Step one: use our handy checklist.

For a smooth party planning experience, the best thing to do is create a timeline and checklist with all of your party basics outlined. Planning ahead and being organized will actually allow you to enjoy your party and spend more time with your guests!

Click here to download an example of a party checklist.

Three to Four Weeks Prior to the Party:

  • Establish your party budget
  • Create a guest list
  • Pick a date, time and location for your party
  • Select a theme for your party
  • Send out the party invitations via e-mail or mail (include directions and several ways to RSVP – phone, e-mail, etc.)
  • Decide on your menu and drinks
  • Pick activities and games for your party

Two to Three Weeks Prior to the Party:

  • Take inventory of all kitchen items, tableware and party supplies that you already own and take notes of what you are missing
  • Enlist party helpers
  • Place RSVP guest list and a pen by your phone, or use the party checklist to track responses via your computer
  • Purchase games and game items
  • Purchase decorations to go along with the theme of your party

One Week Prior to the Party:

  • Do all heavy cleaning
  • Purchase non-perishable food and drinks
  • Purchase freezable foods
  • Call non-RSVP guests

Two Days Prior to the Party:

  • Create necessary space in the refrigerator
  • Purchase perishable food except for fresh meat and seafood
  • Select music for your party
  • Purchase extra garbage bags, foil and plastic wrap – be sure to include recycling glass bottles, aluminum and plastic bottles in your plans
  • Have music choices selected and ready to play

One Day Prior to the Party:

  • Put up decorations
  • Gather your activities and games for your party
  • Prepare food that can be refrigerated
  • Purchase fresh meat and seafood

Day of the Party:

  • Gather serving pieces
  • Set up your food table and bar
  • Prepare the food
  • Chill drinks
  • Pick up ice

Last but not least, relax, smile and have a blast!


Party Budget

Things to consider while budgeting for your party:

  • The total amount of money you are willing to spend
  • The number of guests attending the party
  • The food you will be serving
  • The beverages you will be serving
  • Whether or not you are going to create your own or purchase pre-made invitations
  • If you are having a theme party like 80s, Halloween, etc. decide what type of decorations you will be using at the party
  • Remember to plan for party favors or gift bags if you want to include these in your event



Most parties include people that don’t know one another. Having games ready is a great way to entertain your guests and to break the ice. Here are a few ideas to keep your party going, regardless of the weather!


  • Washers
  • Horseshoes
  • Frisbee Golf


  • Any indoor game like music and pop culture trivia, etc.
  • Karaoke
  • Card games like Texas Hold ‘Em