Planning & Inspirations
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Party Planning Checklist
- Begin envisioning your party. Do you want something formal or casual?
At home or at a reception centre?
- Decide on a budget.
- Settle on a party date and time.
- If it's a big event, consider hiring a party planner.
10 to 12 months
- Start the search for a caterer. Ask for recommendations from friends and family.
- Determine a rough price per head and begin working on a menu.
- Book your party venue.
- Start compiling your party inspiration board.
- Put together a party guest list.
- Start thinking about entertainment: do you want a band or DJ? If so, you'll need to book them in advance.
- Other suppliers will also need to be sourced and booked. Consider florists, photographers, videographers, dancers and other entertainment.
6 to 8 months
- Source a baker to make your party cake. Your caterer will be able to make recommendations.
- Finalise your menu and service details with your caterer.
- Order your party invitations, plus thank you cards, place cards and any other stationery.
Don't forget some spares!
4 to 6 months
- Start sourcing your party decorations.
- Reserve tables, chairs, and/or other rental equipment you'll need
(unless your caterer or venue is taking care of it).
3 months before
- Start sourcing your party favors. Give yourself plenty of time if you are making your own favors,
or if you've selected custom-made favors.
- Pick up your invitations (or, if you're making your own, start the workshop!).
- Address and send out your invitations.
- Keep a master guest list so that you can easily tick off RSVPs.
2 months before
- Order alcohol if it is not included in the catering contract.
1 month before
- Put together a list of songs for your DJ or band.
2 weeks before
- Give final numbers to your caterer. Confirm set-up instructions and menu items.
- Confirm numbers, delivery time, and location with the baker, florist, photographer and any other vendors.
- Call guests who haven't RSVP'd for the party.
- Start putting together the seating plan if you're having a seated meal.
Give this seating chart to your caterer.
- Put together place cards for a seated meal.
- Prepare your speech, toasts and thanks to friends and family.
- Give the final seating chart to your caterer and function manager.
- Confirm all final payment amounts with your vendors.
The day before
- Drop off party favors to the party venue.
- Put your feet up and relax!
The day of the party
- Confirm with people who you would like to give toasts at the party.
- Relax, smile, and enjoy the day!
After the party
- Make sure all vendor bills have been paid in full.
- Within two months of your party, set aside some evenings to write thank-you notes.
Making your party guest list
Budgeting for your party
Should you hire a party planner?
Choosing a caterer