Collectively as humans, we’ve never been more ready to throw a giant party with all of our friends and family than we are now that the spread of the coronavirus caused people across the country to quarantine themselves. For most people in the United States, it’s only been around two weeks since recommendations for social distancing and self quarantining were circulated far and wide. Even in this short amount of time, many people have already started dreaming about how they’ll use their first few hours of freedom in the absence of social isolation.
The first thought of many people craving socialization is to host a post-COVID-19 party. However, there are a lot of elements that go into party planning that you’ll need to keep in mind. On top of that, you’ll likely want to still take some precautions even after the coronavirus has subsided enough for normal society to resume. Let’s take a look at some of the best tips for planning a party that can help you and your loved ones celebrate the end of the COVID-19 quarantine and welcome a sunny summer.
Send the invitations early
Even though everyone’s calendars are wide open right now, they probably won’t be that way once the coronavirus crisis subsides and the weather starts to warm. Ensure that all of your friends and family prioritize going to your party by sending out invitations before anyone else. As experts are currently estimating that we will be practicing social distancing until around the beginning of June, aim for a date in July just to be safe. You could even make it a fourth of July party or a birthday celebration if you or a family member have a summer birthday. People have even celebrated finalizing a divorce with a party! After being cooped up because of the coronavirus, any reason to have a party is a good reason. Just be sure that you send out your invitations as soon as you come up with a date and theme, as this is one of the most helpful tips for planning a party.
Consider your venue options
Even though it seems like the spread of COVID-19 has shut down every public space from the gym to the movie theatre, you can still put together a list of options for where to hold your party. You could consider renting out a local restaurant to use their combination of indoor dining space and outdoor patio space. Parks also allow for advance reservations if you would like to rent their space. Although these spaces may not be open to the public or taking reservations right now, you could still try to get in contact with the staff there to see if they have an estimate for when they will be up and running again or if they’ll even take reservations for late summer parties. It doesn’t hurt to ask and they will certainly appreciate any kind of business in their pipeline.
If you’d rather not bother local businesses in these stressful times or you’re having trouble getting in contact with local venues, you could look into renting a tent and holding the party in your backyard. Tent rental companies may also be adjusting their usual operations at the moment, but they aren’t as likely to face as many challenges as restaurants in recovering from the coronavirus crisis. While restaurants require in-person contact and an enclosed space, tents are more open and people don’t tend to get their germs all over it.
If you get the green light from the tent rental company to continue planning your party with their tent as your venue, remember that one of the most important tips for planning a party is to consider all of the other things you can rent with your tent. Many rental companies offer packages that include a dance floor, cocktail stations, and air conditioners to keep the tent cool. You can also look into how to use solar energy to power the lighting for your tent, eliminating the complications of wires and cords. Be sure to ask your tent rental company about all of the extras they offer. These elements may just be what makes your party perfect.
Plan your food and drinks
One of the most important tips for planning a party is to plan what food and drinks you will be offering well in advance of the shindig. You don’t have to build a wine cellar or become a master chef to prepare, either. Rather, the best preparations simply involve knowing what types of food and drink you want to serve and whether or not you will have it catered. Many restaurants, both local and chain, offer catering packages that have a wide variety to please all of your party guests. Of course, you will need to check with the restaurant on when they plan to start running their operations again.
As your party is happening in the summer, try to think about the foods that will and won’t work in hot weather. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and fresh fruit are always a good option for summer parties. Something heavy and hot like chili, however, probably won’t be very appealing to you or your guests. Think about the foods that might go bad in warm temperatures as well, such as dips or sauces. If you want to serve ice cream or any other kind of meltable treat during the party, remember to keep it in the freezer right up until you’re ready to offer it to your guests.
The drink menu for your party is an opportune time to let your creative juices flow. Come up with a signature drink or two that have fun, catchy names. When you set up your bar station, you can include cute nametags for the drinks and a list of the ingredients in them. As you’re creating these drinks, think about how they look as well as how they taste. Consider adding fun garnishes, such as a crystallized rose petal or a candied slice of lime, to your cocktails for an added element of glamour. If you are not enthused by the idea of coming up with your own cocktail recipes, be sure to buy a wide variety of bottled or canned beverages with both non-alcoholic and alcoholic options available.
