How to Plan a Party: The Essential Party Planning Checklist

How to Plan a Party: The Essential Party Planning Checklist

Party planning has been listed as number five on the list of the world’s most stressful jobs.

With this in mind, if you aren’t a professional party planner, you could be in for a rather stressful adventure ahead. Fortunately, with the right tools and a party planning checklist, planning a party can be a piece of cake (see what we did there).

Whether you are planning a birthday extravaganza or a wedding to remember, we’ve got everything you need to know to pull off a great event. Depending on your location and audience size, we can help you determine your audio rental needs for your event.

Ready to get started? Follow along to learn how to plan a party with this easy step-by-step guide.

  1. Establish Your Event

The first step to planning a party is knowing exactly what your event is for. This is simply for those of you celebrating a big birthday but may take a little more thought for simple social gatherings.

The purpose of your event will help you determine who to invite, what to put on the invites, and what theme or decorations will suit.

  1. Guest List

Now that you have established your party’s purpose, it’s time to put together your guest list.

Who you decide to invite can help determine the size of venue you’ll need, how much food to cater, and even when to host the party.

For example, if you are throwing a kids-only birthday party, you may be able to keep your weekend free and throw the event on a Friday afternoon. On the other hand, if your guest list is filled with working-class adults, scheduling for a Saturday or Sunday will improve your attendance rate.

  1. Set Your Budget

Before you get deep into the party planning rabbit hole, take the time to determine your budget. This will save you from accidentally overdoing it on the finances.

With a clear budget in mind, you can make better decisions on location, food, and hired entertainment. Whether your budget is big or small, try to allocate a specific amount to each of these elements and adjust as needed.

  1. Choose a Location

As we mentioned above, the number of guests on your list will greatly impact where you hold your party.

You may be able to save your budget here by hosting your party in your home or heading to a public park on a sunny afternoon. Of course, if you are relying on the weather, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan should mother nature decide to change her mind.

For larger events, shop around for a venue that is suitable to your event type. Inquire at your local golf course, hit up hotel conference rooms, or have your favorite restaurant pencil you in for the night. Where you choose will depend on how fancy or casual you want the event to be!

  1. Select a Theme

Once you know where you’ll be celebrating, you can make a more clear plan for decorations.

If you are hosting at a restaurant, they will probably have decor sorted already but more often than not, you are welcome to bring your own special touch.

For venues with a blank canvas, this is your chance to make a splash or keep it subtle. No matter what you decide, consistency is key. Start with a clear theme and carry it through the entire party space for a flawless, put-together look.

  1. Build Your Menu

What’s the best part of a party? That’s right, it’s time for food.

When it comes to your menu, you’ll have three options to choose from.

  1. Hire catering for your event
  2. Prepare your own menu
  3. Go potluck style

Again, if you are hosting at a restaurant or formal venue, catering may already be incorporated in your event pricing.

If you decide to make your own menu, try to keep it as simple as possible to ease stress leading up to and on the big day. One of the best party planning tips we have to offer is to plan. There’s nothing worse than scrambling to pull a bunch of overly complicated dishes together when you should be getting dressed to go.

Not up for the DIY challenge but don’t have a budget for catering? Ask your guests to bring along a dish and do it up potluck style. Tools like a contribution list are incredibly helpful for planning and ensure you don’t end up with 15 desserts and no main.

  1. Hire Entertainment

How will you be keeping your guests entertained at your party?

Entertainment doesn’t need to be pricey, but it does need some planning in advance. If you wish to book a band or DJ, you’ll need to do so as far ahead of time as possible to secure your date.

Want to keep it budget-friendly and casual with games and playlists? Decide on your games beforehand and hire or purchase anything you need to pull them off. And of course, save the awkward discomfort of a silent room by organizing a playlist and renting the equipment you need to play it.

  1. Send Out Invites

This step can be done anywhere along the party planning journey. However, once your invites are out, you’ll want to stay on top of RSVPs.

Create a list of who has responded so you know exactly what to expect on the day of your event. And of course, always plan for a few extra. Even if someone neglected to RSVP, you are likely to have a couple of guests rock up that you weren’t expecting.

Extra food, drinks, and chairs will ensure a stress-free experience on the day!

Party Planning Checklist

Now that you have the ultimate party planning checklist, you can set forth with confidence. With this secret in your pocket, you’ll never have to ask the pressing question ‘how do I plan a party?’ again!

Did you like these party planning tips and tricks? Check out our other articles for all of the ‘how-to’ cheatsheets you need to ace anything you set your mind to.

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