Under the sparkling sun, amidst the beauty of the green grass and blue sky, light breeze rushing against your soft skin, colourful flowers a pleasure for the eyes. Giggles, calmness, munching on some yummy snacks, a journey down the memory lane and catching up with the girls; SubhanAllah, wouldn’t that be just a perfect afternoon brunch with friends?
But what if all those perfect moments were interrupted.
What if the food was not cooked on time?
What if the set up for the brunch was not ready even when your friends were at your door step?
Running up and down… trying to set up everything… baking here, cooking there, all while your friends are sitting with each other and you were missing out on the fun!
Or in a further worse scenario what if they have nothing to talk about and are bored or are gossiping about things, which if kept at bay would make you happier ? How do you ensure that the meet up is fun yet halal? What should you do if you don’t want to be running around but rather spending some quality time with friends, which was the purpose of the event in the first place.
Here is a quick step by step guide to planning a brunch/hangout/party with your friends that will ensure you plan and complete everything on time and not end up feeling awful once the party is over!
Planning is the key to ensuring that everything is done in an organised manner. Yes, randomness can (sometimes) bring out good results too but it will just make you too worked up to enjoy the event. Planning and starting the preparations early will give you more time to make sure everything is going right, just the way you want it to. This will not only let you have peace of mind but also help you enjoy hosting the party.
So where do you begin planning from? Below are some basic key points to help you get started with the preparation for any party in general. Remember the necessity for each of these may vary with the kind of party you decide to host. A casual meet up at home may not require you to go much in detail with the entire planning process and would work out just fine if all you do is decide on what snacks your friends and you would like to munch. On the other hand for a lunch hosted for a large group of friends, going step by step with the plan would make the preparations easy and ensure its success and your sanity.
1. PLAN YOUR BUDGET
Decide what your budget is going to be. Some questions to ask yourself in order to make this decision:
- How many people are you going to invite?
- What is your budget going to be? Remember you don’t have to spend too much to host a successful party, your friends will love a simple one too because for them what is more important is the time they get to spend with you.
- What is the approximate amount you plan to spend on food, necessary supplies and giveaways? Also keep some amount for other miscellaneous necessities that may be required.
2. VENUE OF THE EVENT
- Where are you going to host the event – at home or a restaurant or some other appropriate place? (Another simple idea for an occasional hangout with friends would be that all of you zero in on some posh restaurant in town where you would like to go for lunch, save some money over a month or two for it and enjoy the delicious meal in the great ambience!)
3. GUEST LIST AND SENDING INVITATIONS
- No. of people you decide to invite is important before moving forward with the other key things that you need to plan.
- Make sure you invite the guests at least a week or 2 in advance, so that they can block that day for you and also ensure that the date does not clash with some other appointments that they may already have set.
Next, it’s time to decide what’s the menu going to be?
- In case of a lunch party, decide if you want to stick to one particular cuisine or a mixed variety?
- Which items are going on the menu and what quantity will you need?
Make sure you have just enough so that you will not fall short of food but don’t make a list that is over the top such that the food is wasted when the party is over. Be conscious of the fact that you will be called to account for any rizq that is wasted.
- Are there any items that can be prepared in advance?
- Make a list and go shopping for groceries. Don’t leave this until the last day else you might end up running around if you don’t find anything on the list. Neither do it too early such that the items are spoiled by the time you use them on the event day.
5. ARRANGEMENTS, SUPPLIES & MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
- What kind of decorations and seating arrangements are you going to have?
- Make a list of the supplies that you may need for the decoration, serving food etc., and purchase them well before time.
- If you are using the crockery you have at home, make sure you clean it in advance. Also ensure it will be enough with respect to number of guests that you are inviting.
- Which table linen are you going to use? Ensure it’s clean and not stained from previous use. You don’t want to find it dirty on that day and be running around washing and drying it when you have other important things to set up. These are the little things that can get you worked up at the last moment!
Now that you are done with the basic planning, it’s time to make your party fun and enjoyable. Next part will help you do just that, inshaAllah!