Plan Your Entertainment
A list of tips for planning a party wouldn’t be complete without a focus on the entertainment portion of the evening. There is a wide range of options for party entertainment out there. Ultimately, the entertainment you choose will depend on the type of party you want to have and what you think your guests will enjoy most. A party with a guest list that includes a lot of families with kids will need entertainment for all ages, such as slip ‘n slides, yard games, and pinatas filled with candy. A party with a guest list full of adults could lean on the more glamourous side with a luxury car service to take you out to bars afterward or a speaker system and dance floor to keep the party going all night long.
No matter what kind of entertainment you want to plan for your party, make sure that you keep your party’s budget in mind. It’s all too easy to focus on the fun and adventure of party planning in the entertainment area and completely forget about how much it costs. If the costs are adding up to a total that’s higher than you would like, think of creative solutions to keep the fun without the hefty pricetag. For instance, you may have wanted to hire a balloon artist to keep the kids entertained. Instead, ask your guests if any of them have a penchant for performance or the fine arts and could put something together to entertain the kids. You could even do a talent show so that everyone can participate while being thoroughly entertained.
In terms entertainment, one of the best tips for planning a party is to create activity zones throughout your space to keep a large party moving. We’ve all been to a party in which everyone just ends up sitting around one group of chairs. While this could work for some parties when you want all of the attention on one event, such as a surprise engagement with a diamond ring, it can turn other parties into major duds. If you’re having a large gathering, try to set up a few distinct areas to allow your guests to break off into smaller groups. For example, you could have a fire pit circle, an outdoor bar, a dining table, and a porch lounge as your different sections. Place different foods or activities in these areas and your guests will naturally move through the different sections, staying entertained and successfully mingling with others.
Keep Mosquitoes Away
One of the most practical tips for planning a party in the summer is to think about how to prevent the mosquitoes from bothering your guests. From bug spray to citronella candles, there are plenty of products on the market that you can purchase to keep mosquitoes out of your party away. However, this means spending part of your budget on mosquito prevention. Luckily, there are some tricks to keeping these peaky insects away without spending a penny.
The first trick is to get rid of standing water. Mosquitos breed in pools of water that don’t have any movement to them, so if there’s standing water on your property or near your party mosquitoes are going to gather there more naturally. The week before you have your party, be sure to empty out kiddie pools, birdbaths, and flowerpots. These unsuspecting vessels are perfect for containers for standing water. You may also want to check your rain gutters to ensure leaves haven’t clogged them up and caused water to gather in them.
Another method for keeping mosquitoes away from your party is to set some fans on low. Mosquitoes are naturally weak flyers, so even a fan on a low setting can create enough airflow to prevent them from sticking around your party area. Set up a few box fans in the spaces where your guests will be sitting to keep them from getting bitten. You may also want to set up a tabletop fan near your food to keep the bugs from getting to it.
Be a Good DJ
The music at a party is one of the most important elements. It sets the mood and can enhance the theme of the party if you have one. Beyond just the choice of music, there are a few essential tips for planning a party that revolve around how to successfully DJ your summer party.
The first is to not crank the speakers. While nothing says party like music that you can jive to, your party is probably more focused on the socialization and mingling aspect of it and not so much the dancing part. If your speakers are turned all the way up, no one will want to stand near them and people will have trouble hearing one another, which can put a damper on the festivities. The best setup is to have four or more speakers spread out throughout your venue, set at a lower volume. If you just have a boom box or single speaker, try to place it above ear level so that it’s not blasting right at the heads of your guests. You can also try turning it to face the side of the house so that you can make it a bit louder and the sound will spread out better.
In terms of music choice, try to think about the music that a majority of your guests will recognize and enjoy. The exact playlist will depend on your guests and the types of music they enjoy, but you’ll probably want to include a good chunk of classics as well as pop songs that are on the radio right now. In general, keep the playlist upbeat so that it adds to the mood of the party, rather than detracts from it. Make your playlist long enough to last for about five hours, as most parties probably won’t last longer than that. If you’re worried about the length of your playlist, you can encourage your guests to add to it. This is also a fun way to make your guests feel involved in the party planning and keep them entertained.
By using these tips for planning a party, you can throw a celebratory bash this summer that your guests will remember for years to come. To do so, you don’t even need to spend a hefty amount that will have you turning to jewelry financing when you need to buy a ring later in the year. There are plenty of thrifty tips for planning a party that will help you stay within your budget and reserve your finances for your needs throughout the year. Remember to plan thoughtfully and you’ll have a wonderful summer party.