22Jun2014

Party Planning Checklist

 

 

Don’t let the task of planning a party overwhelm you. Unless you are a seasoned party planner, with decades of experience, it can be difficult to know where to begin, whether the party is for a graduate, a birthday, or an expectant mother. Luckily, we are here to help, with a checklist that will make your life easy and making planning your party a breeze. Party planning doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful. With some organization and this checklist, it can actually be fun again! Feel free to customize this checklist to your specific party and tastes.

 

Three Weeks Prior to the Party

 

  1. Begin building your guest list. Give yourself one or two days to complete this task, as trying to complete it in one session will usually result in some people being people being left off the list. Give yourself time to mull it over.

 

  1. Start amassing decorations. Browse our store and pick up pieces that will match your theme. Talk to your friends and see if they have any old decorations lying around that can be up-cycled into your new party.

 

  1. Send out the invites. Whether you get them professionally designed and printed, buy a package of invitations and fill them in, or design your own and print them off on your computer, send out your invitations. Don’t forget to add a number or email address from the RSVP, if necessary.

 

  1. Start planning the menu. While you don’t have to have the menu completely cemented, especially if you are making it yourself, now is the right time to start thinking about what you want to eat at the party. Do you want a full dinner? A selection of appetizers or tapas? Do you need a cake, cupcakes, or other sweets? Start building a shopping list and making a list of catering companies or bakeries that you might want to place an order with.

 

  1. Consider hiring some help. Enlist a young person to help with the menial tasks of the party, from setting up and decorating, to cleaning up. A responsible teenager looking to make a few bucks is a great option for refilling empty trays and cups and will make hosting far less stressful.

 

Two Weeks Prior

 

  1. Clean or wash all plates, cups, flatware, and tablecloths you are thinking about using. This will give you enough time to wash them again or iron them if needed. If you are renting anything, call the company responsible for your party rentals and place the order.

 

  1. Work up a playlist. You want a playlist long enough to last the duration of the party with looping back around. Whether there will be dancing or not, pick something upbeat!

 

  1. Start shopping for food. If there is anything you can buy and freeze or make and freeze, now is the time to do it.

 

One Week Prior

 

  1. Get the house clean. A deep clean the week before will allow you to just complete a spot cleaning on the actually day of, which will leave more time for decorating and cooking.

 

  1. Start putting up the foundation decorations. Look at your rooms and start determining where you want food to go, what furniture or accessories needs to leave, and what kind of lighting you will want to create a cozy, comfortable atmosphere.

 

  1. Make sure you have enough serving dishes. Line up your dishes and pans and make a note of what each one will be used for. If you don’t have enough room for cooking and serving, make sure to pick up a few extra pieces.

 

  1. Get the bar ready. Now is the time to make an alcohol run. A good rule of thumb: four people will drink three bottles of wine and three cocktails.

 

Three Days Prior

 

  1. If you expect your party to make a ruckus in the neighborhood, do not hesitate to contact your neighbors and let them know you’re having a bash and that there will be extra cars and noise that night. While you don’t have to offer any solutions for these problems, it’s always courteous to let them know it will be happening.

 

  1. Finish decorating. Get those decorations on the wall. This is a great time to bring in your helper.

 

  1. Put away anything that you do not want to be seen, stolen, or broken. Even if your party is not likely to get out of hand, accidents happen. Better to be safe than sorry!

 

  1. Plan for messes. Spills, splashes, and stains are bound to happen. Have stain removers and club soda, as well as some rags, ready and waiting when they do.

 

  1. Set up a coat closet. Whether it be your actual coat closet or just a room where all of the coats will live during the party, have somewhere people can leave their coats, sweaters, or bags during the party.

 

  1. Finish purchasing food and contacting caterers and bakeries.

 

The Day Before

 

  1. Get the tables set up and in place.

 

  1. Finish any last minute decorations. Is one room looking a little sparse? Try some fresh or fake flowers.

 

  1. Get as much cooking finished as possible. If there is any prep work that can be done today to make tomorrow smoother, do it!

 

  1. Give the house a quick once-over, to make sure it is clean.

 

The Day Of

 

  1. Finish the cooking and reheating of previously cooked food, or call the caterer to confirm the delivery time.

 

  1. Set out extra chairs so there are plenty of places to take a seat when mingling becomes too hard on the feet.

 

  1. Set up the food. About an hour before your first guests will start arriving, start laying out the food that doesn’t need to be kept hot or cold.

 

  1. Get the party started! With all of the planning and preparations you’ve done, there should be nothing to distract you from your guests!

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