If you’re arranging a special bash for a loved one, here are a few helpful hints to keep in mind:
• Plan well in advance. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in a party store at the last minute, looking at black balloons, “over-the-hill” streamers and lame party favors, such as fake false teeth and Viagra pill bottles!
• Cast a wide net for ideas. Brainstorm with others. Check the Internet (www.adultpartyideas.com has dozens of creative ideas) and books, such as Diane Warner’s Big Book of Parties (Career Press, 1999) and Patty Sachs’ Pick a Party (Meadowbrook Press, 1997).
• Create a lasting remembrance. A memory book is a surefire winner. Invite your guests to send something that’ll fit on an 8.5-x-11-inch page, such as letters to or anecdotes about the guest of honor (GOH), memories of “first impressions” of the GOH, or photos. Give them a deadline for sending these in, so that you can arrange them in an archival scrapbook. Display the book at the party and include blank pages for last-minute additions.
If you’re holding a surprise celebration, emblazon the word “SURPRISE” on the invitations to ensure that no one spills the beans.
• Encourage carpooling and parking away from the party site, so the GOH won’t be tipped off by familiar vehicles.
• Have your guests arrive one hour before the GOH is expected, and videotape the preparty activities for the GOH to enjoy later.
• Have RSVPs sent to a friend, not to the GOH’s home.
• If the party is at the GOH’s home, line up someone to keep him busy on the big day and deliver him to the party.
• Consider a series of surprises. For example, you might make a date to take the GOH out to a restaurant. Pick her up as scheduled, but in a stretch limo filled with well-wishers. Then proceed to the restaurant, where still more guests are waiting!