Organizing a birthday party for yourself is hard enough… but organizing one for a friend is a totally different matter. Suddenly, the pressure is really on. You want to give them a great time, you want all of their loved ones to be there. Most of all, you don’t want to let them down or disappoint them.
Luckily for you, help is now at hand. Many of us will be called upon at some point or another to arrange, or at least help arrange, a special birthday party.
This party might be a total surprise for the birthday boy or girl. Or, they may know about it, but want to hand over the reigns for the special day. Either way, there are a number of ways that you can host a party that is extra special. Read on to find out!
First things first; the guest list. Many people will say that they don’t mind so much where they are on the day, or what they’re doing. What they care about is having everybody special to them there. This is why you should get planning well in advance. You might be able to get food and a venue last minute, for example. But people need at least a couple of weeks notice, if not more. So, aim to get invites out around 6-weeks before. This means you’re in people’s calendars and diaries before anything else.
Next, give some thought to how you’re going to make everyone gel and get along. Birthday parties can sometimes be filled with people who have yet to cross paths. The birthday girl or boy will want to see everyone getting along, so make an environment that encourages this. Put all of the seats together, for example, so people go and sit with strangers and make friends. Play great music, but make sure it’s at the right volume. Too quiet and you’ll hear those early awkward silences echo! Too loud and people will have to yell to hear each other!
Next, think how you are going to make the day itself special. Whether the party itself is a surprise or not, you can always add a few things that are surprises in themselves. How about arranging for a guest to come who your friend thought couldn’t make it. Maybe you could all pool together and pay for their train ticket for example. You could also do something super cool and modern. Did you know you design and buy snapchat geofilters for birthdays? First of all, you design the filter, so this could be your friend's name and their birthdate. You could even make the filter their favorite color, or with an emoticon they love to use. Then set a ‘geofence’. This means that anyone inside this ‘fence’ gets the option to use the filter on any snapchats they take and send!
On the topic of social media, give your friend a way to gather all of the photographs their friends took on the day. Personalized Instagram and Twitter hashtags are perfect for this. Be sure you trial the hashtag before the big day to make sure it’s not already being used. Usually, the longer, the better. Don’t worry about it being too long. Guests will only have to type it out once; after that, it will come up automatically. Ah, the power of technology!
Next up; the present. Decide how you will do this based on the friend in question. You can usually split people into two camps. The first type of person is someone who loves to have loads of smaller things to open. They love receiving trinkets, and novelty items and thoughtful things. The second type of person appreciates one or two bigger and more ‘valuable’ gifts. They don’t mind that this means there is less to open. If your friend falls into category one, let guests know that a small token will be perfect. But if you think they’d like one big thing, join forces and pool your money. Letting guests know what it is you want to buy and why is wise, as it makes them feel more a part of the gift. Get a card for everyone to sign before you gift the birthday present, once again to make the guests feel a part of it! If you’re stuck for special ideas, think about their hobbies and favorite things. So, you could get a keen motorcyclist a brand new helmet, for example. This is something personal to them, that they’ll use loads, and represents the love of all of the family and friend. Plus, there is some great symbolism in there about keeping them safe and protected! Perfect!