Miss Party’s Perfect Party Planner for a Large Celebration

MISS PARTY’S PERFECT PARTY PLANNER FOR A LARGE CELEBRATION

3 MONTHS (OR MORE) AHEAD:

___-Decide on party details and approximate number of guests.
___-Decide on and secure a location for party and sign a rental contract, make deposit. Know what the rental space will provide and provide access to and what you must bring or provide.
___-If having party at your home, whether inside or outside, make a critical list of anything that needs to be repaired, deep-cleaned, planted, painted, purchased, finished, etc. so that the party space will be at its’ best.
___-Line up whatever work needs to be done from above list.
___-Secure a Party Planner, if necessary. (If using a Party Planner, many items on this list will be handled by them, know what they will take care of and what you will so there are no surprises on party day.)
___-Contact caterers and/or service waitstaff business, secure both and work out tentative plans.
___-Contact tent and party supply rental companies, secure large rentals needed and sign contracts, make deposits.
___-Research invitation options if having them professionally printed and work through details (follow their ordering deadlines).

4-5 WEEKS AHEAD:

___-(Complete any/all of the above.)
___-Follow Miss Party’s “Party Ensemble Planner”.
___-Make a guest list.
___-Decide on party details: date, time, location, purpose, general food/beverage plans, theme/inspiration, decor ideas, party’s colors. Make notes of plans and ideas.
___-Contact caterers or service waitstaff businesses, if you haven’t already, decide on tentative menu or service needs.
___-Reserve small rentals; glasses, china, utensils, etc.
___-Send or email a “Save the Date” notification, if desired.
___-If mailing invitations: purchase paper supplies or purchase boxed invitations; purchase stamps, collect guest addresses.
___-Begin planning/making any party decor elements that are time consuming or that a large quantity of is needed.

3-4 WEEKS AHEAD:

___-(Complete any/all of the above.)
___-Secure all guests’ addresses or email addresses for invitations.
___-If mailing paper invitations, prepare and address them (mail them 2 1/2-3 weeks ahead), ask for an RSVP one week before party date.
___-Make a “Party Itinerary” and a page of notes of any party decor ideas or activities.
___-Shop for party decor.
___-If outside, plant seasonal annuals in flower beds and planters to add a pop of color.
___-Continue making party decor projects, if planned.
___-Order personalized items such as banners or signs.

2-3 WEEKS AHEAD:

___-(Complete any/all of the above.)
___-Work out a floor plan on paper for dining tables rounds, high boys, food and beverage stations, gift table, band/entertainment (?), dance floor, etc., so that everyone will be on the same page come set up time.
___-Mail paper invitations or send e-invitations.
___-3 weeks ahead, take table linens to dry cleaners for pressing or DIY.
___-Purchase paper products and plastic beverage glasses, if needed. (Consider paper goods for children.)
___-If children will be present, think through a party activities plan. A DIY activity/craft table? Supervised game? A video? Purchase supplies needed.
___-Arrange for a teen babysitter to help keep young guests and your own children happy, occupied and safely supervised.
___-If desired, plan for a party favor. An edible favor is best for all ages. Buy supplies needed.

ONE WEEK AHEAD:

___-(Complete any/all of the above.)
___-Think through equipment/platters/dishes needed. Buy or borrow what you don’t have.
___-Clean the house if party held at your home, especially bathrooms. Put away breakables or valuables.
___-Prep children’s activities.
___-Place helium balloon order, if desired.
___-Make food description tent cards or attach to place card holders for casseroles. Guests will appreciate not having to ask.
___-If possible, assemble party favors.

THREE DAYS AHEAD:

___-(Complete any/all of the above.)
___-Get out EVERY dish or platter needed for your individual food dishes and serving utensils. (Wash up as needed.) Put a sticky note with food dish name into corresponding dish to be sure there is one for every single item (including condiment bowls) that will need a container.
___-Reconfirm food pick up or delivery details with caterer, if using.
___-Tent and rentals may be set-up today.
___-Wash glasses and hand wipe if using for a bar.
___-Set up food and beverage stations.
___-Get a pad of paper and go through each recipe and every station to make a complete grocery list.
___-Grocery shop. Multiple stops may be needed to gather all ingredients.
___-Buy flowers.
___-Prepare edible party favors.

TWO DAYS AHEAD:

___-(Complete any/all of the above.)
___-If party location is not at your home, pack up and stage a loading area of everything needed for decor and to install decor, bring scissors, paint-safe tape, duct tape, etc.
___-Prepare or prep any food dishes that you can work on ahead.
___-Prep the buffet table and beverage stations.
___-Set up children’s activities, prep items.
___-Decorate public spaces. Arrange flowers for tables, entryway, powder room.
___-Do baking, if planned.
___-Consider hiring or assigning a family member to be a ‘Greeter’ at the door/entrance to welcome guests and take their belongings to ease initial arrival congestion and free up host and hostess.

ONE DAY AHEAD:

___-(Complete any/all of the above.)
___-Pick up small rentals such as glasses and linens.
___-Pick up bakery order, if possible.
___-Decorate party space as completely as you can, if possible. (If outdoors, wait to put up party decor until tomorrow -overnight dew will ruin anything paper-related.)
___-Water and weed outdoor pots and flower beds, cut grass that will be seen by the guests.
___-Sweep outdoor party space.
___-Cook and prep anything that can be made ahead.
___-Tidy bathrooms and public spaces.
___-Prep music and test volume level.

THE MORNING OF THE PARTY:

___-Pick up helium balloon order, if placed.
___-Pick up catered food or bakery order, if necessary.
___-If party held outdoors, put up party decorations.
___-Or, finish indoor decorations.
___-If party held away from your home, begin transporting all necessary items.
___-Cook/bake anything yet to be done.
___-Finish setting up food and beverage stations.
___-Get your own shower!
___-Get kids dressed.

ONE HOUR BEFORE PARTY BEGINS:

___-Start party music to relax EVERYONE and signal. Will yourself to RELAX!
___-Ice drinks, fill ice bucket, make punch, make drink garnishes, complete beverage station.
___-Continue working on any food items you are handling; finishing cooking, warming food and prepping platters.
___-Caterers or servers may arrive now to set up. Work with them to convey your plan and what you expect them to take care of.

AS GUESTS ARRIVE AT THE PARTY:

-BE THE HOSTESS!!! Welcome your guests and make them feel comfortable.
-Take coats and handbags to a prearranged place.
-Take each guest to the beverage station and assist them getting a drink before you leave them to mingle.

No one will know anything that DIDN’T happen – don’t worry, and fret! Relax and enjoy the wonderful time spent with family and friends!

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