Tips for a Stress Free Birthday Party

This is my baby boy’s birthday week, so I’m giving you a fair warning now for any overly sappy, sentimental and birthday focused posts that may happen this week, either here on the blog or social media. I’m just not sure about this – On Thursday I will have a one year old, but it seems like he just got here!

8 Tips for Throwing a Stress Free Birthday Party – The Contented Wife Blog

We celebrated at our house Saturday afternoon with family and friends, and it’s hard to believe my first child’s first birthday party has already came and went. For the most part, I’m really pleased with how it turned out, but if I could do it over again, I certainly would! I wish I could say that the party went off without a hitch, we were relaxed, and enjoyed every minute of it, but that’s just simply not the case. The truth is, the party started over an hour late, we were still decorating when guests arrived, we were hot, we were stressed, and we were frazzled.

I want to spare you of any similar feelings of despair, so I have a few tips I learned the hard way that might just help you with your next party.

1. Plan ahead.

This is something I did pretty well. I had multiple lists going all week reminding me of what I needed to have done on what days, and I stayed on top of all that for the most part. A lot of food prep was done and the cake was done the day before. My crafts were all done and ready to go. Where I went wrong was cramming too many things into too few of days. By the time the party rolled around, I felt bad for the birthday boy because he really hadn’t been played with for the past several days. I wish I would have started all my prep work earlier, so that I didn’t have such longs days the week of the party.

2. Communicate with your spouse what needs to be done the day of the party.

I failed miserably at this one. I knew in my head what needed to be done and I had it all listed out as well. I knew the food wouldn’t take too terribly long because I had done so much prep work ahead of time on that, but I didn’t take into consideration the time it would take to decorate, set up tables, chairs, and decide where in the yard to have the party. Cambre didn’t realize his help was needed in decorating, (because I didn’t tell him!) so he didn’t plan for that time…This put him behind schedule on cutting up the meat, which put us behind schedule on eating…which stressed. me. out!

3. Keep the guest list short or have the party outside.

LB can get overwhelmed fairly easy in unfamiliar places or if a lot of people are around. I knew his party would be no different, especially with him being the birthday boy, so we had the party outside. With it being outside, people were able to spread out, kids were able to run and play, and the noise level was not as loud as it would be inside. If having the party outside is not an option for you, you may want to take that into consideration when planning your guest list.

4. Have the party at a time the baby is normally content.

LB has been trying to go through a bit of a transition with his napping schedule for the past week or so, so we struggled with this as well. When I first planned the party, the time of it wouldn’t have been a problem, but he decided to throw me for a loop! I tried to get him down for a morning nap, but he didn’t want to take one. He was soooooo tired during the party, but luckily he wasn’t too grouchy. We had just a few meltdowns to take care of. 🙂 There isn’t much I could have done differently on this one, but it’s just something to consider.

5. Have someone take pictures for you.

My sister is the photographer of our family, so she offered to take pictures of the party so I didn’t have to worry about it. That was a HUGE help! It was so nice to not have to worry about entertaining guests, keeping LB happy, refilling food, AND taking pictures. Plus, it was fun to sit down that night and look through all the pictures for the first time.

6. Have an idea of how you want the party to flow.

I didn’t have this figured out ahead of time, and apparently it’s a habit of mine. I remember not planning out how I wanted my wedding reception to flow and because of that we didn’t get to throw the garter and bouquet! This time, I almost forgot to sing happy birthday to LB and blow out his candle. Luckily it came to me just in the nick of time. If I would have had a general idea of how I wanted things to flow, then I wouldn’t have had that close call.

7. Don’t start or finish any last minute projects.

This is the kicker, folks. THIS is what did us in. Remember the storage shed my husband is building me? Well, the goal was to have it done by the party, but life got in the way and it just didn’t happen. My poor husband worked like a dog the whole day before trying to finish it up for me, but he ran into a few snags that set him behind. We should have just cut our losses and moved on, but we were too stubborn to do that. Instead of trying to finish this project we should have devoted the afternoon and evening before the party strictly to party work. If we would have done that, I’m confident things would have been much better.

8. Have an idea of what you are going to wear.

I don’t like to spend a lot of time and energy planning what I’m going to wear…To me, there is bigger fish to fry when having a party at my house than what I’m going to wear! But, I should have thought about it a little bit because on the day of the party I really didn’t have time to stand and stare into my closet not having an idea of what to put on. The outfit I chose to wear was hot and uncomfortable and I wasn’t happy with it.

Even through our setbacks, I think everyone had a good time. The kids played and the adults talked. LB got some great gifts and I’m so thankful everyone came out to help us celebrate! I’ll be back tomorrow with a full post full of pictures from the big day!