Party Planner Checklist

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Party Planner Checklist

6 to 8 weeks before:

  • Review the budget for the party
  • Make a list of people planning to invite
  • Plan menu
    • Order catered food*
    • Organize recipes
    • Make grocery list
    • Make a list of non-perishable items
    • Divide nonperishable food into the number of weeks to party. Purchase items on the list every week
  • Plan colors for the event and decorations needs

Five weeks before:

  • Check serving dishes, linens, and silverware or paper supplies you need.
    • Add needed items to the shopping list.
    • Reserve any needed rental equipment: chairs, punch bowls, serving dishes, etc. *
  • Buy or make invitations.
  • Review the budget; record the items purchased.
  • Plan decorations and add needed items to the shopping list. Make a project page for decorations you are planning to make yourself.
  • Add project supplies to the shopping list

Four weeks before:

  • Send invitations
  • Plan centerpieces–Order or make a project page if making your own.*
  • Add needed supplies to the shopping list.
  • Plan games, activities, prizes, and favors
    • Add needed items to the master shopping list.
    • Make a project page if you are making your own
    • Note where instructions are found for games/activities, or copy and insert them into your notebook.
  • Plan the clothing you are going to wear
  • Reserve rooms for out-of-town guests*
  • Confirm any reservations, catered food ordered, or rental equipment requests you have made for the party.
    • Pay fees
  • Continue to work on homemade decorations, favors, etc.
  • Review menu lists for missing items–coffee, ice, sugar, nuts, etc.

Three weeks before:

  • Wash and press linen*
  • Polish silverware–if not using plastic
  • Clean candlesticks*
  • With the menu in hand, identify the serving bowls you are going to use*
    • Purchase or borrow any needed items
  • Plan table settings: place cards, napkin rings, napkins*
  • Continue working on homemade decorations, favors, etc.
  • Review budget: record the items you purchased
  • Baked treats*
    • Place dry ingredients in a plastic bag and tape the recipe to the outside.

2 weeks before:

  • Create a cooking schedule. Note the cooking times of planned dishes and mark the time each dish needs to be started. Post on bulletin board or refrigerator.
  • Review RSVPs. Make place cards.*
  • Continue working on homemade decorations, favors, etc.
  • Review budget: record items you purchased
  • Wash, press, and polish the clothing you are going to wear
  • Make a party schedule: start time, the order of games, the time meal to be served, etc.
  • Purchase film, batteries, etc.

One week before:

  • Wash the plates, silverware, and bowls you are planning to use.
  • Bake cookies etc.
  • On a slip of paper, write the name of a dish you are going to serve and the time needs to be started, and place it in a serving bowl with
    • measured dry ingredients in a plastic bag
    • recipe card
  • Organize games and review instructions
  • Complete homemade decorations, favors, etc.
  • Review budget: records items you purchased
  • Wrap gifts
  • Clean house

Day before:

  • Chop vegetables and prepare salads and soups that can be made ahead*
  • Set the table
  • Decorate if permitted
  • Purchase ice
  • Make vegetable and dessert plates. Refrigerate. *
  • Pick up ordered food

Day of:

  • Decorate
  • Pick up rental equipment and floral arrangements*
  • Review party schedule and follow
  • Follow the cooking schedule*
  • Prepare cameras and recorders.
  • Relax and enjoy it!

*You may not need to do all the items on the list.

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