Planning a party? This tried and tested checklist will be your best friend.
If you’re anything like me, everything needs to be written down. If it’s not written down, its lost forever in the haze of mental lists that play over and over again in my mind #willieversleepagain.
Gone are the days where I could be the ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ kinda gal. Let’s be real – I have two small children, a part time job, a full-time business and a husband all demanding my time and brain power – planning is essential.
So I make lists. I have lists for everything – To Do Lists, To Buy Lists, To Pack Lists, To Cook Lists, To Write Lists, To Plan Lists, To Try Lists and so on. The list of lists that I make goes on and on…
My Party Checklist
Knowing what you now know about me, it should come as no surprise that I have created quite the party checklist over the years. Planning a party is supposed to be fun and armed with the right ‘to do list’, you’ll be able to remain Zen at all times. What is on this mythical, magical list you ask…. get to the list Kate!
8 Weeks Out
- Download a printable copy of the Imprintables Party Checklist here
- Write your guest list. Remember to divide it into Adults & Children.
- Decide on your venue. Will you host the party at home or at another venue – this might be decided for you based on your guest list. Don’t forget to have a wet weather option if you choose an outdoor location
- Book the venue (if applicable)
- Choose a theme for your party. You want to do this early on so that everything can match! Pinterest is definitely my go to for inspiration on party themes. For Kids Parties, check out our A to Z of Kids Party themes here
- Find a cake maker who can make something amazing to suit your theme. Book them in now
- Book any other suppliers you need for your party. Photographer, Face Painter, Caterer etc
- If you are having the party at home, consider any items you might need to hire and book with a local supplier Tables, chairs, tablecloths, crockery, glassware, cutlery, jumping castles etc
- Research, choose and order your invitations.
- For some special events, you might also like to set up a gift registry at this point so that you can include it on your invitation.
Now that the main items are booked, relax for a few weeks!
5 Weeks Out
- Some people might find this too early to send invitations, but I like to give my friends and family plenty of notice. Note, you might also have chosen to send a Save the Date card around 3 months prior.
- Decide what decorations you will use and purchase them now. There are many options for DIY. You can purchase a printable pack now and file it away for a little later.
- If you are planning to DIY for food, aside from being much cleverer than me, now is the time that should write your menu
You’ve got this – maintain relaxed state
3 Weeks Out
- If you are planning a kid’s party, or if your adult guests love games, decide what party games you will play and write a list of what items you need to purchase or make. My fav are listed here.
- Time to print that decoration pack you downloaded a couple of weeks ago. Officeworks, Kwik Copy or any general printing company will suffice for printing them. Assemble as required.
- Shop for a special outfit for the Guest of Honour….and little something for yourself too 😉
Not long to go now, but all the big-ticket items are ticked off the list.
2 Weeks Out
- You might want to take stock of RSVPs this week. Is there anyone you need to chase?
- If you have hired a venue, a confirmation around now is a good idea. You might also be asked to confirm final numbers.
- Confirm all of your suppliers are locked in and ready to go. Make a time with them for delivery or pickup if needed.
- Make your party favours
No last-minute all-nighters required!
- Hit the shops and purchase all the non-perishables that you’ve been adding to your list along the way
- Stock the bar. Make sure you have eskies or ice buckets on hand to fill with ice on the day
- Let your neighbours know about the party and extra noise they might expect
- Make a playlist on your iPod especially for the day
- Organise a playdate elsewhere for any fur babies you have
- Back to the shops and grab the perishable food items.
- Write your runsheet for the big day – yay another list!
- If the party is at home, clean the house (or line up your cleaner for an additional clean!)
- Pick up any rented items that are not being delivered
- Withdraw cash and place in envelopes for any suppliers you need to pay
- Make any food you can so you don’t have as much to do on the morning of
- Set up for the party – tables, decorations etc
- If you are heading to a venue, pack the car with all of your decorations and anything else you are bringing from home
- Charge your camera battery, or have your phone charger handy as you get snap happy capturing the memories
- Keep your phone on you – for some reasons guests love to call or text the morning of with all kinds of questions
- Buy ice and chill drinks a few hours before guests will arrive
- Fill balloons with helium and affix some to the letterbox. Finalise any decorations.
- Make platters and prepare any other party food for the day
- Make sure your bathrooms are clean and have ample toilet paper
- Turn on the music before guests arrive
- Light some pretty scented candles
- Nominate a friend to be in charge of your camera – you are likely to forget!
- After your guests leave, open the presents. Make sure you take note of who gave what gift so you can mention how much you love it when you see them next.
- Organise your thank you cards.
- Post photos to social media
- Start planning the next one #whynot #nailedit
So there you have it. My super thorough, tried and tested Party Checklist. Have I made a list lover out of you yet? If I have missed anything let me know? I’m always willing to make improvements in the quest for the perfect party checklist.
Download the printable version here: