A Complete Guide to Planning a Party at Home
Planning a party can be a lot of work, but the memories made are always worth it. While many people opt to hold their events at a venue, hosting in the comfort of your own home can work for an array of events (birthday parties, graduation celebrations, family gatherings, etc.) and save you money!
At Smokey Mo’s BBQ, we have over 20 years of experience in helping people amplify their events with delicious Texas BBQ, sides, and desserts. If you’re planning a party or event, read on for our tips to help ensure it goes off without a hitch.
Let’s start with the basics.
Before you start delving into the details, it’s important to lock down the bigger picture. As you begin your planning process, ask yourself these questions:
- Who is the party for?
- What’s the purpose of the party? (Birthday, special occasion, appreciation luncheon, etc.)
- How many people will be attending? (Adults, children, or both?)
- What type of food will work best for this event type? (Will it be self-served buffet style or served to guests?)
Once you have the answers, it’s time to hammer out the details. We’ll tackle this part of the planning process in sections.
Section 1: Planning the Details
Start by making a list of the people you want to attend your party or event. Once you know the who, consider what dates and times would work best to achieve the most attendance. Since it’ll take place in your home, you’ll also want to take note of available space and other things going on that could potentially disrupt your event.
Finalize your date and time, mark your calendar, and send invitations out to your guest list. (Social media, email, or text invites offer an efficient way to achieve this, but nothing beats receiving a traditional invite via mail.)
Section 2: Determining Day-of Needs
Now that you have the who, when, and why – it’s time to get into the day-of party details.
Here are a few planning tips to ensure you have everything you need.
- Plan Décor. An abundance of party stores makes it easy to find decorations that fit your event’s focus. However, crafting them yourself can offer a unique theme that’s sure to turn heads. (Pinterest is great if you’re feeling crafty and want to try your hand at homemade décor!)
- Plan Music and Activities. When it comes to music and activities, you must first consider your audience. (Will there be more children or adults? When will it take place?) Think back to the initial questions you answered at the start of this post and use them to guide you.
- Plan Equipment. Make a list of the equipment you’ll need to rent or buy. It may include rental chairs, tables, games, lighting, musical equipment, etc. Planning and scheduling what you need ahead of time will help lessen day-of pressures.
- Plan Space. Plan the layout of any rooms and outdoor spaces used. Consider how many people are attending, what you’ll need to set up for the event, and so forth. The goal is to create a smooth flow that allows people to move around, mingle, and enjoy themselves.
Section 3: Feeding Your Party Guests
One of the most crucial things to consider when planning a party is FOOD. The food selection and service type should complement the theme and schedule of your event. Will people be dining all together? Or will it be open buffet style? Knowing these answers will help make planning easier.
- Start by planning your menu. Determine what food, beverages, desserts, and snacks you’ll be serving. You should also note whether you’ll need serving dishes, paper goods, etc.
- Next, make your shopping list. (Grabbing food, paper goods, decorations, and equipment at once increases efficiency!)
- Plan your cooking schedule. Break down your menu into categories: foods that can be prepared and frozen, store-bought foods that will come prepared, and day-of foods you’ll need to cook. Preparing what you can ahead of time helps mitigate your day-of tasks.
Let Smokey Mo’s BBQ Handle the Food
Take some of the planning pressure away and get your event catered instead. While there are many catering options, BBQ is the perfect choice for many event types and offers something for everyone.
For years, Smokey Mo’s BBQ has provided catering expertise and delicious Texas BBQ for events throughout the San Antonio, Austin, and Houston areas.
We offer customizable group and catering packages at all 16 stores throughout Central Texas. You can choose pick-up, delivery & set-up, or full-service catering options that all help make planning a party a breeze!
The Pit is LIT at Smokey Mo’s BBQ.