What Do I Need for the Ultimate Party Planning Checklist?

Whether this is your first time doing party planning or your tenth, it’s essential to know the goal of your party. You may think that is to bring people together and have fun. While this is true, some parties have additional elements, such as promoting a product, person, or service.

You could be hosting a person’s birthday party, a wedding, or a company’s anniversary party. No matter which party it is, your major planning decisions must be organized for a memorable event.

You want everything to go smoothly! The EventPro experts have provided this free party planning checklist (which should be used with our event management planning software). Read on and enjoy!

monthly planner book with pens

What Are the Steps for Planning a Party?

Our ultimate party planning checklist will help you to stay on track and less stressed throughout the process. Take a deep breath and read on!

Step 1: Give Yourself as Much Time as Possible

For some parties, such as a wedding, the date may not be up to you. If it is your decision, you should plan a month or more in advance to come up with party ideas, find a venue (if necessary), invite guests, and everything else. As you’re choosing dates, you may need to check with VIPs and venues to ensure that they are available for that day.

Note: As soon as you start planning, outline all of the main points of the party, including food, location, and decorations, and make the budget. If you’re planning for a company, they will provide you with the budget. Our event and wedding planning software has a budgeting feature!

Step 2: Create a Team

Find friends, family members, or professionals who can focus on certain aspects of the party planning, such as equipment setup, entertainment, and grocery shopping (depending on the food arrangements).

Some organizers may want their team onboard from the start to assist with brainstorming, but this step can happen later if you prefer to make all the decisions and simply want them carried out by others.

people dressed in period pieces at table

Step 3: Choose a Party Theme

In the case of a wedding, the theme may also not be your decision, but for birthday parties and other celebrations, make sure your theme is relevant to the person or goal of the event. For example, a steampunk theme might be relevant for a watch or technology company. Know what the person or company of the hour likes and what their history is to throw a party they will enjoy.

Step 4: Decorations and Party Favors

As soon as the theme is decided, brainstorm about how to decorate the event space if you already know where it will take place, such as the company’s office or someone’s backyard. You and your team can decide if there are any decorations that can be handmade or borrowed in order to save money.

Guests usually like to receive items when they leave, no matter their age, and if you’re promoting a person or organization, this is where you can provide guests with samples of products or gift cards. The party favors must also have a connection to the theme and person or company being celebrated.

Step 5: Make the Guest List

Party planners may be given a limit of guests to invite by the host or key stakeholders. However, planning a family member’s party may be a little trickier. Consider how many guests can safely fit at the party’s location and review your budget. These factors will help you to manage your guest list.

For more help, EventPro’s software includes features for keeping track of RSVPs and guest contact information.

caterers preparing food

Step 6: Decide on Food Preparations

You may be in full command of the food menu or be required to only review it if you hire a caterer or professional chef. In other cases, it’s up to you and your team to shop for and prepare the food. Remember that celebrations often have cake!

Depending on the type of party, you can ask guests to choose their preferred dish and find out if anyone has allergies or special dietary requirements.

Step 7: Plan Activities and Entertainment

A child’s party will include activities they and their friends will want to do, such as swimming, playing board games, or jumping around an inflatable bouncer. Hiring a roleplayer as a Disney princess, clown or pirate is also a popular option.

For a company party, however, activities can include a raffle, interactive games, or even friendly competitions. Entertainment can be in the form of a live band with couples out on the dance floor or even stand-up comics.

Whether you create the music playlist or review that of a hired professional, keep in mind when you want the music to be playing, such as while guests arrive or when a certain individual welcomes everyone.

Step 8: Send Invitations

When sending out invitations, either by mail or online, be sure to include the following:

Note: You should expect 60-85% of the guests to come to the party. There are often last-minute cancellations.

wedding venue

Working with Venues

Parties can be both indoor and outdoor events, which adds a little complication to the process. But if you follow our event checklist, you will be able to navigate through your tasks. When working with venues, keep in mind the following:

Some people may think that a party checklist is all they need. They don’t need software to plan a friend’s birthday party, right? You’d be surprised how complicated any party can become. Don’t you want all the help you can get?

Simplify the Planning Process with Event Planning Software

Stay on top of important details and get the party started! EventPro’s software offers all the features you need, from budgeting to food and drink menus to staff and itinerary management.

Request a demo today!

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