10 Steps to a Successful Party - Free Printable
Updated: Oct 4, 2019
Does planning parties stress you out? It can be so overwhelming especially if you don't know where to start. I've got you covered! In this post I'm going to walk you through the 10 steps to hosting a successful party.
FREE PARTY BUDGET & CHECKLIST PRINTABLE:
Before we dive into these tips I have created a free printable party planning budget sheet and checklist that will help you as you start planning your party.
TIP 1: PLAN AHEAD
Planning ahead is essential with being able to host a successful party. You must first select your date. Once you know when it is you can start establishing the other factors like location, party theme etc.
You also need to establish your budget! You need to know how much you have set aside for the party and keep track of what you are spending throughout your party planning. If you do not have a budget established or do not track your spending you will easily start spending beyond your means. Make sure to download the free budget printable as that will be a great resource. I would suggest breaking your budget down by category so have a certain amount of money set aside for decor, food, party favors etc. You can print of as many sheets of the budget as you have categories.
STEP 2: SEND OUT INVITES!
Once you have all of your details set it is now time to let everyone know about the party. You could do this electronically or create printed invites.
If you are going electronic you could keep it as simple as putting together a facebook event. For print I would suggest using snapfish.com or shutterly.com for designed invites, you can often find discount codes for these sites as well. Another great resource is canva.com. Canva is an online design website where you can create your own invite or use one of their templates, it is a great resource if you want a designed piece but you do not have design software.
TIP 3: START PLANNING/SHOPPING
Now you need to start really thinking about your party's aesthetic. Are you going to decorate? If so I would suggest concentrating your decor in two areas, where the food will be and where presents will be opened.
Utilizing the free checklist will really help you stay on task with all of your party to do's. Another option is you could utilize trello.com and create a board for your party. Trello is a free online project management system. I will be doing a video all about trello in the future but for the baby shower I hosted I created a board and collected all of my ideas for the party there as well as shopping lists, to do's etc.
Pinterest is another great option for decor, party games and menu inspiration. For this party I ended up doing several DIY's in order to save on cost. Make sure you check out the video to see how I created these clouds!
You will also want to think about party favors or prizes for the games. I have had really good luck at the Dollar Tree with finding gifts. Another great option is to check out clearance, especially if you are at the end of a holiday season. I was able to snag some clearance candy for the guest gift goodies bags.
TIP 4: MENU PLAN/GROCERY SHOP
It is important to plan ahead when it comes to what you will be serving at the party. Plan out your menu, will it be a full meal or just appetizers or dessert?
Keep your menu simple. One thing that I like to do to cut down on prep time ahead of the party is to do self-serve stations. For example at the baby shower I had a yogurt bar so instead of assembling the yogurt parfaits myself I set it up as a self-serve station so the guests could build their own. It cut out all of the prep time for me and it allowed my guests the ability to choose what they wanted.
You also want to stick to food that you know, you don't want to stress yourself out by trying 3 new pinterest dishes on the day of the party. Don't forget to ask for help! If someone offers to help out with the party take them up on it! Even if it is as simple as bringing an extra bag of ice anything will help to take something off your plate.
One other thing that I did that really helped save me time was to do Walmart grocery pick up. Instead of spending the time shopping in the store I was able to utilize my time doing other things for the shower. If you want to try it out you can save $10 off your first order.
TIP 5: FOLLOW UP ON RSVP
You want to make sure you get an approximate count for guests in order to make sure you have enough food, seating and guest gifts. I like to account for extras as I never want to run out of food or don't have enough gifts for the guests.
TIP 6: CLEAN
Spread out your cleaning throughout the week of the party, I like to do the majority of the cleaning a few days before the party and then the day before I'll finish with the high traffic areas. On the day of the party I like to do a quick walk through and get any missed areas as well as concentrate on the bathroom making sure there is a fresh towel etc.
Don't stress too much though because you know you are going to have to clean it again after all those people come over! Nobody is going to be inspecting all of your picture frames to make sure you dusted them all, they are just going to be thrilled to be at the party and apart of the celebration.
TIP 7: DETERMINE PARTY FLOW
I like to determine the flow of the party in advance. I will typically sketch out a floor plan or the tables-cape so that I know where I want the drinks, food, gifts etc. It is helpful to know where everything will go so you can plan for if you need to get extra tables or move furniture around.
I often will do a dry run by moving the furniture into place and setting out the serving dishes. You can even use sticky notes to write out where you will put the different dishes you are preparing.
STEP 8: SET UP EARLY
If possible I like to set up the party decor a day or two in advance. Since I typically keep my decorations to the mantel and then the food table it is easy for me to set up early. By setting up early it is one less thing that you need to stress about on the day of the party. It also will help you visualize and make sure you have everything you need.
I will also move the table into place and have my serving dishes out the night before so it is all ready for me on the party day.
STEP 9: COOK AHEAD/MAKE EXTRA
To alleviate the stress of cooking on party day try cooking ahead. Maybe it is a dish you can make ahead and freeze and just heat up on party day or for the shower I hosted I ended up baking the muffins the day before so I wasn't baking for hours on the day of the party.
Also think about making extra! Often times with parties there are leftovers but what I'm talking about is batch cooking something that you could easily freeze for later. For example for the baby shower I ended up doubling the muffin recipes so that I could have leftovers and freeze them for those days that we need a quick breakfast.
STEP 10: PARTY DAY
If you incorporate the steps above the hope is that it will make the day of the party less stressful so that you can just concentrate on your guests.
I like to just do a quick pick up of the house, check the bathrooms and just make sure it is guest ready. You will also need to finish the food prep but if you baked ahead it will be more of just getting everything out on your trays.
If you need to finish putting up last minute decor or setting out the guest gifts you will want to do that at this time as well. Once everything is set all that is left to do is PARTY!
Don't forget to snag your free party planning budget and checklist! I really hope this along with the tips above will help you have a successful party!