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Spring is (nearly) officially here, and what better way to kick the season off with an Easter Party?

There are plenty of occasions that warrant parties, but as Easter this year falls on April 1st (first Sunday of the month), why not do something that is not only classy and decedent, but fun for all the family? At the end of the day, you don’t need to have acres of land to hold a decent garden party.

Best of all, you can do it without breaking the bank. All it takes is a little planning and foresight and you’ll have a party in full swing that people will think was professionally organized.

Depending on your location you may have to get creative, but for the most part, you’ll be able to work with what you’ve got.

If you are on a very tight budget, it isn’t frowned upon that you ask guests to bring a bottle (or 4) and a plate of something for the buffet, however, you should provide a decent amount of the essentials. Booze, soft drinks and food.

Also, a true house party isn’t over until the last person leaves, so there is a start time, but no finish time.

To entertain the kids, do an Easter egg hunt. You can pick up huge bags of mini chocolate eggs and little gifts for as little as £1, and to ensure that one kid doesn’t end up with everything, you can colour code their baskets (again available for £1), and each gift and the chocolates is co-ordinated with the ribbon tied to the handle. This also avoids tears.

When it comes to food, try to avoid certain things like the plague, for example Chicken Legs (unless they’ve been kept covered in the fridge until the buffet opens), you don’t want to poison your guests. Also, have bin liners tied up and readily available so guests can (and they will) clean up after themselves. Using disposable plates, cutlery, cups and glasses is also a good idea, especially if there are going to be kids running around.

If the weather’s looking a bit naff, also have a plan b. A huge vat of chilli and/or curry with rice always goes down a treat, and guests can help themselves. If the weather is good, that’s a bonus and you can always have the hot option available too, just to really up the status of your party.

Unless you’re doing a charity fund raiser (I’ve been to a lot), it’s not the done thing to ask for an admission fee. However, if the party is to help a charity, you can recommend a donation on the invite and ask for help with the food OR buffet, not both, though I never minded doing all three, some may think you’re taking the proverbial.

On a very serious note about parties, invite your neighbours. It’s only good manners and they won’t mind as much if the party goes on until the wee hours.

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