Event Planning Checklist

Planning parties are fun because they bring together friends and family. It is a time for relaxation, catching up with the ones you love, and exchanging gifts if it’s that special time of year. 

Every party planner wants their event to be successful. And in order for this to happen, you need to carefully plan all the aspects of your party plan.

So where do you start?

The first thing you should start with is the guest list. Think of everybody that you are going to invite and simply make a list. Depending on the size of your event you may consider using Excel or Google Docs to create a simple spreadsheet. I like using Google Docs so you can share it easily with anyone else you may be co-planning the party with and it keeps track of who has edited the document last. Columns to consider adding into your spreadsheet are salutation, first and last name, address, and email address.

The next steps should happen in this suggested order: select your event date, venue location and time.

If you want to find the perfect event space, look for a venue that is easily accessible for all of your friends and family. If public transport is important to guests, look for a location that has access nearby so that people who do not drive can make easily get to your party. If guests are traveling from out of town, you might consider a venue inside or near a hotel.

Whether you plan to order invitations or email them I always rely on Emily Posts’ suggestions for the invitation timeline:

The EventWhen to Invite
Anniversary party 3 to 6 weeks
Bar or Bat Mitzvah 1 month
Bon Voyage party Last-minute to 3 weeks
Casual party Same day to 2 weeks
Charity Ball 6 weeks to 3 months
Christmas party 1 month
Cocktail party 1 to 4 weeks
Debutante Ball 6 weeks to 3 months
Formal dinner 3 to 6 weeks
Graduation party 3 weeks
Housewarming party A few days to 3 weeks
Informal dinner A few days to 3 weeks
Lunch or Tea A few days to 2 weeks
Holiday dinner 2 weeks to 2 months

There are a few things to remember if you are printing your invitations. Add in the time it takes to place your order and for the invitations to be printed and returned to you. This process could take up to two weeks depending on the vendor. You might also consider adding additional time to your invitation timeline for mailing which can take between 5 to 10 days through USPS.

As you start looking at designing the event and the overall feel of the party you should consider if you want to have a party which is a sit-down meal, or perhaps you would prefer something a little more upbeat? This will dictate a lot of other factors such as how you decorate the venue and the time the party will start.

Finally, another important part is of course how much money you have available to spend on your party venue. You should make sure that you devise a strict budget, after all, you will not enjoy your party if you have spent more money then you know you can afford.

In order to find a budget-friendly venue, start with a general search online and then consider taking tours of the spaces to make sure they will fit not only your budget but the style, guest size and overall design of the party.

As you can see, there is a lot to think about when it comes to planning a party. Hopefully, a few of my tips will help you when planning your next gathering.

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