Party Planning: Identifying A Reason and Choosing an Occasion

party cake

Welcome back! I am so excited to walk you through my Easy as PIE approach to entertaining. I’ve already shared my biggest hostess inspirations with you and told you about the first party that I ever attended as an adult. While that certainly didn’t go as planned, I did learn quite a bit from it! Since then I have hosted dozens of gatherings – some great successes and some not so much. But, through it all, I have learned quite a bit and I would like to share it all with you.

Let’s start with the first two steps of party planning: Identifying Your Reason and Choosing an Occasion.

Ask Yourself Why

The first step to entertaining is to ask yourself why you want to host a party. It is important to identify your motivation so you can stay on track throughout the process.

The reason doesn’t have to be obvious to your guests, but will provide you with a starting point and a source of motivation throughout the planning process. Any time you are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, go back to your reason to remind yourself why you are doing this.

Choose An Occasion

Once you have identified the reason you want to host a gathering you will need to form a distinct occasion in your mind.

Sometimes the opportunity to host a party presents itself with a loved one’s impending milestone such as a birthday, graduation, anniversary, engagement, or an approaching holiday. And sometimes, we just feel like throwing a party and need an excuse to do so. If you look around, reasons and inspiration are everywhere.

Put It Together

The combination of these (reason and occasion) will help you throughout the planning process by giving you a frame of reference through which all other decisions will be made.  Reasons and occasions abound.  Let’s lay out about some examples.

Reason:  You just got a new set of dishes and are dying to use them.
Occasion:  Have two couples you haven’t seen in a while over for dinner Saturday night to catch up.

Reason: You just lost 10 pounds and are feeling fun and sassy.
Occasion:  Get your girlfriends together for an all-girls get together.

Reason: It’s been a cold winter and you want a distraction from the misery.
Occasion:  Invite a group of families with their children over to warm up.

Reason:  Your favorite niece is having her first baby.
Occasion:  Celebrate her and her impending arrival with a baby shower.

Reason:  You need motivation to clean your house and you miss your extended family.
Occasion: Get your extended family together for Sunday supper.

Reason:  Your favorite flowers are in bloom in your garden.
Occasion: Get your garden loving friends together to catch up.

We’ll keep flushing out some of these examples in subsequent posts so that you can see why it is important to begin with identifying your reasons and choosing an occasion. From here we will build up our party plans one step at a time, using the reason and occasion as the anchor points for the rest of the process.

In the meantime, I would encourage you to write out a list (it can be purely fantasy) of five reasons and occasions you would like to host a party so you can begin practicing this concept. If you would like to share your list, please do so over on the Facebook Page or in the comments below.

Happy homemaking,

Mrs. B Signature


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Through Mrs. Barnstable’s School for the Domestic Arts -  its blog, guides, and other resources - I will help you create a home you love to be in, show you how to host a party with panache and ease, and guide you through how to manage it all without feeling overwhelmed.

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