Party Planning Tips

Party Planning Checklist

3 weeks prior to your party:

  • Make an invitation list
  • Invite 20 percent more people than you can fit, only 70 - 80 percent of invitees attend
  • Decide on a theme / colour scheme
  • Make/buy any decorations to fit the theme
  • Buy/borrow music you may need to fit the theme
  • Send invitations
  • Plan the menu
  • Line up any help you may need

2 weeks before:

  • Do a first round of grocery shopping and cooking
  • Prepare any dishes that can be frozen

1 week before:

  • Clean the house thoroughly, this way you will need only a quick once-over before the party
  • Take inventory of cookware and serving dishes. If you don't have enough for every dish you are serving, consider purchasing inexpensive pieces.
  • Label each dish so you will remember what you plan to use it for at party time
  • Stock the bar. Plan three bottles of wine for every four people, three to four cocktails per guest for a 2- 3 hour cocktail party .

3 days before:

  • Notify the neighbors, let them know you are having a party if you expect it to be loud or parking intensive
  • Check the medicine cabinet, remove any personal items you wouldn't want guests to see
  • Set clean up stations
  • Finish grocery shopping
  • Make a detailed cooking schedule for your remaining dishes

1 day before:

  • Set the tables
  • Buy and arrange flowers
  • Finish as much of the cooking as you can
  • Give your house a once over, do whatever touch - ups are needed

Day of the party :

  • Finish any last minute cooking,this should be absolutely minimal!
  • Place chairs. Don't worry about having enough seating for everyone, fewer seats will encourage mingling
  • Display food. One to two hours before guests arrive, set out appetizers and snacks that won't spoil. Wrap them tightly to ensure freshness, and tear off the wrap when the first guest rings the doorbell
  • Greet your guests as they arrive. Things should be organised so you're free to mingle, not tied to the kitchen