Every successful party starts with the theme. The theme is your North Star- everything in the party planning process points back to it! The theme of your party determines a lot of different things on your checklist. The theme leads you to décor choices, menu plan, and even venue. Let me give you an example on how this process works for me!
First, I think of my kid. What are they totally obsessed with in this moment in time? Do any characters feel like they’re part of your family because your little one loves them so much? Can’t pass a firetruck without yelling and pointing, “firetruck!!”? Does your daughter have all the Disney princess dresses and cycle through them on a daily basis?
Well, you’ve got your theme, mama! Moms often come to me for help planning their parties or asking for a party plan and many tell me…”my son wants this theme, but I’m trying to convince him to choose something else.” I always discourage this!
One, I like being able to give my kids the control on theme, so I can control the rest. It’s an easy win and involves them in their special day.
Two, the character, object, activity, etc. your kid is into right now is part of their identity in this moment in time. It represents a big part of their personality at their age and I feel it’s important to honor and lean into that.
I LOVE looking back at pictures of my daughter, Evie’s, 4th birthday. It was a princess party, and one I had dreamed of planning since I found out I was having a little girl. Evie was majorly into the princess phase, and that was the year we went to Disneyland for the first time! When I look at pictures from that party, I’m instantly taken back to that chapter of my family’s story and flashes of my little princess twirling in her dress and running up to meet her hero, Sofia the First, on the streets of Disneyland come flooding in.
Same goes for my son and his Grand Three race car birthday. My husband is a big car guy and he and Hudson wake up early every weekend to watch the Formula One race together. I know these morning will be some of my husband’s favorite memories, and when we think back to our little 3 year old race car lover, we can smile and remember the feeling of those cozy little bedhead filled mornings.
So…what is your kid into right now? What do you want to look back on and remember about your kiddo? If you closed your eyes and took a snapshot of this exact moment, what would it capture? Choose your theme and run with it! When your kiddo walks into their party filled with their favorite thing and their favorite people…that huge grin will make you melt!
As if that hasn’t convinced you enough, did you know sticking to a theme can actually save you money? It’s actually one of my top budget tips!
Budget Friendly Theme Hacks
Pick Your Theme and Stick to It.
Don’t get all wishy washy and start buying things that might fit. Remember, the theme is your North Star! Once you have your theme and have narrowed down your colors, it’s time to shop your house. Don’t buy anything yet! We’ll get there! ?
Shop your House
I hear, “parties are SO expensive” almost everyday. And yes, they can totally be expensive depending on many factors. One of those factors doesn’t have to be décor though! If you have chosen a theme based on your little one’s obsession, chances are you have TONS of things already living in your house that you can repurpose as décor! Princess dresses, crowns, action figures, toy diggers or firetrucks, LEGO. You’ve got a whole décor store ripe for the picking in your house!
This is actually what I do for every party I host. Once the theme is set and the colors are determined, I literally take a laundry basket and walk through every room of my house. I grab anything and everything that might work for the party (remember it’s all free at this point!). Then I put it all in my dining room and take inventory. I set aside things I can use for tables, anything I could repurpose as a backdrop, etc. and then I wrote down what I need to buy as fill ins. Most likely that’s a banner/garland, plates and other tabletop party supplies, favors, etc. I can’t even tell you how many hundreds if not thousands of dollars this trick has saved me in my years of hosting parties.
Lists are Life
When it’s finally time to shop, go in with a very clear and intentional list. Be specific on the items you need. For example, red dessert plates, white cake stand, or blue stripe tablecloth. Have you ever grocery shopped hungry and without a list? I don’t know about you, but when I grocery shop unprepared, I almost always grab a bunch of stuff I didn’t need at all. But if I had a list, most likely I’d purchase on Amazon Fresh or be an in and out trip where I buy from the list and nothing more. Same rules apply for party planning!
I help moms all over the world save time and money planning beautiful parties. I do this with my themed party planning guides and checklists. You give me the theme, and I outline your whole party, start to finish, giving you links to purchase or DIY (you choose!) everything you need to host. Think of your party plan as that very detailed and intentional list necessary for budget friendly grocery store trips. All that thinking and planning done for you, so you can focus on all the fun parts- hosting and celebrating your little one at the awesome stage of life they’re at.