Ultimate PARTY Planning Tips
How To Throw a Perfect Party
It ain’t rocket science! Just common sense. The goal of the party planning tips & timeline is not to make things seem too complicated. The aim is to remove stress and make you have a lot of fun at the party.
Depending on the scale of the party, it can be elaborately planned or a casual affair.. Both works. Bottom line is to have a lot of fun!
The timelines below are for an elaborate party. So the time frames can be crunched, depending on how casual the party is.
3-4 WEEKS: GUEST LIST, THEME & MENU
- Shortlist your guest list & the theme for your party
- The menu course & everything else is crafted based on the above 2 factors
- It’s always good to know the audience preferences. This will help you plan the choice of vegetarian, non-vegetarian, kids friendly menu, etc
- Advance planning helps in planning caterers, shopping for ingredients, experimenting with cuisines, themes, etc
- Kids @ the Party: A portion of the menu should be kids friendly; allergy conscious; low on spices
- Dance Party: Appetizers are light & easily passable
- Drinking Party: If the crowd enjoys the drinks at the party, the appetizers will tend to go on for a longer time. Keep the main course list smaller & splurge on appetizers
2 WEEKS: ASSESS HOSTING SPACE
- This step really sets the fun tone of your party
- Depending on the theme, create section spaces for various activities
- Indoor Or outdoor: Keep the weather, the audience & the activities planned in mind
- You may need to move around the existing home layout to accommodate this party
- For a buffet style dining, it is advisable to create multiple food stations – main course, beverage & dessert
- Buffet Table Setting:
- Either Side Serving: If there is space for 2 people to comfortably pass from either side of the table, go ahead with this arrangement. Replicate the dishes on either side or add multiple serving spoons
- Single Side Serving: If not enough space, then choose this style
- Allocate a separate dance area clear of any furniture and valuable items. Also ensure, that the beverage / food stations are away from this section
- If kids are at the party, it is great to assign a room with toys, activities and or movies. This will ensure everyone has a blast – more importantly the parents 😉
- Assign separate smoking zones
1-2 WEEKS: FOOD SERVICE FLOW
As you are getting closer to the event, it would be good to plan out the service styles and order in which the food will be served
- Preps: Will help you decide what food and beverages need to be prepped in advance
- Cooking Order: Estimate the cooking time and order if food needs to be prepared on the day
- Crockery: The type of serve ware needed for the dining
- Resources: Assess how many helping hands you need to pull this off and decide who will do what
- Storage: This is often an underestimated but a very important aspect. Imagine cooking and ordering everything, but no space to store until party. Hot food cases & ice for storage is a must.See tips below
- Plan to cook the marinate the meats the day before(may not be possible for sea food) and cook it during the service
- Slice and dice whatever you can, the day before. Cling wrap it and store it in the refrigerator
- Make desserts or beverages ahead of time (if possible)
- If you are ordering a lot of drinks that need to be chilled, call your liquor store and ask them to stack it in the cold storage for you in advance. If possible, have it delivered close to the party. You will thank me for this tip
- Your friends and neighbors are saviors for helping you store food or ingredients before the party
1-2 WEEKS: CROCKERY & SERVEWARE
Source: Sascha Brastoff
- Match the flatware & serveware
- Mix – match colors and style – take out your silverware & experiment
- Doing this in advance will help you decide if you need to buy or borrow 🙂
- Always keep additional stacks of paper napkins & disposable cutlery in stock. You never know when you might need them
- Assign bowls, platters & serving spoons for each of the dishes at the party
- If kids are at a party, then get a few disposable cutlery / unbreakable plates, spoons & bowls. All are happy 🙂
- If it is a dance, drinks or a large crowd party, refrain from using your most expensive cutlery. Trust me. You will thank me for it. I have burned my fingers with this one!
- And guess what, even the guests are very conscious with expensive wares. The goal is to have a blast! Keep it simple
1-2 DAYS: FINAL PREP
Source: Country Living
- Complete all the food prep work you can.
- Move around your furniture and make space as you have planned
- Stack away all the expensive items on display – which may hinder the movement
- Set up the food, beverage & dessert stations – with all the serveware
- Decide the order of the food service
- Add post-it notes on each bowl to indicate what your are going to serve
- IMPORTANT: Designate multiple areas for waste disposal – drinks, food, cutlery, etc
- Fresh flower arrangements are best styled on the day of the party
- Ask all your helping hands to come over a day earlier, so that you can explain how they can help you. You need to help them help you
- Keep a first aid kit handy
- Make all your washrooms & restrooms available for guests. Don’t forget to stock it with necessary toiletery essentials
- Floating Crowd: For the convenience of the guests, ensure the main course is set up early on
DAY 0: HAVE A BLAST
If you are like me, you haven’t slept well that night. The To-Do list is running wild in your head. It’s ok.. That’s normal.. I think.. Happens to some of them 😉
A personal lesson I have learnt which helped me a lot.I tend to become this multi tasking robot on the day. I also look like one! My family wouldn’t even come close to upsetting me on this day. I have a clear mission in mind. Get the party rolled out perfectly.
In the process, I realized, something will always go wrong or is not perfect or will not turn out the way you want it to. So, there is no point in the mission I was pursuing – ‘Perfect Party’ – there is no such thing.
It’s most important to have the ‘PERFECT FUN’! So, you have done your best. Now, on the day of the party, just have fun! If something unexpected comes by. It’s fine. It can be dealt with!
THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP:
MAKE IT FUN & LIVELY & LOVING: If it is a super fun & lively party, that little cold appetizer, less quantity of desserts, or plastic drinks glasses. Are all forgiven. Actually people won’t even think about it. It’s all in your head. And you know it!
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CRAFTED WITH LOVE
A Mom. Engineer. Marketer. I have an obsession towards all things awesome & beautiful.
My blog is a curated platform hoping to inspire & help you craft the best celebrations.
More importantly, I hope to experience a melting pot of stories, conversations, fun & everything ‘Scrumdiddlyumptiously Awesome’!