Organising a 21st Birthday…
Lots of preparations go on behind the scenes to make sure you and your friends have a night to be remembered (or not) at your 21st Birthday Party.
Here is a list of things you need to organise:
Check that you aren't having your 21st on the same date as your friends (or friends friends.) If you can, ask all your friends if they are free, book the date and send out invites with a RSVP. This gives you a psychological edge over people that organise their 21sts with a week or two notice. Facebook helps out with this too.
Look at a few venues. It is important that you get the right venue for your kind of 21st. We get feedback from all of the 21st' we refer, so we are always looking for the best hotels, clubs and function centres to hold your 21st. If you decide to have your function at home, remember to check with your neighbours about the noise levels and hire at least two security guards to prevent gatecrashers.
Having a theme isn't for everybody, however, you can have your 21st as a casual beach party, a formal black tie affair or anything in between. Some popular themes are:
- Colour parties: Everyone has to wear a certain colour (usually red, pink, animal print or whatever your favourite colour is. A variation of this is to get all your guests to dress in all black and white, then turn up in a brightly coloured outfit. That way you will stand out!
The whole idea of a theme to make the night more fun!
You can send the invites by mail, email or by hand. It is best to get them done as soon as you have the details ready.
If you have a DJ or band on the night, then it is a good idea to note it on the invite. Like it or not, guests will stay at the parties that have the best entertainment. If your guests have more than one party to go to on the same night, make sure they go to the other party first, then come down to your party for speeches and to boogie the rest of the night away with you.
The Birthday Cake
Make sure you make a cake big enough for all of your guests. Recently, people have been making cupcakes instead. It saves time cutting up the cake on the night and it is easier for people to eat without a napkin. Some venues make you purchase the birthday cake from them, inflating your bill by up to $200.
In our experience, having a DJ or creates a great atmosphere. Having an iPod or jukebox will do, but you will need to constantly monitor the songs, volume and veto your paro' friends requests. Metallica is great, but not always appropriate... We can recommend getting a DJ, reason being, they play everything for everyone! DJ's are also interactive and get everyone involved. As with everything in life, you get what you pay for. The only thing worse than no DJ is a shit one!
Decide on whether you will have speeches or not. Check that you have a microphone available. Test drive your projector with your laptop if you are doing a slideshow, preferably prior to the start of your speech! Set ground rules for your friends' speeches, We have seen grandparents cry during graphic depictions!
Make sure you set a budget at the start of the planning process. Make a list of what is important to you and adjust your budget accordingly. Metallic helium balloons are great, thai enchilada canapes are sensational, but a crappy venue or shit DJ can ruin your 21st.
The Fine Print
Always check the fine print whenever you book a venue or DJ. Venues often tack on exorbitant fees after quoting you a lower price for food and alcohol packages. Be careful of the following fees:
• Security fees (can be up to $300 extra)
• Get the function start and end time in writing, some venues will kick you out an hour or two early if your guests aren't buying enough drinks.
• If you have your party on a night other than Saturday you should be able to haggle a substantial reduction in room hire costs.
• Some venues charge full price for drinks on the tab, others charge by the bottle (which is considerably cheaper).
• If your friends and family are all pissheads you should get a drinks package, if only half of your family and friends drink heavily then go for a bar tab or a cash/subsidised bar.
Remember that even though it is your party, you will be responsible for hosting the event. Make sure you make everything as streamlined as possible so that you don't have to micromanage things on the night.