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party supplies

So you've got a party coming up and you need to know where to start regarding party supplies. Grab a pen and some paper and get ready to make a list! A little careful planning will ensure that you have everything you need to make your bash a success.

First, begin with your R.S.V.P. list. This will give you a good idea of how many people are planning to attend your event. If you didn’t send out invitations or didn’t ask for an R.S.V.P., you’re in for some surprises. Try to do your best to estimate the number of people you think will attend and add 25% more people than that number. This will ensure you will have enough supplies to go around and won’t run out at the worst possible moment. This will also help you determine your budget. Your budget should not only be based on what you can afford, but should also allow you to have enough supplies for everyone, plus a little extra.

Food and drinks are integral parts of any party. After you plan your menu, you can start planning the dinnerware, flatware and glasses you will need. Obviously a more upscale party would decree us of better tableware, but it your event is more causal, paper and plastic are fine. There are some paper and plastic products which are geared to a higher-end setting, so use those if they suit the theme you have selected. There are a wide variety of party settings available to suit any occasion, so look around to see what will be best for your party. If your menu is a full service meal including soup and dessert, consider buying dinner plates, salad plates, dessert plates, bowls, spoons, forks, knives, and cups. It is not enough to have one of each piece for each person. You will need to have extras on-hand, especially for dessert items, so have double dessert plates and double forks and spoons. If you are having finger-foods, salad plates and dessert plates should suffice (in addition to cups), with a wealth of forks and spoons, but plan to have twice as many plates as people. You will also want to make sure you don’t run out of cups, so have twice as many as you think you will need. If you do have excess after your party you can relax and avoid doing the dishes for a couple of days.

Although not as crucial as your tableware, decorations can really make your party a hit. If you have a theme, go big! Selecting a Hawaiian theme warrants having leis and cocktail umbrellas with tiki torches lining the driveway and the back yard. A NASCAR theme lends itself to flags; checkered, green, yellow and red, in addition to flashing colored lights and the television tuned to the Speed channel. Baby showers can be in the traditional baby blue and precious pink to you can get funky for the eclectic expectant mom with day-glow colors and Gerber Daisies.

Often forgotten party supplies are ice, extra trash bags, an extra trash can (clean), and snacks (outside your regular menu selections). Take into consideration that you will want to mingle with your guests, so take the opportunity to be as prepared as possible ahead of time to allow you to enjoy yourself too.

Plan, make lists, plan a little more. This should be the mantra of any party planner looking to make a splash. Knowing what to expect will make your job easier and more fun and will help you in selecting your party supplies.

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