Hi readers! So recently marks the end of all 21st birthday planning. As some of you might know, I’m 21 this year. That means most of my friends are celebrating their 21st as well. As I planned my 21st birthday first (yes I’m the eldest among my friends), I have learned to plan birthday parties better than ever. Especially after planning birthday after birthday parties. Thank god I only have these few close friends to plan, or I will be ultra-broke and busy.
I planned Donovan’s 21st along with his ex-girlfriend, WP (yes, they are still friends) recently, and I swear I was so glad that was the end. I’m so done with planning 21st birthday parties. I don’t know about you, but 21st birthday parties are quite boring IMO.
It seems very fun and exciting to look forward to your 21st, but as soon as all the planning kick in- you wish you are back to 12 and all you need to do is to eat the birthday cake your parents bought you.
I’m a super control freak with it comes to planning for parties, and I hate it when people are inefficient or nonresponsive as fuck. And soon it will come to a point where I’d no longer care about the party and let the rest fuck it up/ save it themselves.
If you are going to celebrate a typical 21st birthday party, you can follow the mini guide below. When I say ‘typical 21st birthday party’ I mean those staycation/ fancy hotel celebration. I know there are a few people who prefer to hold their parties at chalets, but I personally prefer to have some kind of class.
Decide the Date
Are you going to hold it on the actual day, or postpone it to another week? If your birthday falls on weekday, will people attend on the actual day?
Prepare the Guest List
There is not point booking a hotel or cake when you have no guests. If you are planning a surprise, then you better steal the phone and grab the contact list quickly. One thing I realized for surprise party is that the birthday boy/ girl may get upset with the people invited. Remember to invite the correct people. This may be tricky, especially for girls, as you may just invite one of her ‘fake’ friends to the party.
Order the Cake/ Cupcakes
Find the design you prefer and quickly order it. One thing I realized about most personalized birthday cake bakeries is that they refuse to take any order if you only request to them 1 week or less. I began planning my birthday on the week of my party itself, hence finding cake was quite tedious as well. Same for Donovan’s. It seems that everyone was not free and it was hard to decide the date to hold the party. By now the guests should already RSVP with you, but I know there are many non-responsive people out there, and you are unsure if they are attending. I would say do an estimation. If the number of guests exceeds, you can cut the cake into smaller pieces. It is better than wasting food.
Unless you are ordering pizzas, which was what I did for Donovan’s party, then it’s better to calculate how much food you are going to order. Again, it’s better not to waste food. You can always order pizzas if too many guests turn up. Also, check with the guests if there are certain food they are unable to take.
Typical 21st birthday balloons and those name balloons? There are a few of those out there, google it. How are you going to decorate the hotel room? How about the table layout?
These are a few points I pay attention to whenever I plan a party. But I’m so done with planning 21st parties. I just want to hold a 22nd birthday like Taylor Swift. Just kidding, that’s impossible. I realized I love planning, but I hate it when things don’t go my way. (Bad trait I picked it up from my ex-boyfriend)
Anyways, back to Donovan’s 21st birthday. It was super tedious to plan because everyone was so busy. XT works in entertainment industry, which makes her getting a weekend off difficult. Brendon is serving the nation, which makes him available during the weekends. Donovan is also serving the nation, which means our party must be on a weekend.
A few setbacks in this planning- nothing was done early. WP wanted to use a last minute hotel booking app, which means we were unable to inform the guests the venue until a day before the party. Hence we told her to book at her condo function room first. Second issue, I received the guest list on the week of the party itself. 4-5 days before the party. Third issue, guests issue. Guests were VERY non-responsive.
Truth to be told, I was very disappointed in Donovan’s friends. I invited all his friends into a group chat to inform them about the party, most of them just left without a word. Rude. How about ‘I’ll not be attending, but thank you for the invitation’. People fail to see what most planners deal with. Shit. One of them left and then decided to join the party in the end. Wow.
There were another bunch of friends who read the messages and refused to reply. People need to understand that we need you to respond so we are able to cater food for the right number of guests.
Oh, remember I mentioned to check with the guests if there are any food they are unable to take? If it is not clear enough, I meant if anyone who are unable to take beef, needs halal food, or is a vegan. One of his friends replied asking for a ‘low-fat’ meal. Excuse me, but you are invited to a party. A party is usually filled with junk food, snacks and pizzas. FYI- the guest ate the most pizza that night. Well done sir. I’m totally okay with it, because the whole night I was filled with sarcasm. I asked if he had his own dinner because we were ordering pizza, and I also told him we made some healthy dips for chips, customized just for him. My friends were shocked that I just told him off like that. But I guess his friends thought it was quite a funny joke. Joke’s on you mister. I cannot stand people around my age at times.
Anyways, the party went well. I did my job of informing the guests. I guess most of the crises came from the guests. People issues are the hardest to deal with, but there wouldn’t be a party if there weren’t people.
The cupcakes above was done by a friend of mine, Monice. Do check her Instagram out, @Monicebakes. She baked some cookies for me as well, and they were very lovely!
, by Angelus Chan