Many of us very much enjoy attending a party. From the food to the party atmosphere, parties for all occasions can be a great way to have fun and relieve stress. But planning a party, on the other hand, is likely to be a whole different experience altogether. The stress of planning a good party – no matter what the occasion – should not be underestimated. From deciding on table linens to hiring a caterer, the party host is faced with a vast array of decisions and must come up with a plan on how to execute them in a cost effective manner.

Parties come in all shapes and sizes. From more casual affairs like the Summer Barbecue to the first birthday party to the more lavish and fancy such as the wedding or banquet, it is important for the host of the party to be well planned as far ahead of time as possible. This is particularly important for more expensive and expansive parties like wedding receptions, of which there are more than forty thousand of every single weekend in the United States alone.

The best event planner is often done years ahead of the actual event, as soon as the couple becomes engaged. There are many decisions to make in the process of wedding planning, from choosing table linens to picking the perfect white wedding dress, but it has become easier over time. This is because the advent and widespread use of the internet has made wedding planning easier than ever before, and a total of around ninety three percent of all brides in the United States say that they rely heavily on the internet for their wedding planning process, from sourcing ideas to making online purchases and conducting research on venues and budgets.

And the budget is perhaps the most crucial part of the wedding as well as the food catering menu, and the first thing that must be established before anything else can be purchased, from the smallest and simplest of table linens to the most extravagant party tent and party dance floor options. Fortunately for many brides in the United States, the average wedding budget has increased dramatically in recent years, the number of those with one million dollars or more to spend as much as doubling since 2011 and 2012, less than ten years ago today. In 2012, the typical cost of an entire wedding was just over twenty six thousand dollars. The reception alone cost nearly fifteen thousand dollars in total. In the six or so years since then, these costs have only continued to increase.

Catering services must also be considered – and many people don’t know much about the catering business. If you are looking to learn more about the catering business, talking to a caterer is likely the best path. If you didn’t know this about the catering business, it has become more and more common for sustainable and green friendly course options to be offered for weddings, and more brides and grooms are becoming interested in such options. Many people are also choosing lighter fare for their offered meals and cocktail hour appetizers during their wedding, steering away from heavy sauces and and deep fried food. Thai chicken lettuce wraps, for instance, present one lighter alternative. Event menus are also including more and more vegetarian options.

Another fun fact about the catering business and the best wedding menus: they often offer the option for a late night snack at the end of a wedding reception, typically around ten p.m. Make your own food bars have also become widely popular, something that not all people know about the catering business.

From need to know facts about the catering business to budgeting well, planning a wedding is nothing if not a stressful event. But it can be done well and thoroughly if well organized and well structured and planned. From wedding catering to the process of shopping for the wedding dress, planning for a wedding should be exciting too, and it is important not to lose sight of the end result of the big day, what will likely be a joyous event for all who are involved in it.