Hosting a kids birthday party or baby shower should be a fun and memorable occasion for all the family, but make sure it's memorable in all the right ways! There are lots of things you can do to ensure it goes without a hitch, and with this in mind, we're really thriled to bring you some exclusive party planning tips from an expert. Maria-Antonia Greenhill is the founder of White Door Events - not only do they plan beautiful weddings but they're also quite literally party planners to the stars - notably, Maria-Antonia has recently planned an amazing baby shower for Girls Allowed Kimberley Walsh which was recently featured in OK! magazine. As you'll see from some of the images here, Maria-Antonia's attention to detail is second to none, and we hope you can draw on her expertise through the party hosting tips below;

{Nisha Ravji Photography}

Over to you Maria-Antonia:

Make it personal;

"My top tip is to make the parties as personal to you as possible and to be confident to adapt any of the traditional elements that you think don’t work for you. Guests love attending parties that are individual and will be pleasantly surprised by any unusual or quirky adaptations. What this translates to in party terms is that clients are asking us to source really unusual or quirky venues and to come up with themes that really just capture their personalities. Literally anything can be turned into a party theme from computer games, to sports even letters of the alphabet."

{Nisha Ravji Photography}

Take your time...

"Plan ahead and give yourself at least six months to get everything organized. This may sound like a lot but leaving yourself time means you can really think about how to style the party and have a go at creating a lot of the details that will make your event really memorable – details that you will otherwise spend a lot of money getting someone else to do on your behalf. Our parties are all about creating the wow factor and we achieve this by thinking big picture and little details. The more time you have, the more of these you’ll be able to make yourself. There are so many videos and websites that teach you how to transform every day items into gorgeous decorative touches for your party but it’s no good trying these two weeks before the big day as you just won’t get it done."

{Naomi Kenton Photography}

Keep on top of things:

"Being organized is one of the most important aspects of planning any party and I would always parents to have one master document with supplier names, contact numbers (including emergency mobile numbers), details of what’s being supplied and anything else that you feel is important. This will help you feel in complete control during the planning stages and on the day too, which is really important."

{Caroline Teo Photography}

Get there early!

"The biggest party planning mistake I hear from clients is that they haven’t given themselves enough time to set the party up. When hiring the venue space, they only request to get in one hour before the party is due to start. Nine times out of ten, it’s not enough time and they are still frantically setting up while guests are arriving. I always like to give myself three hours before any party is due to start as I want to get everything just right. Those few extra hours make a big difference. If you can, ask two or three friends to help you with all the setting up so that you have enough hands on deck to help with getting it all ready. You’ll start the party feeling relaxed and, because it’s always over so quickly, I believe it’s fundamental to having a memorable event."

{Nisha Ravji Photography}

Consider the parents..

"If you are planning a kids party, it’s worth remembering that many parents stay for the duration of the event in which case you should factor this in when choosing your venue to ensure that there is enough space to fit everyone in. Likewise, you’ll need to think about whether or not you will want to cater for all the parents as well as the children. This doesn’t mean you have to supply a full on banquet but a few sandwiches and nibbles will create a welcoming atmosphere for all the guests. If you’ve hired a hall, it’s also worth setting out a few tables and chairs for adults too so that they feel they have somewhere to stay and the venue design feels considered and organized. Plastic tablecloths and a simple themed table centre will transform even the oldest of trestle tables and create a little area for parents to chat and enjoy the party as much as the kids."

{Nisha Ravji Photography}

Enjoy the event:

"The biggest party planning mistake I see is when hosts insist on doing everything themselves during the event. The problem with this is that you end up not spending any time with the guests and end up just serving drinks and clearing up during your own party! This mostly applies to parties that are taking place at people’s own homes or village halls where there is no-one to help. My advice here is to always ask for help or spend that extra little bit on one or two waiting staff that can just oversee things leaving you to enjoy the event. It will cost you a little bit more but it will be worth every penny."

{Nisha Ravji Photography}

Thank you so much to Maria-Antonia for taking the time to share her experience and insights here, we hope you've found it as useful as we have - Don't forget to visit White Door Events online and find out more they're exquisite wedding planning and party planning services, and find out how they can inspire or help you with your own event.

Happy planning!

Jenny x