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Planning a Welcome Home Party

If you have a friend or loved one returning home from being away, one of the most thoughtful things you can do to commemorate their return is to celebrate. Welcome home parties are a fantastic way to make them feel loved and send a message that they were greatly missed while they were away. Of course, you must also plan the party well so that it’s a smashing success!

Step 1: Decide on the Party Tone

The first stage of planning should involve thinking about where the guest of honour has been and for how long. For instance, are they a soldier returning home from active duty? Are they a friend who has been travelling abroad? The scenario surrounding the return could play a large role in what the tone of the party is like. If their journey will be a long one, plan the party to be short in case they need some rest.

Step 2: Find Out the Date and Time

Especially if the party is to be a surprise, you’ll need to know exactly when the honouree will be returning, and to where. Volunteer to pick them up from the airport or bus terminal to ensure they get to the right venue at the right time.

Step 3: Determine Guest List

Unless you know for sure that the honouree would be thrilled with a huge welcoming party, it’s generally best to keep it a more intimate affair including guests that are close to them. This will make them feel far more comfortable upon joining the party, and will make it far more meaningful.

Step 4: Find a Location

Now that you know the type of party you’re going to throw and how many people are invited, it’s time to choose a venue. Someone’s house or backyard is generally the best type of venue for a more intimate and low-key affair, but churches, hotels, restaurants or community centres make for better venues when the guest list is large.

Step 5: Send Out Invitations

Once you have the venue booked, you should be sending out the party invitations. If it’s a small affair then calling all of the guests is sufficient, but if they party is large you may want to send out formal invitations. Make sure to do this early and let the guests know the time, place and what to bring.

Step 6: Decorate the Venue

Decorations for a welcome home party generally include items like balloons, streamers and banners. You can usually get “Welcome Home” decorations at party supply stores if you don’t have time to make them yourself. In most circumstances, you don’t need to go to extremes to decorate the venue, because it’s really all the gesture and the familiar faces. Also, decide whether or not you want the guests to bring gifts for her or him. While it’s not mandatory to get them presents, a nice gift basket or gift card make for easy, thoughtful gifts.

Step 7: Plan the Menu

If you’re planning a larger event, having it catered is the easiest thing to do. Of course, if the party won’t include formal dining, then having a variety of finger foods available will do the trick. If you’re just planning something intimate between friends or family members, however, then a nice home cooked meal might be just the thing for a weary traveller.