Party Planning Like A Boss Series: The Best Vendors, Favors, And DIY Decor For Your Next Unique Party – Part 1 Where To Begin

The Mint Chip Mama's One Shoulder Dress Party Planning

Let’s Get This Party Planning Started!

Whether you’re planning an event for yourself or your child, party planning for a large-scale event is a big deal. In my opinion, a good party is all about the little details. The extra special touches are what your guests will remember more than anything else. Well – maybe the food and music too.

I love planning big parties. To be fair, I also love planning small parties… and planning midsize parties. Did someone mention planning a birthday dinner, planning a class reunion, planning a wedding, planning a Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Perhaps you mentioned planning a graduation party or planning a Sweet 16? Or maybe just planning a mom’s night out or planning a Taco Tuesday fiesta? I love planning all these fun parties. Maybe I missed my calling… Ok, so I like planning parties, any type of party.

Let’s Get To Party Planning!

When it came time to plan a big event for my daughter, I was ready to go. As with all big parties, they are very overwhelming to plan. But like all overwhelming things in life, you need to take a step back, exhale, and start somewhere to move forward. In truth, sometimes this is the hardest part.

Party Planning Series: Planning The Best Party For Any Theme And Size!

That is why I’m here – to help. Welcome to my five-part series on party planning. These posts cover everything needed to plan an awesome party – big or small – and within any budget. You can find each part of party planning broken up here:

Party Planning Part 1: Where To Begin

Party Planning Part 2: Party Vendors

Party Planning Part 3: Party Favors

Party Planning Part 4: DIY Party Décor

Party Planning Part 5: Party Dresses, Suits, Hair & Makeup

If you want to jump ahead to party planning finds, click on my Amazon store. This page is filled with party décor ideas, party favors, and even party dresses and party shoes for different themes and sizes.

Where Do You Begin?

We started our party planning journey by choosing a venue. My husband and I discussed a budget but then said it’s difficult to say what we want to spend until we see what stuff costs. We looked at our bank account and decided on a ceiling, so as long as we were under that we were good. Equally, we agreed that parties go by fast and the next morning we still have to eat and pay the mortgage… We adopted this as our mantra and it prevented us from spinning out of control. Because let me tell you – it’s very easy to spin out of control when you’re party planning.

We began our (very quick) venue search with the idea that we’d have a “kid’s party”. This meant only inviting my daughter’s friends and our immediate family. I can laugh at that now because I’m sure many people start there. To be fair, since we could remember, she said she wanted a trip instead of a party, so when we started looking for a party (obviously), we intended to do something small.

Your Party Will End Up Bigger Than Your Expect

It is so important to write out your guest list instead of just guessing. You need this list to dictate the venue size. We thought it would be just kids, family and none of our friends. However, my friEnd* gave me some great advice. She said that so many party costs were fixed, adding some close friends won’t make much difference financially but will make the party exponentially more fun for us.

Again, I laughed because what started as a trip and no party evolved to a trip and kid’s party, and then ended up a big party (but still small compared to others). Thusly, it was like planning a wedding and then planning a honeymoon right afterward. Good first-world problems, but exhausting, nonetheless.

The Mint Chip Mama's Party Planning Like A Boss Series KPacho

Picking The Venue

In my opinion, the venue sets the tone for the party. We wanted something a little different and with more emphasis on fun than fancy. We had the date already and as the “one year to go” anniversary arrived I realized I needed to get my act together and find a place. It was winter, it was cold, and it was hard to motivate leaving my house to look in person so I called around for dates and pricing. With much luck, I had a dermatologist appointment near one of the venues and figured I’d pop in to look.


I saw K.Pacho and immediately fell in love. First off, if you know how much we love Mexican food this would not be a surprise. Second, if you know this is where I ate when I was in labor with my third child (does spicy food really help labor?) this would not be a surprise. So, what was a surprise? I was sold and ready to sign a contract within five minutes. The catering manager could not have been more accommodating (thus beginning a wonderful relationship) and held the date over the weekend so I could bring my daughter and husband back to check it out. Happily – and even faster than me – they fell in love and our contract was signed within the hour.

The room was much bigger than our initial needs. Thank goodness for this as our guest list ended up double the size we expected! With that said, I suggest making the guest list prior to your venue search as one always underestimates how big this list can get.

We Booked The Venue! Now What?

Once our venue was booked and we knew what the room looked like (gorgeous, club-like, tons of lighting options) and what the room needed for décor (very little), we could move to phase two – party planning.

So, what does one need to plan a party for teenage kids? Well in New York that answer is both a lot and not that much. With parties every weekend these kids get spoiled and think they all need to be identical. As adolescents, they just want to fit in and be the same as everyone else. Unfortunately, they don’t yet know that being a little different is a good thing. Furthermore, they don’t yet realize that if their party is a little different, it could mean it turns out better!

Taking this all into account we began party planning. That meant filling our future night with the best vendors we could find. Click on Part 2: Vendors for the next post.

*private joke, not a type-o

My blog (and taco habit) is supported by you! With each click on one of The Mint Chip Mama’s affiliate links above I earn the guac. Because just like you, it’s extra. Also don’t forget to follow us on FacebookInstagramPinterestAmazon, and Tik Tok and email us at with what you want to see next!

Published by Stacey Wallenstein

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (13, 10, and 7). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the school’s University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. Please check out The Mint Chip Mama in the Press: The New York Post, Psychology Today, NY Metro Parents, New York Family, Parents Magazine, Newsday, News 12, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt: Kids, NerdWallet, Big Apple Kids Guide, and more! The Mint Chip Mama was also nominated as "The Best Blog On Long Island" for 2022, 2023, 2024, one of the Top 20 New York Mom Blogs & Websites, and one of the Top 100 Mom Lifestyle Blogs on the web! For more updates, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest.

13 thoughts on “Party Planning Like A Boss Series: The Best Vendors, Favors, And DIY Decor For Your Next Unique Party – Part 1 Where To Begin

Leave a Reply