Hey Loves! If you’ve been following for awhile, you might know that I’ve done some professional party planning and that I always enjoy throwing my kids’ birthday parties. As a mom, I love incorporating their favorite movies or things, Pinteresting my heart out, figuring out decorations to DIY, and celebrating them every year, or even half years (yes, I threw a half birthday party for Landon. Thank you, Pinterest…haha). So I wanted to share my checklist and planning guide for how to plan an incredible birthday party, so you can be your own party planner.
It just so happened that my son Landon became obsessed with Incredibles 2 on Netflix this spring, so he was insistent on having an Incredibles themed fourth birthday party, so these pictures were all taken by my amazingly talented friend, Molly Watson, and I have to share them for this blog post, so you can see how his Incredibles birthday party turned out too! (And Ohio friends, Molly Watson Photography is the best family, maternity, and newborn photographer in Cleveland. Definitely check her out and please tell her I sent you!)
Backwards planning is the key to any successful event. When it comes to planning a birthday, my ideal planning time is two months. I feel like that way I can shop around the internet and Etsy for the best prices, order everything I need, and craft any DIY party decor in advance.
STEP 1: Pick the theme of the party. If you’re at a total loss, search Pinterest for ideas based on the birthday girl or boy’s interests. There are a plethora of options and ideas based on budget and DIY decor expertise.
STEP 2: Pick the time, date, and place of the party. In case you’re not doing a party at your house, the theme can be helpful to have nailed down first so that your location ties into the theme.
STEP 3: Make the guest list. Know how many people you plan to invite based on the space. Then, send out invitations. Send invitations by mail one month in advance. Or my current preference is, I get a digital invitation made, and text it to all of the guests. Etsy has a ton of personalized invitations you can have made and download a digital copy to either print, email, or text. And I love texting invites because that way, I usually get RSVPs back right away too.
STEP 4: Plan the menu. I always like figuring out the food and drinks, and knowing what might need to be on display, and the type of plates, bowls, cups, and utensils I will then need. And, I love tying the food into the theme as much as possible, whether it’s making puns out or making the frosting colors all tie into the party decor. I’ll share my menu planning checklist below so that you can make sure you’ve thought of everything you might need.
STEP 5: Plan the decor. Pinterest is the best search engine possible for any type of party inspiration you could possibly want. You can pick the color scheme, and pin any sort of decorations that you want to have for the party. I’m sharing my decor planning checklist below, so you can see how I make sure I have everything I might need based on the menu and the theme for decorating the party.
STEP 6: DIY/Craft any decor. If there is a photo board you saw on Pinterest, or something you need to spray paint, etc., I always try to tackle those projects at least one week out from the event so everything has time to dry, and I’m not rushing. It helps me enjoy the process a lot more if I’m able to relax and have fun while doing it!
STEP 7: Cook/prep any food. I love baking, so I always bake my kids birthday cakes, cupcakes, and cookies for their parties the day before. And we’ve started to plan our menu to be foods we can order out for, just to lessen the stress of the party prep. For Landon’s Incredibles party, we did pizza and wings, and my grandma made the salad and I made the fruit platter, just so it wasn’t as much to make.
STEP 8: Set up the party. I absolutely love this part more than anything. If I’m having the party in my own home, I love doing it the week of the party, that way the kids get to enjoy the decorations a little bit before the actually party starts. If you want to decorate with me for Landon’s party, check out my YouTube video below. However, if you’re throwing a party at a different venue, either seeing if you can set up the night before is ideal, or early the morning of the party. That way, if there is anything you missed that you might need, you have time to get it before the party starts, or ask someone to bring it for you.
STEP 9: Party time! Enjoy the party you spent all this time planning, and don’t be afraid to ask someone good with a camera to take as many pictures and videos for you, so you can be in the moment and enjoy the party and visiting with guests as much as possible.
STEP 10: Clean up. Make sure any food items that need to be refrigerated get stored appropriately, take down decorations, and keep any decor that can be reused, donated, or sold on a local marketplace site.
Thank you so much for reading this blog post. I hope it gave you the tips and checklists you need for planning an incredible birthday party. It means so much that you’re here, and I hope you sign up for the newsletter on the sidebar so we can stay connected.
Happy party planning!
Brianna K xoxo
If you’re interested in any of the Incredible’s Birthday Party Decor, I’m linking it all below: