Party planning checklist to keep you organized!
Don’t panic if you don’t have 4 to 6 weeks to plan your party; the timing is just a helpful guide and to-do list.
4 to 6 Weeks Before:
- Set the party/event date
- Prepare your guest list
- Mail invitations or e-mail invitations (we like Evite Party Invitations), or call guests to invite them
- Plan party menu and grocery list (or hire a caterer/reserve a function room/restaurant)
- Will you need serving help?
- Check out our recipes and menu ideas
- If needed, purchase thank you notes and stamps
3 Weeks Before:
- Create a timeline for preparing your chosen recipes
- Try out any new recipes to make sure they’re as tasty as they sound
- Prepare any items that can be frozen
- Arrange to borrow, rent, or buy serving pieces and other items that you might need, such as platters, glasses, flatware, table linens, a sound system, tables, chairs, etc.
- Plan and select decorations, party theme supplies and hostess gifts (if any)
- Check out our Murder Mystery Game Resources for links to party supplies sites and more
- Enlist other family members or friends in helping with party preparations and on party day
- Plan party activities (birthday presents and cake for example)
1 Week Before:
- Set the table, as a trial run, to make sure you have all the dishes and serving utensils you’ll need
- Call or e-mail guests who have not yet RSVP’d to see if they plan to attend, and also follow up with guests who have offered to bring a menu item
- Make space in the refrigerator or freezer so you’ll have room to store groceries
- Confirm all arrangements (rentals, catering, etc.)
- If the party is in your home, start cleaning now instead of the day before the party
4 Days Before:
- Purchase all remaining groceries and beverages
- Prepare and freeze/refrigerate food items that can be made in advance
- Select/purchase your outfit
1 Day Before:
- Purchase any last minute perishables, such as salad greens and fresh bread
- Pick up fresh flowers (or have them delivered)/centerpieces
- Pick up (birthday, anniversary) cake, if it is not being delivered on party date
- Pick up and set up rental equipment, tables, tents, etc.
- Coordinate last-minute arrangements with caterer/helpers
- Wash and prepare salad greens and other vegetables, and blanch vegetables for crudites (keep these wrapped in paper towels). Refrigerate all separately, in airtight containers.
- Thaw frozen party foods
- Get out serving pieces, tableware, silverware, etc.
- Do final cleaning
- Prepare and arrange remaining food
- Set up the bar
- Set up dining tables (buffet table)
- Place flower arrangements
- Chill white wine and sparkling wine
- Finish preparing food
- If opening gifts at celebration, have a pen and paper, preferably a clip board nearby to track gifts received
- Dress in party outfit
- Place cards/name tags
- Sign-in table with pens (if this is a large party)
- Coat check signage
- Gift table
- Signage/banners: welcome sign at entrance for example
- Party favors
- Guest towels, soap, extra toilet paper and supplies
- Other: ________________________________
Party Planning Checklist Resources: marthastewart.com and partyshelf.com
I hope you find this list helpful.
Chief Imagination Officer & Creative Director