Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Planning Big Parties (Besides Weddings)

If you do it right, planning a wedding can be a lot of fun. I know I certainly had fun planning a big party for my friends and family.

I wonder, though, why we tend to save the big parties (the ones that require a lot of planning) for our weddings. Why not have other big parties throughout our lives?

I, for one, am a big fan of birthday parties.

Here are two examples of big birthday parties I planned for myself (narcissistic, I know)--both of which involved a couple out-of-town guests flying in for the weekend:

(1) Being the Change Birthday Blowout

My friends and I split into teams of 4-5 and drove all around Houston for a random acts of kindness scavenger hunt. Some of the items on the list:
  • Buy a bouquet and deliver it to someone in the hospital
  • Help people unload their carts at the grocery check-out counter
  • Give a candy bar to a security guard on duty
  • Play with someone's dog
I brought together a committee of my closest friends to help plan the event, and we even had a fundraiser (i.e., a bake sale) and had t-shirts made. Some of my more cynical friends were skeptical about whether or not this activity would be fun, but the feedback was positive all the way around.

(2) Weekend Mountain Getaway

My friends and I drove into the mountains of Colorado in February and spent the weekend at a YMCA. We rented out an entire house and basically had a giant sleepover. Our agenda included: playing board games, watching movies, cross-country skiing, swimming (indoors, of course), and snow-shoeing. We even played cheesy party games to compete for glory and prizes.

Maybe if we hosted more big parties, weddings wouldn't be as stressful. They wouldn't feel as high stakes. And we'd have more practice and experience with planning.

It's just a thought.

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Meg said...

Totally totally agreed. This is not my first big party and won't be my last. And I love the "be the change" party. I think I will throw it.

Cate Subrosa said...

I love this idea and the "being the change" thing sounds like a lot of fun!

Anonymous said...

I'm stealing your scavenger hunt idea for my birthday party this year; thank you for sharing!!

Jessica said...

I think you are my long-lost secret childhood friend. I completely agree - with this post and most everything else on yr blog! Regarding parties, my mom had a smashup 60th: a costume party for 100 folks, some from out of town. Everyone had to dress up as "a historical figure you admire." I dressed up as my mom, replete with curly white haired wig and her bear claw/otter penis bone necklace (don't ask. really) and her Relay for Life cancer buttons. It was really funny to see her face as she recognized me...as herself. :)

Natalie said...

I love all of your ideas!!!!! I am totally using your scavenger hunt idea:) I have also thought of two more great ones, my boyfriend is going to school to become a chief, so I am going to have a chili cook off and he is the judge. I have also thought of an idea for an engagement party, dress up as famous married couples. Thanks for starting me thinking of party ideas!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a little late on this, I know, but I've been reading some of your blog posts and I just had to comment. I think this is so very true! We shouldn't have to restrict the big parties to weddings, it only makes our lives less fun and adds more stress to the wedding. I know that whenever I think about my wedding, I'm always worrying about whether the choices I make are the right ones because I'll never have a chance to throw a party like this again; I also worry about things going wrong because this is my one shot at getting it right...and there lies the problem :). If we threw more large parties, then I know, at least for myself, that we wouldn't stress over throwing a wedding and it would make the whole process even more fun and enjoyable (especially considering that we won't have to mourn the non-existence of a wedding after the actual event because there will always be more parties!).

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