In this second part of our 21st birthday celebration we're going to continue with our discussion of how to plan the event.
If you're going to have the party outside of your home then one thing to keep in mind is if you want to have the party on a Saturday then you better book in advance. Most venues fill up their Saturday slots very fast and getting a Saturday date can be difficult at best. Do not be too shocked if your date is booked even one year in advance. If you're planning an evening party, make sure there is enough room for your guests to dance.
Most places do not allow outside caterers. You are most likely going to have to use theirs and they are not cheap. The biggest cost will be the food and drinks. Drinks are especially expensive. The common foods for these events are cheaper but also predictable, so give your menu a little thought. It may cost more but your guests will appreciate it.
As for a photographer, hire a professional or let a friend do it who at least knows something about photography. Remember, after the evening is over the only thing you're going to have left are your memories, which include your photographs. Make sure they're done well.
For your invitations, try to remember that your invitations create the mood of the party so try not to make them bland and boring. Try to be original, both with the theme and the look of the invitations themselves. They may end up costing a little bit more but it will be worth it. If, however, you have an invitation program at home on your computer and are fairly creative, you may want to make them yourself. They will certainly be original. Try to think outside the box when making these as many of your friends will probably be turning 21 as well and have gotten tons of 21st birthday invites. Be different.
As for the decor, try to pick a theme as mentioned in the first article in this series and try to keep that theme consistent throughout the place. So if you pick a comic book hero theme you do not want the walls decorated with modern art. Everything should look like it belongs. Also make sure that everything is set up well in advance. The hall should have no trouble allowing you to do this early in the morning.
Your music is the maker or breaker of most parties. In this case the music should be easy. Most of your guests are going to be your friends and they're all around the same age as you so they should pretty much have the same tastes as you. However, if you are going to have some older people there try to pick a good number of selections that they can enjoy too. Either hire a professional DJ or band for this. Do not try running the music yourself or let your friends do it. The night will turn into a disaster.
Let's face it, birthday cakes are clichéd but people expect them. So try to have a nice one served. It does not have to be too fancy. Happy 21st birthday with your name will be more than good enough. Nobody's going to see it for more than a few minutes anyway after it's brought out.
As for speeches, choose about 3 friends and family members to make them. This is what really makes a 21st birthday special. Make sure you pick people who are not going to say anything inappropriate. Make sure you've at least fed your guests the first course before starting speeches. Nobody wants to listen to them when they're hungry.
Choose a master of ceremonies to run the evening, someone with a good personality and sense of humor. This will greatly help the evening be more enjoyable.
Finally, there are going to be people who do not know each other so a good thing to do is have a few ice breakers so people can get to know each other and feel more comfortable there. Make the ice breaker something that your guests will have to get up from their seats and mingle.
Doing all of the above will help ensure that your 21st birthday is a night that nobody will soon forget.