Looking for party planning ideas for adults? This is your step by step guide to planning a mini celebration for your friends or a large adult party. Each step also has links to more in depth information if you need ideas & inspiration.
What do you put in a party plan?
Whether you’re planning a mini celebration with friends or an adult party for a large group, there are basic steps to planning a party.
- Decide on a guest list.
The first thing you do when planning a party is make the guest list. Do you know right away who you will invite? (It’s easier to pick a party date after you see if the most important guests are available.) If you need assistance, see How to Create the Perfect Guest List.
There is a free guest list printable. Print one for brainstorming and then print the final guest list.
- Set a budget.
Next, you plan the party budget. Agreed, it’s not the fun part. We can’t make it fun, but we can make it easier. Questions help you decide where to spend your budget and how to save money, too.
Free budget printable for you to put in your party planning binder to help you keep on track.
- Choose the party theme.
And now a fun part. Every party needs a theme to help make other decisions, even if it’s as basic as casual vs. elegant. If you need help deciding, see How to Decide on a Party Theme. If you need some inspiration, see Ultimate List of Party Theme Ideas.
- Decide on the party entertainment.
You want something that echoes your theme, entertainment that your specific guests will enjoy & participate in, and an event that connects everyone so they go home feeling happy & closer. Need help? See How to Choose Party Entertainment.
- Choose a venue.
See Free & Low Cost Venue Ideas if you need to brainstorm ways to save money, or if you feel your home is too small for the number of guests.
- Plan the menu.
This is another fun part! Is it going to be a food or beverage bar where people help themselves? An appetizer party where everyone mingles? Or a sit-down dinner? For beverages, we recommend choosing only one or two – with or without alcohol – to reflect the party theme and make it easier on you. See Create a Signature Party Drink in 3 Easy Steps.
- Send the invitations.
Want to pump up the excitement for your party before they even arrive? We show you How to Create Invitations that Excite. Make anticipation for your party grow daily using social media (see How to Plan a Party with Social Media).
- The BIG Day!
Now that the guests are excited for your party, keep the fun going on the Big Day with our ideas on How Do You Make a Party More Fun. Step by step ideas from planning, to guests arriving, the party itself. and saying a memorable goodbye.
Want more? How about a party planning checklist?
A party planning checklist tells you what to do when in the days and weeks before the party, so you’ll have everything decided and purchased on time for your party. A good checklist will keep you organized and calm because you’re not trying to do everything at once. One look at the checklist reassures you that you’re doing fine. We have a free printable party planning checklist for you.
Even if you’re used to planning events on the fly (all Merrymakers can!), a party planning checklist reminds you of what you need to do each step of the way so every little detail is taken care of. It also helps you keep on top of things you’ve delegated to others. It only take a few moments to check it! Our party planning checklist comes with a corresponding party planning guide.
A party planning guide tells you what decisions to make every step of the way from 6 weeks before the pary right up to big day and even after. (Our Party Planning Guide doesn’t just tell you what to do when, but asks questions to help you make decisions.) A party checklist is a quick-glance list to let you know what has been accomplished and what still needs to be done. (See our free Party Planning Guide printable and a corresponding Party Planning Checklist printable.)
Party planning printables are forms created by us for you to print at home (or a professional printers if you want.) Each page or form helps you plan your party and keeps everything together. We recommend that you put all the printable pages together in a binder along with your receipts and color swatches or anything else related to your party research and decisions to keep everything organized.
They say anticipation is half the fun. Do you usually plan out your parties, or do you pull it together as the inspiration hits?
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