Throwing a party is certainly rewarding, but it requires adequate planning for a smooth sailing ride. On the big day, you want to be enjoying your party with your guests, not stuck in the kitchen swamped with last minute baking. This party planning checklist will offer you 20 necessary tips for planning a party alongside a time structured plan. Undoubtedly, the first month prior to your party requires the most brain power, so if you’re planning a party for next month it’s time to get to action. Follow this guide in a linear order for plenty of free party planning ideas.
One month out: party planning checklist
1) First of all, let’s go back to basics. What is the purpose of this party and who is it for? This may seem blatantly obvious, but to establish this grounding will ensure efficiency for the rest of the planning. Whether you are throwing a Birthday, Christmas or a party to celebrate, be sure to have your purpose before the planning begins. Once you’re clear on purpose, it’s time to think about the budget.
2) Being realistic is key to beginning your planning. Yes, you may want to impress your loved ones with an evening of lavish but know your limits. Take your time here to mull over your expenditure and establish a budget that works for you. Try splitting your budget into venue, catering and entertainment for a workable structure. Regardless of your budget, you can get creative with DIY decorations and bake your own food. Once it has been established, the real fun begins!
3) Now it’s time to choose a time and a date. Having a date in mind is essential before searching for venues, in order to ensure availability. Timing is also crucial so that your guests can put the necessary arrangements in place to attend. The purpose of your party will determine the obvious times and date to choose. If you are throwing a party aimed at adults, early evenings would be your best option. Or if it’s a party for children, Saturday mornings are ideal. Consider the purpose of your party to establish a suitable time and date!
4) Next, location, location, location! Where would you like to throw your party? Is it suitable for the size of your party? Is this location accessible for guests? What are the public transport links? Do you need to pay for your attendee’s transport? These are all important questions to consider within your budget! Whether you are planning to throw a party in your home or rent a space, think carefully about how to your guests will travel. Once this has been considered, contact the venue with your time and date to inquire about availability.
5) So you have your budget, date, time and location! But what’s a party without people?! Time to whip out your address book and decide who to invite. At this stage, you need to know how many people you want to cater for, this will make the verdict considerably less daunting. Make sure your numbers are realistic and in alignment with your budget! Unless you want to invite every man and his dog, spend time considering your guest list.
6) The guest list can take a while, so during this brainstorming think about your theme! Having a theme can excite your guests and get them in the party mood. What is the specific purpose of your party, could you align this with a fancy dress theme? Or you could gear your catering towards a particular theme such as Mexican night? Get creative and think about how you can personalize your party.
7) The final step for the one-month countdown is to get your invitations out. Hopefully deciphering through your Facebook friends has provided you with a finalized guest list. You have your location, date and time and possible theme in order. So now you’re ready to get the word out! The most popular and efficient way to do this is online, but you could keep it traditional and have invitations sent through the post. Just ensure you have an RSVP system to ensure attendance.
Three Weeks: party planning checklist!
You’re one week closer! You have the foundations lay down for your ‘do of the decade’ so let’s get down to detail.
8) Food and drink. Firstly, referring back to your purpose, are you planning on supplying food? A fancy three course sit down meal or a finger food buffet? Would you like canapes and snacks throughout or are you opting for a liquid lunch? Consider your timings here. Will your guests be hungry at the time of your party? If you are supplying food, keep in mind allergies and vegetarian options! Secondly, keep the liqueur flowing! Whether it’s cocktails or mocktails, make sure there is enough to go around. Drinking, whether it’s alcoholic or not is a focal point of every party. Consider your guests and make sure you offer a variety for everybody.
9) Choose your suppliers! You’ve made a final decision on food and drink, but are you going to hire party caters, in-house staff or provide homemade goodies for your guests? As commonly referred to throughout these party planning tips, check your budget! Decide if you can pencil in a cocktail waiter or whether you would prefer to order in the supplies and ask a friend. Searching for suppliers is a big task, so be sure to establish what you would need to hire and whether you would prefer to provide it.
10) Next is the décor. Why not try creating a mood board to channel your décor ideas?
From balloons to table pieces, create yourself an essentials list before you start surfing the web. No doubt you will want it all, so take your time here comparing prices and working with your budget. Once you have a good idea of exactly what you will need, write a shopping list! Spend the majority of week three researching your supplies to ensure you grab the bargains. And before purchasing online, check the arrival date! Any goods coming from China could turn up a little too late for your big day. A tip to save on your budget is to consider being your own supplier by getting creative and crafty.
11) Now it’s time to think about Entertainment. You’ve visualized the décor, the food and drinks are in order but how will you keep your guests grooving? Adjust the ambience to the purpose of your party and then plan entertainment accordingly. Music should be your first protocol, would you like to hire a DJ or ask a friend to come and spin some records? Perhaps you would like to hire a band or ask a family friend for an evening of acoustics. Whatever suits your purpose, just keep in mind that music is key! If you’re planning a kid’s party, think about entertainers or if it’s a family party, ensure entertainment for everybody.
Two-weeks to go: party planning checklist!
Phew, you’re halfway there! And the best part is, you’ve done most of the hard work. The two- week benchmark is the time to check detail and confirm that everything is in order.
12) Ensure you have ordered all of your supplies, and double check your delivery date! You don’t want to find yourself missing 150 plastic cups on the day of your party. Go over your list and ensure you’ve ordered all of the necessary means.
13) Follow up with any bookings, if you’ve decided to hire a DJ or a caterer, drop them an email to confirm the times and dates.
14) Spend the rest of this week creating any DIY decorations such as personalized table name cards and homemade bunting.
One week: party planning checklist
It’s so close…time to get moving!
15) Whether you have decided to hire caters or provide refreshments, spend this week shopping for your necessities. Everything from food and drink to party poppers, make sure you are thoroughly prepared. If you are preparing food, be sure to spend a few days prior to the party prepping this accordingly. Why not splash out on your party frock or a fancy suit? Get your outfit in order, to reduce a stressful morning of digging out your wardrobe on the big day.
16) Send out a reminder and check RSVP to all guests. You need to be certain on a final number of guests, to ensure you have enough supplies.
17) If you are hosting your party at home, why not have a trial run of the layout? Move around the necessary furniture and have a spring clean. Visualize the party and begin your decorations a day or two before the party. Pull out necessary crockery and begin to set up.
On the day: party planning checklist
Finally, the day you have been waiting for! No doubt the party excitement and anxiety is high! Be sure to get an early night before and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to seize the day.
18) Finalize all of your decorations, perfecting the last few touches. Prepare the bar and layout space for your caterer or set up your buffet. Whichever approach you have chosen, ensure food and drink is ready for when the guests arrive.
19) Get the music pumping! Set up the atmosphere, whether you are in your home or at the hired venue. Get the music on early, so you’re already in a party mood for when the guests start arriving.
20) Have fun! You’ve spent the past month planning and perfecting this party, so enjoy it! Being a ‘hostess with the mostess’ includes attending the party. Everything has been so carefully planned that you can relax and bask in your own production.
So there you have it, 20 party planning tips to guide you through planning your party. Hopefully this guide has given you the support needed in order to throw the perfect party. (expand).