This party planning checklist can help you be organized before the big day, whether you own a party planning business or you’re just arranging an event for family and friends.
Utilizing a party planning checklist and creating an event timeline are just two of the many things you can do to make sure everything goes according to plan.
Parties are ultimately all about connecting people and having a good time.
Set a spending limit and stick to it! Realistically estimating the cost of the party you picture and staying inside your allocated budget are essential. Decide in advance where you’re going to spend money and where you may make savings.
Don’t let your spending go over 5% of your initial budget. If you notice this occurring, review your vision and make the necessary corrections.
Date, Time & Location
Failure to inform significant family members and friends in advance about the date you’ve picked is one of the most depressing, but avoidable, situations. Talk to friends and family in advance about their availability, inquire about a variety of locations (both indoor and outdoor), and choose the day accordingly.
Guest Lists & Invitations
Create and stick to a guest list that reflects your goal. Remember that normally only 80% of invitees will show up to a gathering they have been extended an invitation.
Although Save-the-Date cards and formal, postal invitations are typically chosen for weddings, nothing should prevent you from making them yourself to stay within budget. Email, text, and phone invitations to guests are all acceptable and should specify the dress code and, if applicable, the party theme.
Food & Beverage
Do you and your family enjoy preparing meals for your friends and family, or will this be a catered gathering at a venue or at your house? If there are any, make sure you inquire long enough in advance about the availability and permit status of your preferred food vendor.
Make part of the appetizers, main courses, or desserts yourself and have the rest catered or purchased if keeping costs down is the priority. When guests arrive, the host should never be slaving away in the kitchen, so consider serving cold food or opting to purchase premade crowd-pleasers like sub trays or chicken wings and fingers.
Make sure your entertainment suits your concept and is within your budget, whether it’s a live band, DJ, magician, clown, or picture booth. Include kid-friendly activities like face painting, a clown, or a table with games and puzzles.
Ask the manager if what you’re planning is appropriate if your event will take place in a venue or in a public area. At a party, music is necessary, but if your budget does not allow for a live band or DJ, create a playlist using your personal music library.
Organizing a party can initially appear overwhelming, but if you want to handle it yourself, develop a vision and then create a strategy to carry out your vision, which includes everything mentioned above. That’s really the goal, isn’t it? If you follow through, you’ll be less stressed and have a better time on the big day.