When you are confident you have the caterer that best suits your party, pay the deposit and secure the booking.
Book entertainment – DJ, live band, magician, palm readers etc.
Book hire equipment needed such as glassware, tables, chairs, heaters or fans, linen. Be sure to discuss these elements with your caterer as you’ll likely save money by booking these items through them
Consider decorations; balloons, flowers and theming. Again your caterer may be able to assist with this elements
Determine a RSVP date. This date should be approximately 2 weeks prior to the event.
Organise your invitations and include a map if the location is not easy to locate. Make the RSVP date a week before you actually require it to allow for any slow responders
Contact any friends or family that you want to help with the party set up
Contingency Plan – If outdoors, always have a plan B for inclement weather that would affect the comfort and safety of your guests
One or Two Weeks Before
Confirm all your suppliers including caterer, entertainment, equipment hire, styling
Work out your outfit for the party. You don’t want to be rushed and flustered on the day deciding what to wear
Finalise the party space and consider any decorations you may need to purchase or book
Go shopping for all your small items like candles, extra toilet paper, thankyou cards, party favours
Finalise your music if you are not hiring a DJ or band.
Follow up the guests who are yet to RSVP
Let your caterer know final numbers and settle the final payment
Purchase your beverages (if your caterer is not supplying) and ensure you have service equipment sorted (glasses, tubs, bar table etc)
A few Days Prior
Clean the house so that on the day you just need to spot clean anything. Don’t forget to do the outside including paths, gardens, driveway
Think about making room in the fridge for the caterer
Ensure your rubbish bins are as empty as they can be, including your recycling bins
Think about if you wish to make a speech and if so, write your speech or some dot points to follow
Organise any late night snacks or drinks for those that may party into the early hours
Let your neighbours know about the party (if they are not already invited) as a courtesy for any noise disturbance they might experience
The day before
Spot clean your house
Set an area for guests who smoke and don’t forget the ashtrays or sand buckets
Clearly sign the bathrooms and stock them with toilet paper, extra hand towels and perhaps a nice candle or posy of flowers
Make sure you have taxi service numbers on hand or other transport arrangements in place for your guests to get home safely after the party
Begin decorating and setting up any furniture
The Big Day!
Spot clean one last time
Pick up ice (if your caterer is not providing this)
Ensure your kitchen bin is empty and you have extra bin liner bags on hand
Finalise last of decorations and set up
Welcome your guests and enjoy the party!
A day or two after
Send thank you notes or messages to your guests
Create a photo album of the party and share with your guests
Ensure all hired or borrowed equipment or suppliers are returned