Party Planning Ideas

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Party Planning Checklist

Using a party planning checklist can make the most complex party seem simple, by breaking all the details into manageable chunks. A great party does not have to be complicated. Choosing the right party planning idea or theme is the hardest part. After that, all you have to is put it together by following the checklist. In general, planning a party involves:

Party Planning Checklist: One month before

  • Decide date and time
  • Decide where you are having the party (and secure the site if necessary)
  • The next item on your party planning checklist is to choose the theme (if you are having one) or a color scheme for the decorations. Sometimes the theme is determined by the type of party, and sometimes the type of party can be combined with a theme. For example, a retirement party can have a golf-related theme if the guest of honor is a golfer.
  • Hire musical and/or other entertainment (if necessary)
  • Develop the guest list and send out invitations (that match the theme or color scheme). You can get invitations at and

From one month to two weeks before

One week before

  • Collect all the RSVPs and finalize how many are coming
  • Finalize arrangements with the party site (whether it's your house or a restaurant or wherever!)
  • Shop for the food or let the caterer/restaurant know how many to prepare for

One day before

  • Prepare the food (including the cake if you are making one). Some of the food can be made a few days ahead of time but not too early - you want it to be fresh!
  • Decorate the site (if possible)

A few hours before

  • Pick up the cake
  • Pick up the helium filled balloons (and any other "fresh" decorations, like flowers)
  • Finish food preparations
  • Finish the decorating

I know, the party planning checklist looks confusing and like a lot of work, but it really isn't. Everything you need to decide is really based on the color scheme and/or theme of the party. Once you have that, the rest falls into place quite easily. And not all elements pertain to all parties - a simple dinner party, for example, may not even require invitations, a cake, or entertainment. Whatever your specific needs, hopefully this party planning checklist will help!


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