Pro Tips {Parties on the Quick}

Planning events is what I do for a living. Typically I'm working on a timeline of anywhere from a month to a year. But, last week, we decided to throw a last minute Cinco de Mayo party. With both of us having full time jobs and incredibly busy schedules, just the thought of it sent my stress level through the roof. On a four day timeline how was I going to get everything done? The house was a reck, I had no idea for a menu, nothing to decorate with and no time to accomplish it all. It immediately sent me into a tailspin until I was able to take a deep breath, analyze the situation and start making a list. That's when I thought, if entertaining on the fly stresses me out this much, it has to stress you out as well. I wanted to help us both out today by sharing my tips on stress free entertaining on short notice. Hopefully these few points will keep us all calm in our next situation like this one!

Tip 1: Keep it Simple Stupid - Easier said than done right? Nope. The biggest key when throwing a party on the fly is to keep it simple. That applies to everything from the menu to the drinks to the decor. Take for example my Cinco de Mayo party. We served chicken tacos (crock pot version so I didn't have to do much), margaritas (made the day before), beer, salsa (jar version of course), chips, rice, and beans. That was it. Most everything could be bought at the store or prepped ahead of time to ease day of stress. As for decor, I bought some flowers and hung some Mexican style banner flags that I bought from Party City. All in all, it took me about 20 minutes to decorate.

Tip 2: Prep Ahead of Time - When you lack time like I do this can be hard. But, it's easy to find 15 minutes here and there to get everything done. The day we decided to throw the party is the day I started getting ready. Normally, I would come home from work, pour a glass of wine and sit down for half an hour to unwind. Instead, I channeled my de-stressing from work into cleaning. I took that 30 minutes and did something each night. All that left me to do the day before the party was clean the bathroom and vacuum the floor.

Tip 3: Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help - This is the hardest one for me. When we throw parties at the house, I like to be a good hostess and take care of it all. But I realized, sometimes everybody needs help. If you are throwing party on short notice, don't be afraid to ask guests to bring something with them like an appetizer or a bottle of wine. For Cinco de Mayo, our friends Phil and Stephanie brought shrimp and beef for tacos while Jeff and Kristin brought taco dip and chips. Other guests brought things like beer and pitchers of margaritas. This not only helps with your stress level but also the cost!

Tip 4: Store Bought is OKAY - For a DIYer like myself, I would much rather make the decor and the menu from scratch. Sometimes that isn't an option. When it's not, places like Party City can be your best friends. If I'd had the time, I would have cut those flags from multi colored card stock myself. But I couldn't. Instead, I bought them at Party City for $3 a piece and they look better than I ever could have done on that amount of time. Same goes for food. Would I have rather squeezed hundreds of limes to make fresh squeezed margaritas? Yes. Did I have the time and energy for that? No. That's when I marched into Publix and bought three big ol' bottles of pre done margarita mix and added some tequila.

All in all, the key to throwing a great party on short notice is to not take on more than you can handle. If you aren't going to have fun that day because you are stressing about not getting everything done, then don't do it. But if you can follow these few tips, then party on. Hope you all find these tips helpful and have a great Wednesday!

1 comment:

  1. These are great tips! I feel like the majority of the time, our parties are spur of the moment.