Things I’ve Learned
I am 25 years old. It is never too late to reboot your life, and it is never too late to keep learning.
I had a big ol’ party this year, and many of my closest friends were in attendance! It was a hoot and a half as we solved (and starred in) a live “murder mystery” event. The food was great, the decorations were fun, and I had a great time. If I’m being totally honest, though, this party was my first attempt to throw the kind of party I’d like to have for a wedding reception. Obviously this was just a birthday party, and not a reception, but a similar level of planning went into it.
There’s a few things that I’ve come to realize about events like this. First of all, a great staff can make the night flow effortlessly. There was a great staff there, and I have absolutely no complaints about what they did. However, the one piece that was missing was a primary coordinator of the timing of everything. I guess that was kind of my role, but I didn’t know enough about the logistics to make it run as smoothly as I would have liked. Basically, there was no one 100% “in charge” of the party, and that would have definitely made things easier.
Second, communication cannot be overstated. I think the lack of a primary coordinator could have been remedied if I had just explicitly told everyone there exactly how I wanted things to go. I suspect my guests didn’t notice the difference, but there were just a few things I would have liked to run a little differently. Also, since minor slip-ups are bound to happen (such as the character actors running 20 minutes late due to traffic), it’s helpful to have a back-up plan. All said and done, everything happened that was supposed to happen….but it just wasn’t EXACTLY how I wanted it to happen.
Finally, I’m about to say something I probably shouldn’t say… I’ve learned that when you RSVP for an event, but then back out within a few days (or even hours) of the event, it can really have an impact on the proceedings…and the people who invited you. I had 1 person back out a day early, 1 person who emailed me an hour before (which I only got after the event), 2 people who never showed, and 1 person left early. I didn’t plan on any of that when I was putting the event together, and since it was a relatively small event, that threw things off to a certain degree. It also kind of took away my enjoyment knowing that people who said they would come and spend the evening with me backed out.
Finally, for my lovely guests in attendance, I must admit that it was difficult to spend time with everyone. Even though it was my party, I kind of felt like I was outside of every little group. I loved seeing everyone, and I think we all had a good time, but it was overwhelming trying to be the hostess.
I think the best decisions I made for the event were as follows: hiring a photographer, taking the entire menu of food as-is because it was amazing, and speaking up about the kind of cake that I wanted. The cake was precious!
Anyway, I’m overtired right now and will probably go back and realize that my tiredness is feeding into my emotional response right now. The key here is that I’ve learned a lot about planning events like this, and also a little bit about myself. And I can take that into the future and apply it where necessary.