Thowing a dinner party can be fun but when you are on a budget and pressed for time, things can start to lose their charm (at least until it's time for the party to finally begin. Especially when you've got a family, career and plenty of other activities already filling your plate.
As a family and career woman, there have been plenty of times that I needed to put a party quick whether it was for myself, a friend or even a last minute client. In my experiences and years of networking with others in the party/event planning field, I have narrowed down the best ways to get everything done in a timely an yet fashionable manner.
Here are 5 ways to keep your dinner party planning simple, satisfying and stree-free as possible.
1.) Make a Plan for Each and Every Day Leading Up to the Party
This is going to help you get all of your planning out of your head and onto paper to make focusing more easy. From everything you need to purchase from a grocery list, to the night of the party and the things in between, making a list certainly makes things easier.
When your list is complete, prioritze your list by the most important that needs to be completed first. Many things like recipes, flower arrangements and even music playlists can be set the day of or before, while cleaning tasks and other errands that may take longer should be given top priproty.
2.) Focus on Keeping Your Recipes Simple
Speaking of recipes, you want to keep things simple and avoid recipes that will take you will need to spend a lot of time on, unless of course you want to order catering instead. You don't always need to plan for a 5-star dinner, and would be surpised at some of the recipes you can complete for cheap.
Stick with recipes that you are familiar with or have used before. The week before your party is no time to begin trying something new.
3.) Designate a Drink 'Keeper'
Well, maker, not keeper. Many people enjoy having drinks at their parties and when these babies are in demand it can take much of your demand too. Designating a specific person to play bartender can save you time, energy and even create a new role for one of your party guests.
The drink keeper could be a friend, neighbor and spouse that keeps water glasses on the tables full, cocktails served and whatever type of beverages you're offering flowing through the night.
4.) Keep Your Guest List Small
If you really want a party that's quick and simple to plan, try keeping your list of guests small. Not only does this keep your party requirements manageable, but it ensures there will be enough room for everyone.
Also, it will save you time and money on food not to mention leave you with less leftovers if a few people aren't able to make it. A good rule of thumb is to plan for no more than 6 dinner guests.
Planning a party can be exciting and fun, yet overwhelming at the same time. Whether it's a Christmas, birthday, bachelorette, or again any other type of party you can think of, this list will serve you well as an assistant that will guide you along the way.
So here you go - a step-by-step list of what to do 2 months before your party all the way until 2 hours before.
2 Months Before
1.) Obviously, you want to decide on a date and place for your party.
If you have a hard time making decisons or change your mind easily, really take the time to plan this vital information so you don't have to possibly spend more time and money re doing invitations and telling people alternative places to go.
2.) Choose a theme for your party. If you need some ideas to get your juices flowing, I suggest checking out Stylecaster.
3.) Decide on a budget includes an estimated cost of all of your supplies, within reason. You can do plenty of research online to get an idea of what your supplies will cost.
4.) Begin Brainstorming. Think of the type of food you want to serve, the decor, flowers, tables, arrangements, etc. Let your creativity flow by identifying unique and fun ideas that your guests will love.
3 Weeks Before
1.) Order the party favors you have narrowed down.
2.) Make sure you have enough supplies to cover the amount of guests you invited, plus their guests if you mentioned for them to invite any. For larger parties it's usually best to rent your utensils and serving pieces.
3.) If you decided on any, order the flowers from your local florist. Grocery store floral departments sometimes have better deals, but possible lower quality work. Remember, it's always best to do your research.
4.) Rent chairs, tables, and linens for the sufficient amount of guest invited.
5.) Probably the most important thing you have to do-mail or email the invitations.
2 Weeks Before
1.) Make a master shopping list. Now is the time to grab those last minute items and if you are doing the cooking, a master grocery list of the items you will need for your menu.
2.) If you're doing the cooking, plan out the time it will take to make each dish to ensure that everything gets done on time.
3.) If possbile, go ahead and prepare your food items that can be kept frozen.
THE Week Before
1.) Many adult parties aren't complete without the liquor. If you haven't already done it, obtain wine, beer, and/or liquor for your guest to sip on and enjoy. If you really want a crowd pleaser, throw in a small survery with your invitation and have them return it when the RSVP so will have a better idea for what to buy.
2.) What's a party without music? Go ahead and set up a playlist now so you can keep rockin without stoppin.
3.) Follow up with any guest that has yet to RSVP.
2 Days Before
1.) Make sure your silverware and tableware are clean. If your renting, no worries.
2.) Time to pick up any last minute grocery items.
THE Day Before
1.) If you have neighbors, be courteous and let them know there will be a lot of cars outside any some may possible park in front of their house. Wouldn't you want to be informed if you we're going to possibly have trouble getting in and out of your driveway?
2.) Prepare any food that can stay refrigerated and fresh, such as fruits, vegetable, beverages, and salads.
3.) Make sure the area of the party is nice, clean, and comfortable.
THE Day Of: 2 Hours Before
1.) Set tables or if you have hired a catering staff, step back and let them get to work. :)
2.) Check twice to make sure everything you planned is in place.
3.) Relax and breathe! Everything is going to be great!
So you're planning a surprise party and go figure, actually want it to be a surprise. This isn't usually difficult, but you never know when something may pop up along the way and intervein. There are actually ways to semi prevent this from happening and in this article today I would like to dicuss them. But first I would like to share the story with you that inspired me to write on this subject in the first place.
