Do you have a huge extended family but a rather modest living area with not much space for celebrating? Would it surprise you to learn that this is a common problem for many families today when it comes to party and event planning? This problem can turn into a real issue when someone in your immediate family has a birthday, engagement or other important celebration. The question becomes, how do I invite extended family when I have no room for them? ~ You can’t!
This answer may not always suffice, when you have a very close extended family and they are expecting to be invited. Leaving someone off the guest list can create a great deal of animosity, shows favouritism and may in fact hurt someone’s feelings. How can you avoid this from happening and be the hostess with the “mostest”?
There are really only two ways to solve this dilemma ~ provide more space or shorten the guest list.
The good news is, you can do this in a positive way.
Here are a few practical solutions to provide more event space:
- Rent a reception hall that can accommodate everyone. This may not be the ideal choice if you do not have a budget for this, however, if you are left with no choice, you could always charge a small fee for guests in order to compensate. Honesty works! If you explain to your guests that you had to charge a small fee so everyone could be invited, they will understand and be happy you chose to think about them instead of leaving them out. We often live in fear of telling people the truth, this is unrealistic. The truth is always the best option in any situation like this one. People are more reasonable than we give them credit for.
- Consider asking to borrow a friend or other family member’s home for the party. Remember to be considerate, if you borrow someone’s house. Do not leave them to do all the work and leave it in the same condition as you got it.
- If the weather is cooperative, you could always use a local park or green space. This is a great idea, because they often have BBQ pits and large areas to play sports and games.
- You may want to purchase a tent and have the party outside in your yard, weather permitting, as you can see from both images, outside parties can be just as nice.
If none of these options are feasible, then you may have to consider the fact that you need to cut your guest list. How do you do that without creating a huge amount of family arguments?
- Consider revising your list to include only immediate family members, this way no one who is in the extended family will feel left out. You can simply say we just wanted to do a smaller family celebration.
- Consider inviting different family members on different days. Explain to them, we wanted to include everyone, but due to space limitations we have to break the party up into different parts. This way, everyone is invited, just on different days. (this will involve cooking on two separate days, but you can use leftovers)
Not space issues are created equally.
Depending on what the issue of is, you can simply revise the party plan. As an example, if your issue is only the space available for eating, then consider having alternate dinner times for different groups, creating additional spaces in other available rooms or creating a buffet style dinner where everyone can simply eat standing up or sitting in a chair. If you choose this option, remember that finger foods are the best choice. After eating, everyone can still come together to talk and engage with one another. If the issue is where to play games or there is not enough room to dance, consider doing quieter activities such as, watching a movie or talking.
In this image, the problem of space is really where to eat rather than the space itself. A buffet might be a good choice in this space:
The goal of any party is to invite as many people as possible and to provide entertainment and food. If your space is limited, use your imagination to compensate for the other areas. There is nothing wrong with sitting down talking and getting to know people or playing small cooperative games. Dancing is optional. Tip: Children and young adults can be separated into other rooms and provided entertainment, truth is many adults just want to relax and talk and they may actually appreciate not having to get involved. In the space above, you will no doubt notice that it is not very accommodating for children, this can also be a dilemma, therefore designating a separate area is a good alternative.
In the end, party planning is all about perception and what you can afford and how much time you have. Do not stress yourself out. If you cannot provide the party you were hoping for, provide something equally great, quality time with your family and friends instead. ~ Priceless!
Getting together is really all about spending time with one another, the rest is just the decorations. Speaking of decorations, how cute are these? This is of course, a story for another day!