Planning the ultimate going away party might seem stressful, but all you need are these step-by-step guidelines for the perfect celebration.
First you need to pick a date.
Make sure it is close enough to the date your friend will be departing. I would suggest not doing it the day before they leave though because your friend will have enough to worry about.
Get input from friends & family of when they think might work best.
Choose a location.
Is there a place that means a lot to your friend? Or is there a location that doesn't have a big room rental fee to rent out a private space. You can also choose to do it at someones home depending on how many people you are expecting.
Decide who to invite.
Keep the guest list to close friends and family members.
This will make the party less stressful & those close to your friend will be much more willing to help with the planning process.
There are a few ways this can be done.
1. Create an invitation using a local store like CVS, Walgreens, Walmart.
2. Create the invitation with Shutterfly, Vistaprint, or a Kansas City local favorite of mine, which is Paper Source. Use one of their pre-designed invitations & edit the party info.
3. Hand written invitations.
4. Online invitations. This is a very simple & organized way to send out invitations.
My favorite website is Punchbowl.
This website lets you customize the templates & send the digital invitations through an email. Once the guest receives the email they can open the card & respond with an RSVP.
When your guest verifies the invite, they have the option to add the event to their calendar.
Punchbowl also gives you the ability to start a discussion with the other attendees.
5. Create a custom invitation on Photoshop or Canva. Creating an invite like this takes time and skill in graphic design, but if you know how to do it then it can be customized to your specific liking. Canva is something I love to use because it can be quick & easy. You can upload your own pictures, fonts & designs. Photoshop is much more difficult than Canva so I would suggest checking out Canva instead. WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER.
A great resource for fonts & designs is The Hungry JPEG.
There are many ways to spruce up a space without breaking the bank.
Confetti. (I am personally not a fan because it makes the biggest mess by the end of the party)
Social Media Tag Sign.
This is great to use these days because most people love to connect with people on social media. Creating a personalized hashtag is the perfect way to create an "album" or having one location for photos taken & shared on social media for your party.
This is the perfect way to add a little more personalization for the celebration. You can get this Bon Voyage filter here.
Food & Beverages
The food & beverage planning will depend where you are hosting the party. If it is at a restaurant you will more than likely have to order off of their menu. If you have a bigger group of people (usually more than 20) then be sure to ask about a private party menu.
If you are hosting the party around lunch or even in the early afternoon then I suggest setting up a buffet of snacks or a selection of finger foods.
If hosting at someones home rather than a bar or restaurant then you will have to think a little more about a menu not only for food but for drinks. Obviously if it is at a restaurant then they will have the option for people to buy drinks. When hosting at a home you have a couple of options to choose from. You can request everyone to bring their own beverages. You can also provide the beverages if it is in your budget. Make sure to get enough for everyone. You can keep it simple by only providing beer & wine or you can go all out with a fully stocked liquor bar. Food for bigger groups can be purchased by your local super market, CostCo or a local restaurant for pickup or delivery. If you decide you want to get help with the food then you can also ask everyone to bring some type of a snack or food item. You can get a small group of close family and friends to each bring an item for a potluck spread of food. The options are endless.
Photo book. I decided to do the most basic layout with no boarders, no words & no background colors or images. I did this so that everyone at the party could sign the book in the blank spaces on all the pages. It only costs about $45 depending how many pages you include in the book. This was the perfect gift from everyone that the guest can keep forever.
Shutterfly. Walmart. Amazon Prime Photos. Vistaprint.
Good luck planning!