans and ideas you have are yours — no one else knows them. And your party is going to rock anyways!