New Mini Series: Cruise-themed Anniversary Party Part 1

I’m trying something new and I hope you like it. It’s been over a year since my last post and what a year it has been.

So, to kick off 2021 (a month-ish late), I’ve decided to try a new approach to releasing content – a mini series. Rather than one long post that gives an overview of what I did and how I did it, I’m going to take you on the journey, real-time, as I put together an event. Each week, I’ll post about what I’ve done to prepare for the event and give you my best tips and tricks for any of your own events. And, of course, since we’re still in the midst of a health crisis, I’ll share the practices I’m putting into place to ensure the safety of my family and guests. So, let’s get started.

First, some details – my mom and step-dad are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in April. My sisters and I have decided to put together a small celebration for them. To determine the type of event, theme, plan, etc., we started with some basic facts and brainstorming by answering a couple of key questions about our event.

1. Who do you want to invite?

This is usually my favorite place to start. Knowing who, and more specifically, how many, is helpful in making subsequent decisions, like type of event, where you can have it and what kind of food to plan. Since we’re still battling COVID19, we decided to keep the event to a total of 10 guests, adults-only. This would allow us to properly social distance, especially while unmasked to eat. For events larger than 15, think carefully about any activities you plan – you’ll probably need to plan on multiple, simultaneous, “opt-in” activities versus one big activity everyone does together. And, especially right now, try to stick to outdoor events or large spaces with good ventilation.

2. When will the event take place?

Like “the who,” the when can help you make other decisions. An event in the dead of winter in Ohio is going to be an indoor event… And the same could be true of an event in Arizona in the peak of summer – A/C will be required. Also, usually this is an easy detail to get out of the way if you’re trying to celebrate a specific date and can also help determine what all you can realistically achieve for your event based on how long you have until the event. So, get this decision out of the way early and, if there’s anyone you really want to be at your event, give them a heads up to save the date. We picked April 10 – their anniversary is early April, but we wanted to avoid Easter weekend. Since we are still finalizing this plan, we texted our mom to “hold it open” with more details to come. (but let’s be serious… No one has plans these days anyway…). This gives us time to plan while also creating some anticipation for her!

3. What are some themes or activities that could work (if you want one/some)?

Depending on the type of event, you may want a theme, an activity or both. For example, a birthday party for a child probably just needs a theme (and maybe doesn’t even need that!) but a dinner with friends could be enhanced with an activity (and a theme if you’re up for it!). For this event, we did some brainstorming on both. Ultimately, we landed on the theme of “On a cruise” (since they can’t be right now with COVID) and the activity of the Love and Marriage Game Show since it’s an anniversary celebration.

  • Themes
    • “On a cruise”
    • 90s (since they were married in 96)
  • Activities
    • Murder mystery in a box
    • Escape room in a box
    • Love & Marriage Game Show
    • Hollywood Game Night
    • Family Feud

Answering those three questions are enough to get us on the same page to start further planning for the event. Now that we’ve decided on who, when and what, our next step is to build out a plan of all the activities that we need to accomplish between now and April 10. Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll dive into project planning an event (my favorite part!).

Posts will release every Monday from now through Monday, April 12. Subscribe to receive notifications or leave a comment below to let me know what you think or what questions you have!

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