Planning parties and making checklists—two of my favorite things! No matter how many times I plan an event, there are things I forget. Did the invitations get out at the appropriate time? Did I order the cake and other refreshments ahead of time? To make sure a party can go as smoothly as possible, it is helpful to use a party checklist. Below is a handy list for all types of festivities, which can be personalized to meet your needs.
SIX WEEKS BEFORE
- Create your budget.
- Choose a theme.
- Determine the guest list.
- Reserve your party venue, caterer, and entertainer, if needed.
- Write down all the necessary equipment, including chairs and tables, and contact rentals.
- Finalize the details, such as date, time, location, RSVP date, and menu.
FOUR WEEKS BEFORE
- Prepare your invitations and envelopes.
- For a children’s party, ask for an updated class list from their teacher, if you are inviting their classmates.
- Decide on games, activities, and menu to match your theme.
- Think about items for party favors.
- Make a shopping list of food, paper goods, and decorations.
- If ordering food or cake, place order.
THREE WEEKS BEFORE
- Mail invitations.
- Purchase party supplies, at the store or online.
- Arrange for extra help for a children’s party.
ONE TO TWO WEEKS BEFORE
- Create a party schedule.
- Confirm times for when extra help is arriving.
- Purchase last-minute party supplies.
- Design a music playlist.
- Call those invited who haven’t responded to the invitations.
THREE DAYS BEFORE
- Buy food and drinks.
- Charge necessary cameras and electronic devices.
- Call party venue, caterer, and entertainer to confirm details.
- Assemble activities and party favors.
- Clean inside and outside of your home.
- Designate areas for food, beverages, and gifts/
ONE TO TWO DAYS BEFORE
- Bake cake, prepare make-ahead food or pick up ordered items.
- Decorate party venue.
- Finalize last-minute details.
- Turn on the music, lighting, etc.
- Inflate the balloons.
- Chill beverages.
- Assemble remaining food and set out.
- Double-check that bathrooms are stocked with extra toilet paper and there are enough silverware, napkins, plates, and cups on the tables.
ONE WEEK AFTER
- Send thank-you notes.
- Post pictures to social media and send to attendees.
- Specify an area for boots, umbrellas, and coats.
- Napkins (2 per person).
- Don’t forget ice, ice bucket, tongs or scoop.
- Paper towels.
- Extra toilet paper.
- Plates of all sizes (appetizer, salad, dinner, and dessert).
- Glasses of all sizes (water, wine, mixed drink, beer, soda, and coffee).
- If grilling, check the tank, charcoal, and lighter fluid.
- For an outside party, remember bug spray and citronella candles.
- Extra batteries.
- Wine and bottle opener.
- Garbage bags.
- Dishwashing soap.
- To have fun! Enjoy the food, games, activities, and mingle with your guests!