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  • Writer's pictureArpie Mikaelian

Our Party and the Pandemic (Part 1 of 3)

We really – and, I mean REALLY – didn’t want to cancel the party.

It was March 5th, and it seemed like the world was slowly coming to a standstill. Minute by minute the situation was getting worse. Our son’s second birthday party was scheduled for the following Sunday and we needed to make a decision – quick.

Do we cancel the party because of the looming #COVID19 outbreak?

Remember, this was many days before a national emergency was declared and well before Los Angeles issued its stay-at-home order. No one quite understood the scope of what we were dealing with. But, I chose to be a responsible health care professional (instead of an excited mother) and we called off Vaughn’s “Two-Two Train Party” (full disclosure: the forecast projected possible showers as well, so we were dealing with that also).

It goes without saying that a lot has changed since. #SocialDistancing has become the norm, and a countless number of parties, events and gatherings have been canceled. But, the inner-optimist in me expects things to become normal again (hopefully, sooner rather than later), and that’s why I wanted to share my approach to event planning and tell you about what we had in store for Vaughn’s party.


Party planning can get overwhelming really quick, so it’s important to keep the process as simple as possible. That’s why I’ve developed an easy-to-follow TGIF method to make sure I stay on track.


It all starts with the question: “what do I want my party to look and feel like?” Is your party based around your favorite movie or TV show? Or, do you simply want to create a certain vibe? Always pick a theme – it makes parties more fun and memorable.

Guest List + Venue

Are you hosting a dinner party for six of your closest besties? Or, do you plan to have a bash and invite all of your Facebook friends? Once you have the answer, you can determine where to host your event. Your theme, guest list and venue serve as the foundation of your event.


Now that you see where your party is headed, get as creative as possible. Pinterest is always my first stop in this process. It has a reliable stream of concepts that never fail to inspire. Remember: do not limit yourself and your creative process because you think something might be too expensive, too fancy, or too complicated. Compile it all so that you can pare it down later.


This is where your party planning dreams experience a rude awakening. You have to assess how realistic your plans are by asking the following three-part question: do you have the budget, time and resources to host the ideal party? Although budget often dictates your decisions, time and resources are also critical considerations. Sometimes, the items you want to order through Amazon, for instance, might not arrive on time. Or, if you have big moving parts, you might not have access to the manpower you need to set up everything properly.


Truth be told, making decisions for this party wasn’t easy and that’s what I will be tackling in my next two posts. I’m excited to share some really useful advice about how we kept our costs low without compromising quality. Also, I’m going to cover a yummy recipe I was planning to use for the party. Until then, PIG OUT!

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