A Complete Guide to Planning Your Summer Party

The Fourth of July is a fun time for families and friends to come together and celebrate the Independence of beautiful America. Throw your own event this year to double the fun. Relieve the stress of planning an event by following these guidelines to ensure you don’t forget any important details!


Why?

Why do you want to have an event for the 4th of July? Simply to commemorate the holiday or for another reason? For this today, I am assuming you want to do this to celebrate the 4th of July.

What?

What kind of party do you want to have? Pool party? Cocktail party? Barbecue? Family reunion?

Who?

Now plan out your guest list. Will you invite family? Only family? Family and friends? Only friends? Do you want children at the party? Do you want adults at the party? How many people do you want? What’s your limit?

Where?

Now that you have an idea of how many people are coming, you can select a venue to host your event. Is your house appropriate? Or a pavilion at a local lake? A banquet hall? A state park?

When?

Will you have your party on the 4th? Or the weekend prior? The weekend after? Text some friends on your invite list to get a feel for what day is best.

How?

Set yourself a reasonable budget that works for you. Lower your cost using some tips I share below.

Now it gets fun. Ready to be inside the mind of an event planner?

Step 1. Invites.

Before anyone is going to come, they have to know about your event. How will you invite people? A group text? Phone call? E-mail? A mailed invitation? Will you design the invitation or write it? (Remember, if you mail, you have to either print stickers with addresses or handwrite them plus buy postage stamps! But who doesn’t love a hand written card?)invites

Step 2. The Itinerary.

When will guests arrive? What time do you want it to end? What is your plan for signaling the party is ending? Double check your times: Is it too long? Too short? What time will dinner and dessert be? Will you have planned activities? What time will those take place?

Step 3. The menu.

What food will you serve? Should guests be required to bring a dish to pass? Will you need to designate a grill master? How much time will you leave in between dinner and dessert? Will you have snacks and drinks available for guests prior to the main course? Will you serve alcohol? Are you going to buy all of the alcohol? How much is all of this going to cost you? Can you afford it?

bbq

Step 4. Decorate!

What kind of decorations do you want? Are you going to follow a color aesthetic? (Patriotic, perhaps?) How many of each decoration do you need? Where are you going to put them? Are any of them fire hazards? Are there any tripping hazards for elderly? Could babies swallow any of the decorations? Do you need tablecloths? Will they match your aesthetic? Do you need condiment buckets? Do you need to rent tents, chairs or tables? From where? How much does it cost? Do you need more plates and eating utensils? Are you going to buy a nice set or just get plastic? If plastic, will the color match your theme?

decor

Step 5. Activities.

What are your guests going to be doing? Dancing? Swimming? Games, such as volleyball or spike ball? Mingling and drinking? Cards? Are you going to have games available like corn hole and Can Jam? Where will you put these games? Are you going to buy them? Do you know anyone who already owns them and will be willing to bring them?

Step 6. Extras.

Fireworks are practically synonymous with the Fourth of July. Will you have a firework show? Are you supplying the fireworks? Are you licensed? How much are all of them? Will you, at the very least, provide sparklers? Where will you put the water buckets to put the sparklers out or used fireworks in? Where is your water source? Are you allowed to do fireworks at your specific venue?

Step 7. Everything You Forgot About.

Does your venue close at a specific time? Do they charge more for staying past that time? Do you have enough seating? Where will the seating be? Do you need to purchase trash receptacles? Where will you place them? Do you have trash bags? Where will you empty the trash? Do you have a plan for dirty dishes? Will there be music playing? From where? With whose phone? Who is making the playlist and what kind of music do you want?

Step 8. Check.

One question: Are you within the allotted budget?

This is a lot to absorb in one sitting. Turn these questions over in your head, but don’t overthink your event too much. The bottom line is: have fun with it and focus on celebrating the national holiday!

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