Party Planning Checklist

to do listWant to throw a party but don't know where to start? Don't feel overwhelmed and don't hesitate to ask for help. There's plenty to do. Part of the fun is in the planning stages, when you're discussing ideas to make the party a success. The more, the merrier when it comes to preparations, decorating, and cooking.

The party checklist below is for casual, special occasions such as birthday, holiday, and theme parties. Of course, you will need to modify it to fit your needs but the basics are below to get you started. If your party will be a seasonal one, remember to make your shopping lists early and look for sales.


Two Weeks to One Month Before

  • Decide on a party theme
  • Make guest list
  • Set a budget
  • Plan menu
  • Make shopping lists
  • Design and mail out invitations
  • Purchase supplies
  • Make and prepare decorations
  • Purchase tableware and party favors, prizes


One Week Before

  • Grocery shop for non-perishables
  • Plan and assemble supplies for party games
  • Call guests who haven't RSVP'D
  • Begin cleaning areas that will stay clean
  • Plan the itinerary
  • Inventory bowls, serving dishes and platters. Wash them and see what else is needed.


One Day Before

  • Confirm services hired for your party; caterer, florist, clown, etc.
  • Clean refrigerator to make room for cold food
  • Grocery shop for perishable foods
  • Do last minute cooking
  • Decorate
  • Set up tables for crafts, games, gifts
  • Assemble party favor bags


The Day of the Party

  • Put up last-minute decorations
  • Finish last minute cooking, final food preparations
  • Set serving table
  • Set out trash cans
  • Set atmosphere with music, lighting, and aromas
  • Stock toilet paper, soap, and paper towels