Our essential party planning checklist

Planning a party need not be stressful if you stick to a checklist. With all the glorious technology available in the modern age that run our lives, sometimes a simple checklist is enough to help us ensure we stick to the plan and, most importantly, do not forget anything! Here is what a typical party planning checklist should contain…

Set a date

First and foremost decide on and stick to a date and time for the party. Having a date set in stone will essentially give you your ‘deadline’ thus you plan all tenets of your party to meet this date. To put it into context, it is impossible to send invites, organise caterers and so forth if you don’t know when your party is due to commence!

Decide on a theme

Once again, decide on a theme before you send invitations for obvious reasons. It is always nice and useful to have a theme because it makes sure all guests are in matching attire and it can also help guide the itinerary of the party.

Write and send invites

Draw up a guest list and send out invitations at least three weeks before the party, at minimum. This allows potential guests to make themselves available for the party and gives them a chance to respond. It goes without saying to include details of any theme, directions to the venue and anything else you feel guests should know in advanced such as parking arrangements. Additionally, it is good practice to over invite. Chances are not each and every single guest invited can attend, this will ensure you receive the desired attendance level.

Decide on a menu

If you’re having a party at home and are planning to cook for your guests, an ideal menu is one that can be prepared a day in advance and frozen to be heated up on the day of the party. Another option is to hire caterers who can take away the stress of drumming up an entire menu! An added advantage for using caterers is they’ll usually take care of entire hospitality experience such as provision of waiting staff and cleaning facilities. You’ll also need not worry about left overs!

Decide on a playlist

Choose a playlist that reflects the theme of the party or the season, if you do not have a theme. Depending on your chosen playlist, YouTube can do most of the work for you. For example, there are many summer and seasonable playlists available on there that can be played directly from the site or downloaded. Please do make sure the playlist is long enough to last the entire duration of the party, to avoid any awkwardness! If you want a bit more flexibility and a custom made playlist or songs to be played at certain periods during the party, this can be done but requires more effort so ensure you leave enough time to do this.


If preparing the menu yourself, make a list of and shop for all your grocery requirements. Additionally, shop for all other items that may be required such as decoration, drinks, party hampers, gifts and so forth.

Cleaning and preparation

As you get closer to the date of the much anticipated party it’s time to give the house thorough clean. Perform a detailed vacuum (including gaps between the sofas), clean the curtains, and wipe all the dry tea stains from the coffee table and water spots from glasses. Simultaneously, commence setting the stage for the party and perform any furniture rearrangement, preparation of relevant cutlery and crockery, fragrance the house and remove anything that is fragile. The last thing you want is your great grandmothers antique items that have been passed down from generation to generation to become damaged. Lastly, stock up on drinks, label anything as appropriate such as your dishes (meat free, contains nuts etc.), specifying a place for coats, set up any additional decoration and stock up on cleaning products for any inevitable spills during the party.

Notify neighbours

It is good etiquette and manners to invite your neighbours, but if you don’t want to, the least you can do I give them a heads up on the anticipated noise and the expected strain on parking facilities!

Eve/On the day of the party

Last but not least a few things to keep in mind for the eve and day of the party. Use the day before the party to do any last minute cooking, cleaning, preparation and purchases! On the day of the party arrange tables and chairs appropriately, set out display of the food (set out appetisers first and keep mains warm) and when the first guest rings the bell, let the party begin!


So that’s it! That’s our definitive part planning checklist. If you want to enquire about marquee hire in Hertfordshire or the surrounding areas, feel free to get in touch!


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