How to Plan a Big Party Like a Pro
Planning a big party can seem daunting, but with some organization and forethought, you can throw a memorable bash that your guests will be talking about for years to come. Here are some tips on how to plan a fantastic large-scale party like a pro.
The key to pulling off a seamless party is starting your planning well in advance. For a large party of 50+ people, you’ll want to begin organizing at least 2-3 months beforehand. This gives you enough time to lock down a venue, come up with a budget, hire vendors if needed, and work out all the intricate details.
Choose a Convenient Location
When hosting a big group, choose a location that’s easy for everyone to get to. Ideally it should be somewhere central that people can access by ride share, public transit, or a short drive. Scout places that can comfortably fit your guest count – backyards, event spaces, restaurants, or even community centers.
Make a Guest List
Your guest list is crucial because it determines how big of a space you’ll need. Map out your must-invites along with plus ones. Categorize people into tiers – A list for your nearest and dearest, B list for close friends, and C list for acquaintances. This helps prioritize in case you need to trim numbers. Send digital invites through Paperless Post or Evite with room for RSVPs.
Have a Budget
Know how much you can spend and what needs to be covered – food, drinks, entertainment, décor, etc. Get quotes from vendors and caterers to estimate costs. Determine what you can DIY versus what’s worth hiring out. Having a budget keeps your plans grounded in reality.
Plan the Menu
Catering the right amount of food and drink for a big group can be tricky. Ask your caterer for advice specific to your headcount. Have a balance of appetizers, entrées, and sides that can be served buffet-style. Make sure any dietary restrictions are accommodated. And don’t skimp on the bar – guests will likely consume drinks faster than food.
Address event logistics like parking, coat checks, restrooms, trash cans, smoking areas, and lighting if it’s an evening affair. Appoint people as greeters and have signage directing guests to different areas. Rent tables, linens, glassware if needed, and ensure you have plenty of booze. For example, there are delivery services that serve many San Diego neighborhoods if your party is in this part of the world. Having these details prepped means less you need to worry about on the day.
Create a Timeline
Having an hour-by-hour timeline is crucial for staying on track during the party. Allot time for vendor setup, when food will be served, speeches or toasts, any activities, performances, dancing, and cleanup. Build in some buffer time in case anything runs late. Share the timeline with your vendors for everyone to be synced up.
Make a Killer Playlist
Your playlist sets the vibe, so curate music that fits the party’s mood. Have a good mix of genres and eras tailored to your guests’ tastes. Splice in your favorite upbeat, singalong classics. Invest in a quality speaker set-up and designate someone to manage the music so it’s always on point.
Prepare for Cleanup
No one likes ending a fun event with a giant mess to clean up. Make a plan for take down like consolidating trash, returning rentals, and rearranging any furniture that was moved. Recruit a few willing people to help with post-party tasks so you’re not doing it all alone because the host’s work doesn’t end when the guests leave.
Planning a memorable blowout bash takes time, organization, help from friends, and a spirit of fun. Follow these pro tips and you’ll gain confidence throwing large-scale events that keep your guests coming back for more. The key is managing all the moving parts weeks ahead so that when party day arrives, your only job is to have a fabulous time celebrating!