Just a month ag my friend threw a surprise birthday party for her husband and the surprise ended up being ruined because she forgot to make sure he didn't come home at his normal time, lol. My friend Sandy was so dissapointed at first but ended up laughing at her mistake. The point is that I was reminded of how important it is to cover your bases when throwing a surpise party so it actually stays a surprise. Here are 4 steps you can follow every time to make sure your surprise party is one of the best kept secrets of the year.
1.) The first and what some would consider to be the most important step, is to find an accomplice to plan a fake activity to distract the party person with until it's time for the party to begin. Multiple people can take part in this and them more of a distraction you can make, the better.
This may be slightly difficult but I promise it can work, but try to make sure the guest of honor is dressed appropriately for the party. For example, don't take them swimming and bring them back in a bikini or speedo. :) I think you get what I'm saying.
2.) Next, you really want to emphasize the starting time of the party so that all guests can be in place for when the guest of honor shows up. It doens't look good to be getting there late and running the risk of showing up at the same time as the guest of honor and throwing the whole thing off. The most optimal time for all guests to arrive is at least 30 minutes before. You never know when your guest and accomplices may show up early.
3.) Make sure your invitations specify that the party will be a surpise. You don't want them saying anything to the guest of honor by mistake and spilling the secret.
4.) Finally, don't overthink and stress yourself out. Surprise parties are supposed to be fun and you don't want to take things so seriously that you are constantly fretting over whether or not it will go as planned.
And there you have it! I sure learned a lot from this surprise party and was actually relieved that as a professional party planner, I had no part in it at all.
I hope you can utilize these tips the next time you or a friend decide to plan a surprsie party. See you next time!
When you're hosting a party at your home, everything has to look near perfect, right? Sometimes with all the planning, purchasing of party supplies and preparation it can be hard to find enough time to clean to your standards. Did you know it doesn't have to take a maid or the help of your family to get the task done?
Thanks to the help of one of our fabulous new employees that used to work for herself as a house cleaner, I am now armed with a quick clean list that can help slash the time and potential money it can take to get your house fully clean and ready before your big night.
The plan ranges through 7 days and lays out the tasks you need to complete in order.
Day #1: Form a Strategy
When you know exactly what needs to get done it can be a lot easier to get it done. Evaluate and make a list of everything that needs to be done before the day of the party. Walk through your home as though you we're the guest so you can take a different approach to cleaning. Stand at different angles around each of your rooms and even outside of your home. This way you can get a better look at the cleanliness of your windows, front door, yard, etc.
The more detailed your list, the more detailed the clean.
Day #2: Brighten Up Your Home
Dive into the dirty work first by cleaning the inside and outside of your windows and doors. And don't just stop at the Windex. Clean the creases for cobwebs and dust and if you have any doors that squeak, grab a can of WD-40 and take care of it.
Now is also a good time to sweep your porch and the pathway if you have one. Clear away any excess leaves or anything else that could potentially cause a guest to slip. If you have the time and/ or budget to hire a landscaper, trim up your plants, trees, or any other landscaping.
Moving on to brightening up the inside, toss your shower curtains in the washing machine if they aren't looking clean and clear.
Day #3: Bathrooms
Without a doubt there will be many guests going in and out of your bathrooms, especially if there's an open bar. ;) This is a room you don't want to leave anything out of.
Begin by scrubbing your toilet(s), showers, sink, shower, and/or bathtub until they shine. Make sure your counters are clear of clutter and looking sqeaky clean as well. You almost want it to look inviting. Last but certainly not least, make sure there will be enough toilet paper to make it through the entire party.
Day #4: Kitchen
Aside from the living room, the kitchen is where your guests will stand around and socialize and of course, eat so you want it to be extra clean. Start by cleaning all of your appliances and dusting if need be. Clean off your countertops the best that you can.
Now it's time to clean out that refridgerator. Get rid of anything you no longer need and organize the remaining items so the unit doesn't look so cluttered. If you're serving food at the party you will need all the space you can get for storage and prepartation.
Day #5: Create a Comfortable Guest Space
You want your guest to be comfortable and have enough room to space out. Clear anything out of the area that is junk or simply doesn't serve a purpose.
Clean any furniture, electronics, tables, and the floor space of the room you can the party focused in. Make sure your guests have a place to sit their drink and other belongings.
Day #6: Put on the Finishing Touches
Now is the time to tackle and dusting, sweeping or vacuming you need to do. Don't forget the bookshelves, staircases, tables, chairs, desks, electronics, and well you get it.
This may be common sense but it's best to dust before vacumming to ensure you get rid of the majority of it. Oh, and don't forget the ceiling fans.
Day#7 : Now for Some Last Minute Touches
It's the day of and you're rockin and ready to go. This is the time you use some last minutes cleaners and vacuum over your floor one last time. After all, if you have kids it can be very difficult to keep your house clean.
Light candles, burn incense, add some flower arrangements, and get ready for your party begin.
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We recently shared this cleaning plan with one of our frequent clients and her mind was blown away. It's amazing what you can get done with a little planning and organization! Hopefully to can utilize this list as well and get your cleaning done in half the time. We know that we mentioned earlier in the post that you may not need any help from your family or friends, but the last advice we have to offer is to outsource the work to these guys if you can. The quicker you can get it done the better.
Really though, the more people you have the more time can be spent on each of these tasks and they could have more detailed results.
Thanks guys! See you next time!
Hey there, guest! Welcome to our party.
Here you will find some of the hottest tips, tricks and ideas for planning parties on the web. So sit down and stay a while as we share everything you wanna know about planning the best parties.
Prepare you make your friends jealous because you're about to learn the secrets of the pros.
The crew of Roe Party Planners