The key to successfully throwing a well planned party or special event has to do with how you go about organizing, delegating and following through on action items. The more attendees involved, the more crucial good planning is. As with preparing a meal, timing is everything. Therefore putting together a timeline checklist for your event will help you make sure all your work is properly coordinated.
To start, make lists of tasks that can be done well in advance and those for the day of the party. Compare this to the timeline planner below and make the needed modifications according to your menu, shopping lists and other budgeted items.
FOUR WEEKS BEFOREPut together your guest list and gather addresses and phone numbers
Order or make invitations
Plan your menu
Finalize the space layout and decorations
Using Shopping List #1 purchase decorations, paper goods, and other supplies, non-perishable foods and drinks
Contact those who will help with the party
Address and mail your invitations
Write a list of your background and dance music (stick with the theme of yourparty). Remember to include the song title, artist, band and year of release
THREE WEEKS BEFOREConfirm any friends, family, and hired service people working the party
Telephone guests who have not responded to your invitations so you can get adefinite guest count for food and space requirements.
Put together a music CD of background, mood or dance music
Make needed preparations for out of town guests such as guest rooms, hotel reservations.
Pick out what you plan to wear at the party and have it cleaned.
TWO WEEKS BEFORESee that table linens are clean and ready to go. Put the linens under a bright light for inspection. Remove all stains. Decide on tableware and serving items
Wash less all serving or table items.
Get locks put on your bedroom closet or lock the bedroom door itself. Don’t hesitate to secure all valuables.
THREE DAYS BEFOREClean your house if the party is at home or your plan to have out-of-town guests stop by before or after the party
Make sure all appliances that you’ll be using work properly.
Using Shopping List #2 shop for any last-minute food or supplies
Shop for bulk items and less perishable foods
Touch base with contracted services
Assign specific tasks to your committee members/volunteers
Make preparations for cleaning up, returning equipment, etc.
Make some party foods and freeze them.
TWO DAYS AHEAD
Contact your decorating team
Begin decorating your home or party facility
There is plenty of time to get those items you may have forgotten
ONE DAY AHEADUsing Shopping List #3 shop for perishable and last minute items.
Move furniture and put away delicate items that could suffer damage
Make cold desserts and dishes that can be refrigerated overnight.
Set up tables
DAY OF PARTYLock up all your breakable and valuable possessions
Finalize the decorations and place settings
Call all help together and give motivational instructions
Set up an area in or near the kitchen for returning used dishes and waste
Clear dishwasher for use as needed
Chill all cold beverages
3-4 hours before event start cooking.
TWO HOURS BEFORE EVENTTurn on relaxing upbeat music
Light a candle and take a relaxing bath or hand shower.
Enjoy the moment.
Put out your clothes and shoes
Fill the home or facility with natural scented fragrances if desired
ONE HOUR BEFOREMix the punch and put out the punch bowl, drinking glasses and napkins
Set out cheeses and non-perishable appetizers and snacks
Prepare to greet your guests as each arrives
Point out the areas of your home or facilities they can help themselves to such as the coat room, closets, guest room, bathroom or restroom, finished basement, etc.
Serve drinks on the top of the hour that your party is scheduled to begin
Once all are served drinks formally welcome all to the event highlighting the theme of your party
While conversing with groups present some fun ice breakers
Turn up the music a few notches and encourage mingling
Check on cooked items
A few minutes later invite guests to be seated in dining area
Play three of the following games"Getting To Know You" - Write a list of questions commonly asked to get to know someone. Example: Your pets name. Your favorite sports team. Your favorite drink. Your favorite dish. Best game ever. Books you love to read over and over. Cut the list between each sentence in slips and put the slips in a box.
Have each guest pull out a slip and answer the "Getting To Know You" statement.
"How You And Your Guest Met" - Tell a short story about how you met each guest.
"Something You Always Wanted To Try"- Name something you always wanted to try like hang-gliding, deep sea diving or parachuting.
Serve DessertAfter serving dessert serve a warm beverage like coffee and/or tea
Allow all to continue to mingle.
Now would be a good time to introduce the household pet.
Thank those who cooked and served dinner or made the dessert.
AN HOUR LATER
Give each departing guest a token of the occasion such as a small bag of cookies or cupcake.
As guests leave escort them to the door and see them off.
To get more information about the Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app click on the link on this blog page and or profiles.
Most of all, enjoy the party!