There is a lot of stuff you have to remember when planning a party, stuff that you are sure to accidentally miss on if you don’t write them down. Instead of risking your rendezvous being a failure, think about everything involved with the event ahead of time, and plan it out properly. If you are organized, time will be on your side and you are sure to please everyone’s taste, the party you throw becoming a hot topic for years to come amongst your friends.
Questions you must answer first
Parties are thrown for a variety of reasons, and the motif for the get-together is the stepping stone to proper planning as all other details depend on it or are affected by it. There are other things to take into consideration as well, so before you actually start putting your list together, ask these questions:
- Are you celebrating a special occasion? If so, what is it?
- Are you simply throwing a party to have some fun with loved ones?
- Who do you plan on inviting – friends/family/co-workers?
- Is it a small or large get-together?
- What is the budget you are willing to spend on the event?
- What type of party is it – lunch, dinner, buffet, dessert?
Two weeks before
It might sound extreme to start planning so far ahead, but the more time you have at your disposal, the bigger are your chances of success. Additionally, there are factors that you must take into consideration, like giving out invitations and other actions that require you tend to them as early as possible to avoid a complete fiasco.
- Make a guest list – No matter the type of party you are throwing, some people are bound to not make an appearance due to a variety of reasons. Even with social media up our sleeve, it’s hard to know who will make an appearance and who won’t. Thus, you can confidently invite up to 20% more people than you can fit in your home as it is unlikely for everyone to show up. When you put the list together, be very careful to not invite people who don’t like each other or who don’t know each other at all.
- Pick a theme – The theme you take up is mostly influenced by the reason why the party is thrown to begin with. No matter if you go for a 70’s theme, a masked ball theme, or whatever else you have in mind, deciding beforehand is important as you can announce guests if there is an attire they need, and you have enough time to buy, make, or borrow the decorations you need to fit it.
- Send out the invitations – Now that you know who you plan on inviting to the event, it’s time to send out the invitations. You can send them via mail, e-mail, or even call the people who you plan on inviting. All methods are acceptable, the only important thing is to do it as early as possible to let everyone prepare for the event and clear up their schedules.
- Plan a menu – Make a list of all the foods you want to serve, and see how far in advance each of them can be made so that you may compile a thorough shopping list. If you need to order bakery, delicatessen, or other foods, do so in advance as you never know how crowded local businesses are in that specific period.
- Prepare dishes that you can freeze – Better safe than sorry, especially when it comes to food. Instead of leaving everything for the last few days, prepare the meals that can be frozen 2-3 weeks before the event to clear up your schedule for other tasks as the event approaches.
- Put together a playlist – Music is the heart and soul of every party, it should be upbeat and enough to last throughout the entire event. If you plan on having them sing, prepare beforehand for the karaoke event by selecting fun songs that are easy to sing and you know your guests will like.
One week before
- Stock the bar – If you run out of drinks, you will have a complete fiasco on your hands, that’s a given. Instead of taking risks, be smart and stock up the bar properly. A good estimate would be four cocktails per guest and three wine bottles for every four people.
- Make sure you have enough serving dishes – Check and see how many cookware and serving dishes you have. If it is not enough for the number of people you have invited over, purchase some inexpensive pieces for the event from a discount or thrift store.
- Clean the house top to bottom – If you do a thorough cleaning of the house ahead of time, you will be left with a quick once-over before the party, instead of tiring yourself too much and feeling drained when everyone else is having fun, not playing your role as a host properly.
- Set the stage for the event – It might seem too soon, but it’s best to arrange the furniture as you need about a week before the event takes place as you save a lot of energy by doing so. Take out what you know will be in the way and air up the room or rooms where everyone will meet by leaving in only purposeful items. Don’t forget to tuck away items that can be easily broken and are of value as incidents always happen at parties.
Last few days
- Notify the neighbors – Tell your neighbors that you plan on throwing a party so that they won’t be caught off-guard and potentially call the police to shut the event down if your guests get too loud. If you tell them beforehand that it might get loud and crazy, they will understand and there will be no issues no matter how wild the night gets.
- Finish grocery shopping – Put together a list of the things you need to buy for the meals and snacks you plan on serving to your guests. Make sure to double check it so that you won’t forget anything as this is supposed to be your last shopping trip.
- Cook – Except for the foods that you must prepare on the day of the event and what you have prepared 2-3 weeks before and frozen, prepare all the other remaining meals after you finish shopping for all the groceries needed.
- Decorate – Put up all the decorations that you have made or bought for the event. Doing this earlier saves you time for more important tasks on the day of the event.
Day of the party
- Finish cooking – Prepare any last-minute meals that you have on your list so that the courses will be fresh and perfect for eating when the guests come over.
- Display the food – Approximately one hour before people start arriving, set out the appetizers and snacks that don’t spoil. The rest of the food will be served as the party unfolds.
- Place chairs – Place fewer chairs than you have guests over as this will encourage the people who are tending the party to mingle with each other