42 Things to Do When Planning Your Next Party

Planning a party can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. With a little organization and a checklist in hand, you can throw a memorable event without the stress. In this article,...

Planning a party can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. With a little organization and a checklist in hand, you can throw a memorable event without the stress. In this article, we will explore 42 things to do when planning your next party. Whether it's a birthday celebration, a holiday gathering, or just a casual get-together with friends, this comprehensive checklist will ensure that no detail goes unnoticed.

The Party Planning Checklist

One Month Before the Party

  • Set a date and time and choose a location
  • Decide on a theme and set a budget
  • Create a guest list
  • Plan a menu including appetizers and drinks
  • Recruit and/or hire help
  • Hire entertainers
  • Rent equipment and/or ask to borrow equipment
  • Plan a parking strategy

colorful cupcakes in rainbow colors on a blue background Colorful cupcakes in rainbow colors on a blue background

Three Weeks Before the Party

  • Send out invitations
  • Take stock, plan buffet/serving areas, plan seating areas, and create seating plan (if needed)
  • Check your linens and serving pieces; clean if necessary
  • Decide on music, games, and activities
  • Purchase gifts and door prizes and wrap them
  • Plan centerpieces and order flowers, if purchasing from a florist
  • Order cake and balloons

birthday party invitations with cupcake background Birthday party invitations with cupcake background

Two Weeks Before the Party

  • Purchase party supplies and decorations
  • Send out reminders to guests who have not responded
  • Make a grocery list including liquor (don’t forget charcoal and propane, if grilling)
  • Purchase all non-perishable groceries
  • Make and freeze any food items ahead of time

One Week Before the Party

  • Make party favor treat bags and/or fill piñata
  • Clean your house and outdoor area
  • Set the stage and decorate
  • Notify the neighbors (if they weren’t invited)
  • Confirm delivery dates and services with hired vendors
  • Ask someone to take pictures (if a photographer isn’t hired)
  • If making centerpieces and decorations, do as much as possible ahead of time
  • Create a detailed timetable for preparing and cooking party food

colorful curly ribbon used as a sign Colorful curly ribbon used as a sign

One to Two Days Before the Party

  • Set up serving tables, buffet tables, and bar, including all serving bowls, platters, utensils, punch bowls, etc.
  • Do last-minute tidying of the house and party areas
  • Designate an area to store guests’ coats, purses, umbrellas, etc.
  • Purchase perishable supplies
  • Do any food prep that can be done ahead of time
  • Check your bathrooms and stock up on toilet paper and guest towels
  • Plan for garbage: set out additional designated trash cans
  • Have cleaning supplies and first aid supplies handy for accidents

colorful sticky notes with recipe titles on them Colorful sticky notes with recipe titles on them

Party Day!

  • Pick up cake, balloons, and ice!
  • Have rental equipment delivered and set up
  • Set guest tables: tablecloths, centerpieces, flowers, etc.
  • Finish food preparation; set food on serving tables and place cold beverages on ice
  • Clear away last-minute clutter and make sure the dishwasher is empty!
  • Get dressed, light candles, turn on music, and have a good time!

pretty wrapped presents and colorful balloons on a blue background Pretty wrapped presents and colorful balloons on a blue background

Remember, planning a party should be enjoyable, not overwhelming. By following this checklist, you can ensure that every aspect of your event is taken care of, allowing you to relax and enjoy the celebration with your guests. Don't forget to download the FREE printable party planning checklist at the end of this article for extra convenience.

And if you're looking for some delicious party food ideas, check out these recipes:

  • Effortlessly Easy Party Cheeseboard
  • Baked Mac & Cheese with a Crunchy Buttery Sourdough Topping
  • Bacon-Laden Million Dollar Baked Beans
  • One-and-Done Grilled Balsamic Chicken Breast Tenders
  • Homemade Depression-Era Crazy Chocolate Cake {aka Wacky Cake}

Pint It - Pinterest sharing graphic Pint It - Pinterest sharing graphic

Lastly, don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to receive more party planning tips and exclusive freebies. We hope your next party is a smashing success!

colorful rainbow cupcakes used as a sign for birthday cards Colorful rainbow cupcakes used as a sign for birthday cards

Tootles,

Lorraine Lorraine

Related Posts from Toot Sweet 4 Two’s Archives:

  • Homemade Depression-Era Crazy Chocolate Cake {aka Wacky Cake}
  • How to Roast a Picture-Perfect Holiday Turkey
  • Lorraine’s Partytime Hot Chicken Enchilada Dip

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