As November begins, everyone is acknowledging that the holidays are vastly approaching. Now is the time to decide whether you will have a pre-Thanksgiving or fall party. Last year, the pandemic made it challenging for families and friends to get together, but many restrictions have eased this year. Take advantage of the chance to celebrate with your loved ones.

If you are thinking about planning a party, let us give you a few very helpful tips!

1. All Decisions Start with a Guest List

This is perhaps the most important tip that we can offer and should be at the start of your party planning. Determining how many people will be at your party will drive the rest of your plans and help you create a budget. Ask yourself the following:

  1. How much food do I want to prepare or get have catered?
  2. Is this an adult party only or are kids allowed as well?
  3. Do I want this party to be big or small?
  4. Do I have enough space for everyone?
  5. If I have more than a certain amount of people, do I want the party to be a potluck and will the people on my list contribute?
  6. Are guests allowed to bring a plus one?
  7. Will guests need to stay overnight and if so, is your home an option?

Your guests are essential to your planning, so knowing the answers to these questions is your path to a successful party!

2. Organize a Theme

For some people, this task may be fun, and for others, not so much. Take some time to log in to your creative side. If it is helpful, use websites like Pinterest for clever ideas. Your theme does not have to be extravagant. If you are into more simple decorations, stick to creating a fall atmosphere with fall plates, fall-colored flowers, candles, or Lang House Chicago’s favorite, lighting the fireplace.

3. Create the Perfect Menu

Deciding on a menu can be difficult when planning a party. Start by finding out what allergies your guests have. Knowing this in advance will help separate what the ingredients you plan to use or force you to research what ingredients are used by your preferred caterer. Speaking of caterers, decide if you want to use one. For some people, cooking for more than a few people can be time-consuming. You never want to overwhelm yourself, so make sure you choose the best option for your budget and sanity.

Don’t forget drinks. Most fall parties include an alcoholic beverage. Decide if you will serve wine, beer, cocktails, or a combination. If you’re planning on having children at the party, consider doing a sparkling juice for them to feel included. Remember the party is for everyone.

Also, don’t forget to create labels for the food! This will take the pressure off of you to describe everything at time of service, and your guests will appreciate the gesture.

4. Do Some Early Shopping

As the holidays begin to approach, finding items and decorations that you need can be a headache. We encourage you to shop early. You may not be able to fit a 7lb turkey in your freezer for a few weeks, but you can stock up on side dish ingredients, plates, utensils, and decorations. If you’re ordering things online, do so early because of current shipping delays. The last thing you want is for your perfect centerpiece to have a rescheduled delivery date.

You can also grab some fun board games or other entertainment for guests who like activites. If you plan on watching a sports game or playing music, make sure you have good speakers and enough seating.

5. Ask for Help

When planning parties, it is easy to try to do things all by yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Even if it’s as simple as asking one of your guests to bring a dessert. Your day is not supposed to be stressful. Asking for help could save you, and people tend to like to help out, especially for an event they’ll enjoy.

Another factor to consider is clean up duty. When asking for help, make sure you have enough friends and family available to pitch in after the event. Or, you can think about hiring a professional service. It’s always better to have some help after all the fun!

Have fun with your fall celebration!