How to Plan a Party & Free Party Planning Checklist

How to Plan a Party - Party Planning Checklist

Planning a party can be a stressful business! There’s so much to organise and if you leave it until the last-minute, it’s easy to forget about important party essentials.

That’s why we’ve put together our free printable party planning checklist to help you stay organised. We’ve done the stressful bit of making a list of everything you need for your party – now it’s just up to you to tick it all off as you go along.

You’ll find our top tips on how to plan a party below and you can download our free party planning checklist at the end of this post.

1. Choose your party theme

This one’s a biggie because you can’t really plan anything until you’ve chosen your party theme. But there are so many themes to choose from that you can feel a bit spoilt for choice!

Most parties fall into one of the following four categories so we’d recommend browsing party themes by category to help you narrow down your choice. Choose from:

Orange Pom Poms for a Birthday Party

2. Define your budget

Next up, decide how much you want to spend. This is really important because the cost can really add up when you impulse buy. The best way to avoid over-spending is to set a budget and stick to it.

How much should you spend on a party? This is up to you but once you’ve set your budget, the real planning can start!

3. Set a date, choose your venue and prepare the guest list

These are the nitty gritty details that are best sorted out early on. Throwing your party at home and limiting the guest list to a reasonable number is one of the best ways to throw a party on a budget, but if you can afford to be a bit more extravagant then why not hire a venue?

Just make sure you let people know when it will be a couple of weeks in advance so that they can save the date (which brings us to our next point…)

How to Plan a Party with Neon Tableware

4. Send your invites

There’s no point planning a party if you don’t give people enough notice to save the date. We’d recommend sending your invites about three weeks before the party to avoid people making conflicting plans. Personalised invitations can be a nice little touch if you’re celebrating a really special occasion like an engagement or a baby shower.

5. Stock up on party supplies and decorations

This is where the real fun starts! Decide whether you want to go simple or all out (why wouldn’t you?) and pick decorations that match your party theme.

Party Planning Checklist Bunting

Paper decorations like fans, pom poms and honeycomb decorations can look super stylish and it doesn’t take a creative genius to make them look good! Stick to a few main colours to guarantee your party decorations look perfectly colour-coordinated.

Pink Fan Decorations

6. Order a birthday cake

If you’re planning a birthday party, you mustn’t forget this!!! Order it a couple of weeks in advance to make sure it’s ready on time and if you’re making your own, it’s a good idea to do a trial run on new recipes to avoid any baking disasters!

If you’re no Mary Berry, you could always buy a pre-made supermarket cake and jazz it up with some cute cake bunting like the cake below.

Happy Birthday Cake Bunting

7. Plan your party food (but don’t buy anything)

Whether you’re on a budget or not, plan out what party food you’ll need in advance to make sure you’ll have enough to feed everyone. If you’re sharing the role of caterer, planning things out in advance will help you organise who’s bringing what.

Party Food - Neon Ice Cream Tubs

8. Buy a birthday present

This is a no-brainer but don’t forget to buy a birthday present! And when you do, top it off with some cute wrapping and a stylish gift tag.

Neon Tags for a Birthday Present

9. Purchase your party food and pick up the cake

Three days prior to the party is enough time to make sure you have everything you need and make sure everything is still fresh by the day of the party.

10. Decorate the venue and get the party started!

Thanks to your amazing organisational skills (and our handy party checklist), everything should be sorted by the day of the party! All that’s left to do is decorate the venue, get ready and have fun!

Confetti Cannon for a Birthday Party

Download our free party planning checklist here

Download our free party planning checklist