Plan a Stress Free Party

Planning, planning, planning......the key to success!


Plan ahead and start setting up for your party days in advance.


1. Consider if you want to host a formal or informal event.

2.  How many guests are you inviting?

3.  The answers to the first 2 questions will help you decide on the food menu.  Will it be hors d'oeuvres only, hors d'oeuvres and an entree? Will it be buffet, sit down or passing hors d'oeuvres?  Available space may dictate the answer to these questions. Will it be catered, prepared by you or a combination of both?

4.  For a formal event, do you have the dishware you need to set an inviting table? For an informal event, will you be using china dishes or paper plates and plastic cutlery? (from of course)! A special event that you don't need china for?  We have elegant paper plates trimmed in gold color that look like china dishes! Check them out under our ELEGANT category. Remember linen or plastic/paper tablecovers.

5.  What beverages will you be serving? Is it a self-serve bar set up or will you have servers?  What glassware will you use; glass or plastic?  Always have bottled water or pitchers of water for guests and glasses!

6.  What method will you use for th invitations? What is the RSVP date? It should be at least one week before the party so you can get your ingredients & food items in advance.

7.  One month before the party you should have a good idea on menu choices because you will need to order from catering services at this time to be sure you are not disappointed.

8. One month before the party decide on decorations and order them.  This is one of those things you can get done well in advance.

9.  Two weeks before the party prepare the shopping list. Remember bar items and beverages!  Create the list with items to buy on this trip and items to purchase closer to the party.

10.  One week before the party take inventory on the serving dishes you need and what dishes your guests will be using while eating your delicious food! Remember to consider appetizers when deciding what serving dishes and guest dishes to use.  If you have an area not used much, set your dishes out with the appropriate serving utensils.  Put a sticky note in the dish and be sure you have all food items accounted for.

11.   Shop for non-perishable items you need....or place an order for delivery. Buy any additional items you discovered you need for serving. Be sure you have glasses for your drinks.

12.  3  days before: Will you have a coffee and dessert bar?  Where will you set it up?

13.  3 days before:  Are there any menu items that you can make in advance? Try to put one or two items on your menu that you can make in advance.

14.  1 day before:  What is the bar set up decided in #5? Set up the bar with glasses, napkins, stirrers on this day, if possible.  Prepare food today that will hold; cut cheese, slice vegetables; slice bread if you are making bruschetta; (or buy it sliced...even better); cut, cube, dice or slice any items that you will need for the day of the party for food preparation...including limes or lemons for drinks and water.  Store prepped food in plastic bags, taking up less refrigerator space.

15.  1 day before:  Decorate; create your tablescape; set up dishes guests will be using for eating.

16.  Party day!  Get up early so you won't get stressed about finishing on time while allowing YOU time to get ready!  Always allow more time than you expect things will take, because everything doesn't go as planned!  If your party starts at 3:00; plan your day and be ready for a 2:30 start.

17.  Plate anything early in the day that won't get stale: p-nuts; wrapped candy, etc.

18. ENJOY!!  Be proud of the fact that you are able to enjoy your guests and did not stress over planning an exceptional event!