Birthday party countdown

Birthday party planning can be stressful, so we’ve come up with a quick checklist to make sure it goes off without a hitch…

Two months beforehand

  • Choose a date and a venue.
  • Compose the guest list. People get booked up quickly so send a ‘save the date’ card to your prospective guests, especially grandparents and godparents.
  • Decide whether you want to theme your party — if you do, now’s the time to think about how you’ll carry the theme out.
  • If you want to hold the party in an outside venue rather than at home, then choose and book your venue now.

One month beforehand

  • Send out invitations, remembering to include directions and other details as appropriate. Ask people to RSVP.
  • Buy decorations and fun party favours from the confetti shop — and don’t forget disposable cameras so that all of your guests can help to record the fun.

Three weeks beforehand

  • Decide what you want to do about food and drink — will you concentrate on snack foods, or will you provide a sit-down dinner or a buffet dinner? Make a list of what you need to buy and prepare once you’ve decided.
  • Order a birthday cake if you’re buying one.

Two weeks beforehand

  • If you’re doing the music yourself, plan what you want to play. Make some mix tapes or CDs or a playlist with suitable music.
  • If there is any food that can be prepared and frozen in advance then do so now.
  • If you’re having a theme, get together any suitable decorations e.g. posters, disco balls.

One week beforehand

  • Clean out your fridge to give you more space for party food and drinks.
  • Buy non-perishable food and drink items and plastic cutlery, cups and crockery.
  • Remember to provide non-alcoholic drinks for drivers and young guests.

The day beforehand

  • Start to decorate your house or venue and prepare food.
  • Make sure that you have cameras and a camcorder in working order and full of film.
  • Pick up the birthday cake.

On the day

  • Put out food and drink and use paper tablecloths – it makes cleaning up a lot easier.
  • Clear away any valuables that might get smashed.
  • Check for any potential health and safety hazards, especially for toddlers.


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