Something I never thought would happen actually happened.
Matthew and I both were writing books in the same year.
His was due first, and mine was due 6 months later. Needless to say, life has been a little crazy for the past 12-months and we have not seen our friends as much as we would like.
So when Aladdin contacted me about sending me some new products to use as the catalyst for a party, I was in. Just because was good enough, but because I love a theme, I decided that “Our Books are Done” was super appropriate. (Technically, I actually still have edits to do on my book, but the manuscript being turned in and Matthew’s book being done seemed good enough to me!)
With my dad being here last weekend and then working all week, I knew the party couldn’t be elaborate. Here my tips for keeping things simple, while still throwing a great party.
Don’t overdo it on the food: Our menu was simple: Meatball and BBQ chicken sliders, a green salad, macaroni and cheese, fruit and chips + cake balls, chocolate cupcakes and strawberry cupcakes for dessert. I kept things low-stress by doing the following:
- Prepped food ahead of time: I made all the desserts (cake balls and cupcakes) the week before the party, then froze them. I also cut the fruit on Friday. This made things much easier on Saturday.
- Bought premade food: We bought the meatballs from Sam’s to make meatball sandwiches (I used a half bag). This made the main course SO easy. I also bought bagged romaine lettuce to make the salad easy to assemble (one bag). Chips are an easy option too!
- Used the crockpot: I used the crockpot to make this yummy BBQ chicken (I made 5 times the recipe)
Also, be sure to label all the food. It make it really easy for people to decide what they want, plus it looks adorable. I love DaySpring’s new Daily Grace Collection line for entertaining because of the chalkboard elements.
- Use dispenser and pitchers to offer a variety of drinks: We had sweet tea in a big Aladdin dispenser – sweet tea and mason jars go hand in hand in the south! Two gallons was perfect. Since I’m a northern girl, I don’t drink sweet tea, so we also did raspberry lemonade punch (raspberry lemonade + sprite + raspberry sherbert). We also had flavored water in smaller Aladdin pitchers.
- Label glasses: When you have so many people over, it is important to have a way to label glasses. Everyone received their own Aladdin mason jar to drink out of at the party – and they were such a hit! We had masking tape and sharpies for everyone to write their names on their cups.
- Create a separate drink station: It is nice when you can separate the food from the drinks so that you don’t get a bottleneck of people. We had drinks in the kitchen and food in our dining room.
Keep Decorations Simple: When you have a lot of people, you don’t need a lot of decorations – just a few focal points really make your party pop! (I’ve got a separate post about the decorations coming soon.) Since it was a book-themed party, I got a few free old books at our used bookstore and went to town cutting them apart. I made chains, buntings and more. All of it was very simple and came together quickly over the course of a few nights.
- For our party, I used an Aladdin glass dispenser for my food table centerpiece, along with a few old books with the pages folded. I also made a runner using a bunch of pages.
- A photo spot is an easy thing to create and people always enjoy them! I have one at every party I throw. For this party, I taped a bunch of book pages to a big board and then leaned it against a wall to make a simple and fun photo spot on our deck. It was a fun spot to take memorable pictures from the party.
The party was a huge success. We had so much fun with our friends, the kids had a blast and everyone LOVED their Aladdin mason jars.
I hope this encourages you that a lot of people can still mean a simple and fun party.
For more party inspiration, check out my other party posts on Pinterest.
Do you throw big parties? If so, what tips do you have for keeping things simple?