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A Stress-Free, Step-By-Step List to Planning The Perfect Summer Party

A Stress-Free, Step-By-Step List to Planning The Perfect Summer Party

A Stress-Free, Step-By-Step List to Planning The Perfect Summer Party

Summer is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to party!

 

Warmer weather conjures images of lounging by the pool, chillin’ in the backyard, and sitting on the front porch. It’s the perfect time to have a party with outdoor space available. So, what’s stopping you? Is it the overall stress of planning a party? Well, that’s another benefit of being organized: party planning comes easy!

 

I’ve created a list of the steps you need to take and when you need to take them in order to plan a simple, stress-free summer party at your place.

 

 


2 Months Before The Party

 

STEP 1: BUDGET

Before you do anything, you need to decide how much money you’re able to spend on this party. Once you determine a budget, you’ll know how many people you can invite and how much/what kind of food and beverages you can offer.

 

STEP 2: DATE

Determining the date of the party is based not only on which date works for you, but also which date works best for the guests you’d like to invite, which brings me to…

 

STEP 3: GUEST LIST

Write out your guest list. Look at your guest list. Do the people on your guest list have high expectations for parties, or are they more easy-going? That will also help you determine what type of party you’re going to plan.

 

STEP 4: THEME

Determine the theme of the party. Is a laid back BBQ? A birthday party for someone special? Independence Day party? Or a costume party? Figure out your party’s mood, the colors, the concepts – the overall theme of your party. That will help you to determine…

 

 


6 Weeks Before The Party

 

STEP 5: INVITATIONS

Based on your theme, create or buy invitations. Send them out at least 4 weeks in advance. I like to send out invitations at least 6 weeks in advance. Before 6 weeks, I might send a Save The Date or inform guests via word of mouth to ensure their attendance. Make the deadline for the RSVP at least one week before the party so that you have a final headcount to purchase food and beverages.

 

STEP 6: FOOD & BEVERAGES

Will you be catering food? Will you take on the daunting task of cooking and baking food yourself? Or will it be a potluck? This is something that should be determined based on your budget and the number of people you’re inviting. If your party starts at 8pm, chances are people will not be hungry for dinner and you can simply provide beverages and snacks. If you’re having a picnic, then food should be served. Make sure you have more than enough food for the number of guests you’re inviting.

 

 


4 Weeks Before The Party

 

STEP 7: ORDER THE FOOD AND BEVERAGES

Call your caterer and beverage company to create a menu and agree on prices.  Purchase beverages ahead of time, or order beverages to be delivered closer to the date.

 

STEP 8: PURCHASE DECORATIONS

If you’re into balloons, banners, signs, and centerpieces based on the theme of your party, now would be a good time to shop online for deals or to go into stores to find what you’re looking for that fits your party’s theme. If you just need simple decorations like white plastic tablecloths and fresh flowers, you can wait until the week of the party to purchase.

 


1 Week Before The Party

 

STEP 9: RSVPs

If you still haven’t heard from certain guests, give them a call to confirm their attendance. Once you have the final headcount (and always prepare for more guests than the final headcount to arrive)… you can…

 

STEP 10: PURCHASE DECORATIONS & SUPPLIES

Unless you want to use your own dishes and glassware, I recommend purchasing paper or plastic forks, knives, spoons, wine glasses, beer cups, napkins, and tablecloths. You can buy all of these items at a dollar store. Don’t forget to recycle!!!

 

 

 


Night Before The Party:

 

STEP 11: CLEAN AND MAKE SPACE

Although your place might be super cute just the way it’s set up, you’ll probably need to move furniture and set up chairs and tables for your guests. Make sure you clean the bathroom (sink, tub, toilet, mirrors, floor) and dust, sweep, and vacuum other rooms. Sure, you’ll end up cleaning when party’s over, but you also want your guests to arrive in clean home. It is a good idea to move bulky items that will get in the way, and to store away valuable items to avoid getting broken. Accidents happen at parties!

 

STEP 12: SET UP CHAIRS AND TABLES

Set up extra chairs and tables for the following day. Place the tablecloths on the tables, and if your centerpieces are ready, set them up as well.

 

STEP 13: MAKE A MUSIC PLAYLIST

Create a playlist that fits the mood and theme of your party. Get the playlist and the speakers ready for the big day.

 

STEP 14: MAKE A LIST AND PRIORITIZE

Before you go to sleep, make a list to prioritize tasks for the following day. It might look something like this:

  1. Buy flowers from the store
  2. Set up centerpieces (flowers)
  3. Set up beverage table including glasses
  4. Set up food table including serving ware
  5. Set up any outdoor games for the party
  6. Make sure there’s enough toilet paper, paper towels, napkins available
  7. Turn on the music!
  8. Get dressed!
  9. Set up the food or
  10. Have a glass of wine and wait for the caterers.
  11. Welcome guests, and have fun!

 


The Day Of The Party

 

STEP 15: THE BIG DAY

Follow the list you created last night and enjoy yourself!

 

 


The Day After The Party

Put on your gloves and start cleaning up!  Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for a fun, stress-free party.

 

 

Brigit

My goal is to help you become more organized so that you can spend your time in meaningful ways.
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