Afterpay & Zip available online and in store

SAME DAY SHIPPING for orders received by 2.30pm*

Top 10 tips to avoid party disasters

Top 10 tips to avoid party disasters

You've heard about party disasters and you just don't want your party known as the worst party ever! Here's our top 10 tips on how to avoid party disasters!

Party Guests

You hear so many stories about kids (& adults parties) where no one showed up. It's heart breaking for those involved. To avoid this check for date clashes, things like All Black matches, other friend's parties etc. If you can't avoid them, then plan around them. For example incorporate a big screen for the game or a joint party with your friend.

I always like to ensure that the BFF, can make it before sending invitations.

Proof read your invitation to ensure you have the correct day, date, time and location and of course the personal touch of following up for RSVP helps too.

You're just not ready!

Plan on your quests arriving several hours before they do, so you are ready. Don't over complicate the party, especially those tasks that need to be done on the day. As a busy working mum with "grand plans", I find I make a great list of all the things I would love to have at the party. This is great as it helps me come up with creative ideas and ways to make the party stand out from the crowd. My secret is to prioritise the list into "must haves" and  "would dearly love to haves". I focus on the "must haves" first and have a plan to ensure these are ready. Then I work on the next list and if I don't have time, well they just don't get done. I would rather do less, but really well! It's important to spend time with guests as that's what its all about.


Plan for rain, hail or shine! If you have a plan for a rainy day, the chances are you might not need it. Think about the venue and alternative options should it ran. For example when taking the kids to the local mini golf, is there a movie on about the same time you could change plans and head to instead?

If you are having the party at home, do you have indoor and outdoor spaces to use? Do you need a marquee just in case?

Host - missing in action!

Plan as many things as possible, so you are free on the day to enjoy the party and mingle. It's also wise to get help with things like the food and drinks. If you're not able to hire someone for this, then share the workload with your close friends. I've used the local student job search for a couple of helpers on the day. They came with experience and references, so I could confidently leave them with my party plan. They ensured that everyone had plenty of food and drink. Guests loved the extra attention they got.

Lack of entertainment

Whether it's a kids birthday party or your Nana's 90th birthday, think about what the guests will do. Do you need an icebreaker to help people get to know one another? Things as simple as name tags and place cards help. Games are great for young and old. Kids like to be having fun at adults parties too, so try setting up a kids zone.

If you hire a band or entertainer, ring the day before the party to confirm that they are on-track to arrive at the correct time and place. 

Food allergies and catering to the crowd

There's nothing worse than hungry guests. If you are able to find out about guest dietary needs, this will be helpful, if not then cater for some allergies. Think about vegans, gluten or dairy free and organise a range of types of foods. A few options for kids are air popped popcorn and fairy bread. Fruit and vegetables with dips are usually great too. These ideas are simple and will ensure that there are a few items that everyone can eat.

Uninvited Guests

There is nothing worse that unexpected guests turning up and there's not enough seats. In this busy world, people just don't always RSVP and sometimes they turn up. If it's a kids party you could also have siblings tag along. I always had a few extra party bags, just in case. If I didn't use the bags, I would use them as stocking fillers at Xmas or one year I added all the left over party bag fillers into the pinata. Kids loved that.

If you are at a restaurant or venue and you haven't been able to get hold of those that didn't RSVP, then give the party venue warning that surprise guests might show up. They will appreciate some early warning.

Then there are gate crashers! You can prevent this by giving paper invitations rather than the social media type that can go viral. You should also have a plan in place if this was to happen. Hire or give someone the responsibility for "door management", this can make or break your party.

Get the party started!

Guests have arrived, music is playing, but the party just hasn't "started". Have you started with an icebreaker to help everyone get to know each other? Make sure your music is upbeat and introduce some age appropriate games, whether it's pass the parcel at Timmy's birthday party or planned activities at Mum's 60th birthday party.

I think a theme can really help get people get into the mood too. If they dress for the western party or all glitz for the Hollywood party, it certainly sets the scene for the mood you want at your party.


Have a plan for your pet. Does your pet get excited with some many people arriving? Perhaps some of your guests are not pet friendly? Think about what will work best for you and your party, so your pet/s and guest are happy.

Heath and Safety

Keeping everyone safe is important, both during and after the party. There is nothing worse than having someone shipped off to hospital during your party or hearing about an accident that happened to a guest on the way home.

If your 90 year old nana is attending, think about the steps, access to the toilets, does she need help?

It's your 21st party, consider ways to prevent drinking and driving, like the location of the party, providing transportation, food and non-alcoholic drinks. 

Will you have toddlers at the party? What can they access? Consider a safe zone for kids with activities to keep them happy.


There's lots to consider when planning your party to avoid those disasters that can occur. At Build a Birthday we are happy to help you with planning. See our other party planning and indoor and outdoor party game blogs for more information, or contact us for assistance.




Previous post
Next post