A step-by-step checklist of what needs to be done and when it needs to be done for just about any party.
4 WEEKS BEFORE
Finalise the date.
Plan initial guest list.
Decide on the theme and style of the party.
Consider venues, will your party fit the place?
Create a budget, and then add on a 10% buffer.
3 WEEKS BEFORE
Send out invitations.
Decide on the menu and beverages.
Make a shopping list, and estimate costs. Compare to your budget.
2 WEEKS BEFORE
Plan décor in detail and list possible sources.
Estimate décor costs and compare with budget.
Rent extra equipment, or if possible borrow.
1 WEEK BEFORE
Verify RSVP list. Call or send emails to non-replies.
Shop for decorations and non-perishable food items and beverages.
Call your florist, and confirm items will be in stock or place an order.
Choose specific music to be played.
2 DAYS BEFORE
Write down the schedule: what is the exact event plan, what food and drinks will you serve and when.
Buy the food.
Decide what you are going to wear, so as to avoid the ‘nothing to wear disaster’.
If applicable, decide on seating arrangements – best left to do only now to take into account any cancellations.
Pick up flowers if you are doing the arrangements yourself.
Prepare all other decorations.
Set up the bar, and prepare as much of the food as possible.
Create flower arrangements.
Buy ice and chill all bottled beverages that need to be served cold, 30+ minutes in an ice bath should do the trick.
Cook the rest of the food.
Get dressed and ensure everything is done, save for some last minute food preparation an hour before the party is to begin.
Put on some party music and pour yourself a drink.
Welcome your guests!