Fall is in the air and it’s time to start thinking about your holiday parties. Whether it’s a fall bonfire, a Friendsgiving luncheon, a Thanksgiving dinner or a holiday cocktail party, we have 5 tips to help you plan that party.
1. Start with a Checklist
Our checklist includes a place for the budget, guest list and menu. It also includes a place for rentals and your grocery list. It’s a great place for us to start and to have everything in one place.
If you like entertaining, you may want to considering keeping your sheets in a 3-ring binder. That way you will have ideas for all parties going forward.
2. Pinterest Boards
Chances are someone has planned a party similar to yours and what better way to get ideas than from other people. Start by setting up a board for your party. Now that you can add sections to each board, create one for FOOD, TABLESCAPE, COCKTAILS, INVITATIONS. As you go through Pinterest looking how others planned their parties, you can save them to the right section of your future party. It’s a great way to keep organized.
Here’s a snapshot of one of ours:
3. Drink Calculator
If your party is not BYOB, you will need to figure out what you want to serve. Always think about your group and what they drink. If I’m having a luncheon, it’s a mimosa bar. If it’s a girl’s night out, it’s Sangria or wine and a signature cocktail. If it’s coed, it’s usually wine and beer.
The general rule is to calculate 2 drinks per person for the 1st hour. 1 drink per hour thereafter.
Once you have your guest list, how are you going to invite them? For a casual party, you can always use a cute email or something like Paperless Post. If you want to send a paper invitation, you can create your own with our DIY blank invitations or if you have a bigger budget, you can purchase them from somewhere online like Zazzle. When ordering printed invitations, remember you timelines for RSVPs.
5. Plan Ahead
A few days prior to your event, plan out your food table. Write a piece of paper with each item on it. Then divide them into ones that need to be heated, etc. Pull all the dishes and serving utensils for each item and place them on the table just like you want them for the event. Put the corresponding piece of paper on each dish. This will make sure you have everything you need and let you know what needs cleaning or purchasing prior to the event.
Once everything is laid out, draw a diagram to help you remember and then stack each dish with the piece of paper on top of each other out of the way until the party.