Thursday, February 28, 2013

MG Events: Party Planning Timeline

There are two kinds of people.... planners and non-planners.

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.

Party Guideline

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.)
Four to Six weeks before:
  • 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
Three weeks before:
  • 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.
Two weeks before:
  • 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.
One week before:
  • 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.)
Two days before:
  • Purchase groceries and tangible items on your list
  • Wash cake stands, glassware & serving pieces, etc.
  • Start putting up party decor
Day before:
  • 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
Morning of:
  • 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.
Two hours before:
  • Finish all food preparation
One hour before:
  • Put out all food/dessert
  • Sit down and relax/rejuvenate before guests arrive!

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