Summer is such a sweet time to celebrate so many things. Planning a party can be daunting, but if you do it right, and are organized and armed with some simple tips, the pre-party can be just as exciting as the event itself. Here is a checklist help ensure your party planning is smooth sailing all summer long:
The Month Before:
Pick you date, time, theme and guest list
Create and mail invitations
Three weeks before:
Plan your menu and start getting your décor plans and props together.
Two weeks before:
Reconfirm all your RSVPs and get your final headcount.
Buy beverages, non-perishable food like crackers and chips, and decorations to get a good head start on the big day.
The week of:
Buy your fresh ingredients, and make a meal TO DO list, which you can check off as you begin prepping the food.
Do ahead as much as you can, for items that can last a couple of days in the fridge, like dips, sauces, marinades, dressings.
Double check that you have ALL that you need so you are not missing anything the day before the party
Clean your serving dishes and vases, wash and lay out your linens and decorations.
The day before:
Pickup your flowers and arrange them.
Purchase perishable food like fresh produce, seafood, and such.
Wash, peel and chop all the ingredients you need for your meal.
If you are baking, bake ahead.
Set out all your flatware and dishes and napkins.
Remember to buy extra ice and have some cooler and / or clean buckets on-hand to keep food and drinks fresh in the hot sun.
Cleanup and decorate as much as possible the afternoon before the party.
Try to get a good night of sleep!
The day of:
First, finish decorating and set the table.
Next, cook anything that you won't be perhaps grilling right during the party. Arrange all your food on platters and cover until guests arrive.
Make sure you leave plenty of time to clean up any messes, and get yourself cleaned up before the guests arrive.
And it's party time! Enjoy!
How do you plan ahead for parties?
© iStockphoto.com/ umbrian