When it comes to parties, the planners have the whole party planned from top to bottom several weeks or month before the event!
The non-planners.... well, that's a different story. So, I've decided to come up with a timeline to help a few of you make your party a success.
Here is a general guideline on a party planning timeline.
Six to Eight weeks before:
- Set the date, time and place of the party
- Decide on a party theme or color scheme
- Determine your budget and estimate the cost of your party (always add a little "fudge" room in your budget for those unexpected expenses.)
- Start to brainstorm ideas (set up, centerpieces, layout of the room or location, etc.)
- Start to purchase non-tangible supplies (always make sure your items are in stock and will arrive on time.)
- Contact and hire outside party vendors if applicable (face painter, bounce house rental, princess, etc.)
- Chose an invitation
- Start on party decor (things that require assembly before hand, etc.)
- Continue to purchase non-tangible party supplies needed
- Order cake/desserts if applicable
- Mail or deliver invitations
- Make sure you have all non-tangible items that you need for the party
- Start on party favors
- Continue to work on party decor, etc.
- Create a master grocery shopping list for all tangible items needed for the party
- Prepare any food items/treats that can be frozen
- Make sure you have enough seating/tables, etc.
- Set up a“mock party”or sketch out your party set up so you can get a visual to make sure that everything you have planned will work out with the space that you have.
- Follow up with guests who have not sent an RSVP
- (Some people do not like to follow up with RSVP's. My suggestion is to work on a percentage. Lets say you invited 30 guests, 20% will not be able to make it. Out of the remaining 24 guests that have RSVP'd, about 10% will not make it on the day of the party due to sick children, babysitter not showing up, etc.)
- Write names of guest on party favors (make sure you have age appropriate favors if you have a wide variety of ages at your party.)
- Purchase groceries and tangible items on your list
- Wash cake stands, glassware & serving pieces, etc.
- Start putting up party decor
- Iron table cloths or linens needed
- Start setting up actual party
- Set out cake stands, food trays, etc. in proper places (if your party is outside, wait to do the setup till the day before the party.)
- Chill drinks
- Finish setting everything up
- Prepare your guest bathroom (double check that there is enough toilet paper, hand soap and guest towels.)
- Set out garbage cans, etc.
- Finish all food preparation
- Put out all food/dessert
- Sit down and relax/rejuvenate before guests arrive!