The Expert’s Advice
Hannah Irving is a wife and mother of 5 adorable boys. Her husband was my youth pastor in high school, and I loved getting to know their family. Hannah started planning parties for her kids and posting pictures of all the fun. She has organized around 40 parties since then and has become an awesome party planner! She has also started a blog that you should visit! http://sonuptilsondown.us/
I asked her to share a few tips and thoughts with me this week.
1. How long in advance should someone start planning a party?
Two weeks is the absolute minimum you need to plan. Ideally, you should start about one month in advance. This gives you time to plan it, order things you might need shipped, and do any DIY prep.
2. You are the queen of themes. What is the best way to pick a theme for your party?
The best way to pick a theme is to KNOW your child! Tailor it to their interests – favorite toy, pastime, TV show, etc.
3. What are your tips for setting and sticking to a budget?
There are several ways to do your budget. You can keep your receipts and keep track so you’re sticking to your budget. I just have my number in my head, and add it from my grocery/household shopping. If I go over, it’s coming out of my grocery budget, so that’s pretty good incentive to stay within the budget.
4. How do you choose activities to keep the kids entertained?
For summer birthdays, everything is pretty much outdoors and fairly active. Unfortunately, I only have one summer birthday! For winter birthdays, I try to have 1-2 “quiet” activities like coloring and a craft, and then 2-3 other activities. Many times they are traditional birthday games (hot potato, musical chairs, etc.) with a themed twist to them.
5. Where do you go for ideas?
Pinterest is my go-to for all party planning!
6. Do you do a lot of do it yourself projects? Are these costly or cost efficient?
DIY is an awesome way to customize your party while sticking to your budget. For example, sometimes you can’t find a birthday banner that goes with your theme, unless you get one for $15-20 on Etsy, or you can make it yourself for $2-3. Totally worth the extra effort for that personal touch!
7. What do you do to remain stress-free during the planning process and the actual event?
Giving myself plenty of time to gather materials is key to stress-free planning! I have a list of categories that I use to plan each party to help me focus and not forget elements. During the event. my best stress-reliever is to hand the actual games off to my awesome husband! If you can get someone to shoulder half the load at the actual event you can enjoy your kids’ enjoyment!