When planning for a big party, it's a good idea to create a timeline of the tasks you have to complete so that you're not running around panicked an hour before your guests arrive. Read on for a sample timeline that will help you host an unforgettable event without breaking a sweat.
Three Weeks Before
If you want to choose a theme that will inform your decor and menu, think about your options well ahead of time. Once you've settled on a theme, you even can use it to design your invitations, which should go out about three weeks before the big event. Invitations over social media, emailed invitations, and formal mailed invitations are all acceptable; however, the more formal your event, the more formal your invitations should be. Be sure to include attire instructions, if there are any, and RSVP info. Asks your guests to RSVP by a week before your event.
This also is a good time to plan your menu so that guests can inform you of allergies as they RSVP. Keep the weather in mind (have a Plan B if your backyard BBQ gets rained out) and think about what foods are in season.
Two Weeks Before
If you're having a formal party, wash your tablecloths and napkins. If you're planning to serve with crystal and silver, clean and polish your serving dishes and utensils. Compare your serving dishes to your menu to see if you need to pick up an extra platter or two before your party day.
One Week Before
Give your house a thorough cleaning so you'll only have to do spot cleaning throughout the week leading up to the party. If you're just too busy to do a thorough cleaning, consider hiring housekeeping services, such as Windsor Maid Services, to give your house a deep clean. Ask them to pay particular attention to the bathroom your guests will be using.
This also is a good time to begin to set the stage. Think about where you'll set up your bar and where you will arrange appetizers. Before planning to put everything in the kitchen, remember that you'll likely need to be in there finishing the cooking and might not want a kitchen that's full of guests.
Three Days Before
Get all of your grocery and wine shopping done to avoid any last-minute trips to the grocery store. Anything that can be made a few days ahead — like sauces and salad dressings — should be made.
Decorate your house, pick up and arrange the flowers, and do as much prep work in the kitchen as you can. Chop vegetables and marinate meats so that you'll have a little time to relax on the day of your party.
Finish your cooking, lay out your serving ware, and choose a fabulous outfit for the party. Half an hour before guests are expected, light the candles, turn on the music, and pour a glass of wine for yourself. Now relax and enjoy your party!