Miss Party’s Perfect Home Party Planner

This planner is appropriate for parties held in a home environment, indoors or out.

2 MONTHS AHEAD:

___-Decide on party details and approximate number of guests.
___-Make a critical “TO DO” list of anything in the party space that needs to be repaired, deep-cleaned, planted, purchased, etc.
___-Line up whatever work that needs to be done to take care of items on the above “TO DO” list.
___-If desired, contact a caterer and/or a service waitstaff business, secure one or both and work out tentative plans.

4-5 WEEKS AHEAD:

___-(Complete any/all of the above.)
___-Follow Miss Party’s “Party Ensemble Planner”.
___-Make a detailed guest list.
___-Decide on party details: date, time, location, purpose, food/beverage plans, theme/inspiration, decor ideas and colors, etc.
___-If mailing invitations: purchase paper supplies or purchase boxed invitations; purchase stamps, collect guest addresses.

3-4 WEEKS AHEAD:

___-(Complete any/all of the above.)
___-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 so you don’t forget them.
___-Reserve small rentals items; glasses, china, utensils, bus trays/stand, food tables, etc.
___-If party held outside, plant seasonal annuals in flower beds and planters to add a pop of color.
___-Shop for party decor.
___-Work on party decor projects, if any planned.

2-3 WEEKS AHEAD:

___-(Complete any/all of the above.)
___-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.
___-If needed, arrange for a teen babysitter to help keep young guests (and your own children) happy, occupied and safely supervised.
___-Party favors? An edible favor is best for all ages. Buy supplies needed.
___-If Plan A is for the party to be held outdoors, be prepared and think through Plan B.

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, 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. 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 to minimize ‘day of party’ chaos.
___-Reconfirm food pick up or delivery details with caterer, if using.
___-Wash beverage glasses and hand wipe.
___-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.)
___-Call any late RSVP’s.
___-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 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 the day of.)
___-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.
___-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 the party will soon be starting. 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 with getting a drink before you leave them to mingle.

No one will know anything that DIDN’T happen – don’t worry, be happy!

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