The basics of party planning

In partnership with Away With The Girls


Guest list

Be realistic. If you’re hosting an event in your garden you are likely to have different limitations and restrictions than if you have rented a location.

When deciding on how many people you’ll invite it’s a good idea to bear in mind the type of occasion, if its an intimidate wedding or you’re hosting an engagement party with your nearest and dearest friends and family you’ll likely want a smaller, select number of people rather than a big birthday party where you may prefer a larger group.


Make sure that you are giving people plenty of notice, and time to, and also for those that need to make any other necessary arrangements like childcare.

The amount of time you need to give guests will depend on the size and formality of the party. Guests of a wedding might typically receive an invite between 4-6 months prior to the event, and save the date up to a year before the day. Whereas a dinner party among friends may only need a few week’s notice ahead of the evening.


Regardless of the scope of your budget, it’s going to be reflective of your guest list, as the number increases so does the cost, even if just by a little.

There are ways to be slightly more conscious if you’re on a tighter budget, for example it might be more beneficial if the party size is large to buy in bulk or create DIY decorations.


Whether your catering for a select few or a hosting a huge number, making sure you organise supplies and plan where you’re getting them from is essential for a successful event, whether it means popping to the local supermarket for food the night before, trekking to costa for bulk buys or organising a catering company months in advance. The earlier you plan and book the latter the more likely you are to negotiate a better price and get exactly what you want.


How it all comes together on the night/day shouldn’t be left to chance. Preparing, planning and prioritising will ensure your guests are at ease and the event is a success.

Make it as easy and simple as possible for you guests to be there on time by giving them transport options/directions, it’s always a good idea to start the day/evening off right and so that no one arrives stressed.

If your guests are planning to enjoy the drinks and leave the car at home, it’s wise to include a selection of recommended taxi company contact details so they don’t spend time searching.

Before the event starts ensure all those involved in the planning process are clued up with how the night is intending to go, and that they have answers to all the questions guests might ask, even simple questions such as where is the bathroom, is there a smoking area etc. if the event is large it’s inevitable these will be asked regardless of how obvious the answers may seem. Ensuring everyone is on the same page is essential.

Personal touches

It’s always nice to go the extra mile if you want to be remembered as an exceptional host. Giving or organising for guests to receive something personal will help make your event special whilst also leaving the guests feeling cherished.


Enjoy it

Sounds silly, but if you’re hosting and you’re not enjoying it what is the point in putting it on. Don’t forget to reap the rewards of your hard work, you guests are more likely to relax knowing you are having a good time too, and vice versa.



To show your appreciation for their attendance make sure you follow up with your guests… it’s very easy to do this these days since we’re all social media savvy, if not a text/email will suffice. Sending a hand-written note is the crème de la crème, if you have time.

If you’re thinking of planning a party whether it be a birthday party or hen do, Away with the girls can create a bespoke event for you.